Πέμπτη, 26 Μαρτίου 2015

Text on Bazaar, concluding event of the EU Identity.Move! Projekt

A few thoughts on issues of identity triggered by a project titled Identity.Move!
March 23, 2015: return to Greece from Prague, where the Bazaar took place, that is the presentation of the participants' in the project works. Two and a half years in this (EU) project passed quickly, must work on sad endings. Make a note on this... “to find the time to become less sentimental.” Note taken.
And now:
End of the Identity.Move! Projekt with presentation of the research of the artists who participated in the project. (I already said that.)
The issue of identity via dance or in/within dance, gave an outcome that ranged from gender to politics, to form and content. The body in the crossroads of East and West, in video, live, crying, laughing, remembering, suffering, celebrating, immigrating, threatened, threatening, wondering.
Bitter memories, collective hostility re-worked peacefully through art's life-saving conventions, a wondering abut the value of lives and actions in extreme political conditions.
A welcoming -in art- paradox:
In a way in the Eastern part of Europe [aka the Eastern block (…) as was collectively named from the outside as a reference to political equations comprised of anonymous crowds] aka in the former communist part of Europe, artists could be possibly seen as operating in a privileged position in its awkwardness and complication: they (or their parents) lived in a “revolutionary”, [idealized from the outside by many], time and space, which was completely devalued after its ending; therefore generations whose behaviour, practices and beliefs [susceptible to responsibilities and questioning after the fall of the communist regime], even family relations were shaped by the prerequisites of the then regime, suddenly were left in an existential vacuum.
Civil wars, dividing, hardships, shame, pride, traumas, all compose a past that is very recent and very difficult to absorb, explain and rid of or evaluate and use as a basis for the future. And yet,
the Identity.Move! Artists made a brave step towards the future, simply engaging themselves with contemporary issues, while their past and present created a “haven”, a “labyrinth” within which to explore their unfinished project.
And possibly this core idea of Identity.Move!, that is the focus on the research and the “unfinished” project, was what gave the opportunity to get out of the comfort zone on the one hand, and to dare to tackle upon difficult issues on the other hand without the guilt that impose the conventions of a finished, polished product.
Before getting a little deeper in this core issue, one important note: many of the artists live and work in central European cities. Naturally artists, since the times of Marie Salle and Noverre, Johansson and Petipa (...) have led a nomadic life, they are model immigrants one might say, but it cannot be ignored that knowledge gathered and any possible influence on the dance/performance scene, will be disseminated in the metropolitan cities and not in the countries of origin of the artists. Knowledge and experience will hopefully invigorate host cities, but what about the “Eastern belt?”
And -finally- what is to be done with the idea of the “unfinished project”?
Yoko Ono and John Lennon named Unfinished Music I and II (Two Virgins and Living with the lions) their works released in 1968 and 1969 respectively, and it was “disturbing” and yet avant-garde, experimental music [with -furthermore- “disturbing cover, photos of the couple in the nude and in private moments.] In a way, Identity.Move! could also be disturbing consciences and the stagnated waters of custom tailored art for both audiences and funding organizations.
I don't know if it is possible to re-claim avant-garde now, but in a post-modernist way, and kept as much lively as possible and not becoming an ornament, it might be helpful; a reminder of the subversiveness of art as a constant, and experimentation as a need. And who knows? A new genre or style might be born...
Sometimes identity is very hard to research, to “identify”, to trace. Sometimes, as ingeniously Tatsumi Hijikata showed, a newly old identity and its core existential agony may only be successfully found in chaos and disorder. A point of ultimate sarcasm, and of meeting of one's past, present and future in unidentified indifference, destruction of all inhibitions and social constructs and re-birth of a supposedly new being.
With love to the I.D! Participants,
Natasha Hassiotis
Curator Greece I.M! Projekt

P.S. The Prague Bazaar was an amazing experience, with lots and lots of interesting ideas and amazing shows. This goes without saying. 




 
 

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