Sharing Duets is a choreographic system that makes explicit the way in which material processes are instinct with habits of attention and social relation. In ‘Sharing Duets’ sharing gets in the way of and resists habitual techniques of moving and sensing with everyday materials. Actions are slowed and compromised with the unruly negotiation of the textures and affects of two bodies that occupy a material/object space designed for one. In the process, physical boundary is charged with emotional, social and material intensity. The movements, hesitations and solidarities that emerge in the intensely physical and sometimes intimate instances of sharing become the propositional parameters within which to open further, improvisational sharing explorations. The limits of affective boundary as well as habits of attention and movement are reactivated and elasticized within a relational and conceptual field. Choreographies were developed with Stefanie Mrachacz


Sharing Duets: Divided Contour, Video: Flurin Fischer, 2014

Sharing Duets: Comb, Photo: Flurin Fischer, 2014

Sharing Duets: Sweater, Photo: Flurin Fischer, 2014

Sharing Duets_Divided Contour

I developed the operation 'Dividing Contour' (2014) to experiment with this process of corporeal abstraction in drawing. The operation consists of outlining the figural form with chalk on the floor towards activating emergent alignments between an intense corporeal in movement over the surface of the floor, the given proportions of figural form, and the mode of the outlining contour. This operation divides the process of outlining corporeal form between two renderers and two figures. In the process, the chalk relays between two people as they outline their physical contact with the floor while moving across it at a fast pace. The moving outline passes between hands, guiding the chalk, chalking the surface while lifting feet forward, collapsing knees downward, and stretching precariously at the limits of reach. The fast, forward pace of the moving contour seems to sprawl physical movements across the floor—participants must clumsily negotiate lifting, rolling and stretching their bodies over the floor to preserve the continuity of the linear trajectory. The contrast in ease and finesse between the forward force of the line and the physical movements required to sustain it makes the feeling of the body blunt, heavy and inert. Then focus shifts to the way the thighs, toes and arms bulge flatly over the floor—and in the next moment, to lifting again, which un-sticks the skin from the cool tack. As the movement of the rendering line generates relations of pulling and flattening the skin over the floor, floor and skin seem to knead together to compose and recompose a churning mosaic of flesh and stone. The dynamic force of the rendering line also cuts between physical and affective registers, such that the difference between an arm and a leg, or between the intimate and benign areas of the body become glossed over in the urgency of sustaining the movement consistency. Another important aspect of this operation is the way that the particulate qualities of chalk activate the contour as a temporary potential, or potential for textural dispersal, where it activates emergent boundaries of intimacy and proximity.

Sharing Duets_Sweater

The upper halves of two bodies become suspended in the churning tension of a sweater, before it reaches the threshold of being worn, and landing into figurative dimensions. The surface of the sweater undulates a consistency of irregular tension that bends and presses as poking arms, elbows, shoulders and heads over the surface, even as they threaten to exceed the limits of arm and neck holes. Both the sweater membrane and the surface of skin enter into affective and relational dynamics of recombination, where the form of the torso, loses the force of standing tall in the felt textures of surface tension. The irregular pullings and stretchings of the two performers in the struggle to inhabit the same sweater make them feel their skinned and skinning symbiosis, and the durational intensity that composes the sweater as an emergent, living threshold.

Sharing Duets_Comb

Although combing composes the intense limit of the physical body, it is also a site of rupture, a site that exceeds a gendered and racialized corporeal, making room for different modes of intimacy to enter:

Hair seems to grow longer in the pulsing repetition of a combing trajectory that fuses the long, strait, mid-tone brown hair of two heads as they get nearer and farther apart. The performers face outwards, behind their heads bending forwards and remain in a margin of proximity to avoid becoming identifiable as independent forms under the pulsing undulating mass. The motif of combing combines the hairs of the two heads into the teeth of the comb in endless variations, in activation contours of smoothing and straightening, and in gathering and separation. Eventually the hair is no longer recognizable as part of a figurative assemblage, but becomes a dynamic consistency of lengthening and shortening or of thinning, and thickening depending on the orientation and relative proximity of the heads. The pulse of each combing trajectory gets lost in the swelling volumes of hair, a process that eventually threatens to consume the bodies that wear it in an infinitely formless consistency.