MONUMENT 0.4: Lores & Praxes (rituals of transformation)
by Eszter Salamon

“What if being passionate about differences rather than singularities could reduce divisions and weave together another future? What if practicing multiple modes of relating to the world, could allow an emancipation from an inability to dream of other worlds than those that are inhabited? Can utopia be reshaped, not as an imaginary locality, but as a space of movement? And what are the hard and soft borders to be bypassed? Languages, walls or fantasies of origins?

During this exhibition, performers from four continents, engage in a performative transformation of war dances and dances of resistance. All these expressions are also originating from four continents and are not destined to be learnt, as they fall out of contemporary dances education and the market's economic radar.

What kind of gestures of resistance do the dancers enact while relating to these war dances? Can they reverse the flow of the migration of knowledge, such as it has been historically? Are they themselves shaped by stories of domination and migration? If so, what is meant by the notions of locality and foreignness in this context?

Every way of moving is a way of being to the world. By incorporating the world through movements and rhythms into oneself, is one's relationship to the world that is exercised. This practice of transformation is a practice of relationship. Tying and affirming relations to the world is at the heart of this exhibition.

This monument is a collective tapestry, where landscapes of expressions and sensations are entwined together. The interlacing rituals, developed after ideas of indeterminacy, combination, and ‘creolization’, move audaciously on the scale of mimesis.

Situations shift and - like knots - are tied together to create an in-between-world where fiction and physical presence are entangled. All these threads do not bring us back to the supposed origins - fantasies of a moment frozen in the past and fixed forever-, but mingle with historical, personal and fictitious links, creating a collective fabric of sensitive and reflexive empathy.

How can one put the footage into one’s foot? Self-learning is a labor, and learning gestures from images doesn’t presume 'the putting on' of ready-made patterns or moving along to expert guidance. One needs rigor while developing new techniques of embodiment and cultivation of new sensitivities towards numerous expressions. This requires an exploration of one’s own multiplicity and to face the question of how one wants to be touched by the world and to touch the world. Nobody is spared from the trouble of discovering unexpected bonds.

Challenging one’s sensorial and imaginary world while encountering unknown, yet familiar dances, might bring about the eroticism of relationship. What kind of openness does this eroticism create? May it be a promise of escaping the norms that generate collective and individual alienation?

These rituals are to be inhabited momentarily. They are like re-embroidered fabrics reassembled, refigured. They do not promise full understanding of buried dreams and secret practices, nor do they have a fantasy of representation. They are aware of the missing parts of their knowledge that remain in the opacity of ‘lore’ - the knowledge owned by anyone but everyone.

Playing as a child, probably has a lot to do with imagining and learning. Playing on the scale of mimesis. Picking up, stealing and repeating without waiting to be taught.

Traces of dance and vocal rituals such as Zaar, Kawliya, Kete, Capoeira Angola, Razzolo, Sabar, Mbosi, Chango, Oshun, Wakamalolo, Baris, Krump, Alanta, Attan, Semazen (Sufi Whirling), Holosa (Mudman), Kalari, Shaadi, Gure, Rumba Columbia, Wanaragua, Tari Saman, Kuduro, and Gede are originating from countries and regions such as Egypt, Kuwait, Iraq, Iran, Ghana, Brazil, Chad, Senegal, Congo, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Fiji, Bali, Angola, South Africa, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkey, Syria, India, Kashmir, Zimbabwe, Brazil, Honduras, Nicaragua, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Haiti, and Rwanda.”

Concept and artistic direction Eszter Salamon Artistic collaboration Boglárka Börcsök Developed with and performed by Liza Baliasnaja, Sidney Barnes, Mario Barrantes Espinoza, Boglárka Börcsök, Amanda Barrio Charmelo, Stefan Govaart, Cherish Menzo, Sara Tan, Louise Tanoto, Tiran Willemse Production Elodie Perrin / Studio E.S., Alexandra Wellensiek / Botschaft GbR Coproduction Internationales Sommerfestival Kampnagel (Hamburg) in Kooperation mit dem Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg, Tanz im August / HAU Hebbel am Ufer (Berlin) in Kooperation mit KINDL Zentrum für zeitgenössische Kunst, Kunstenfestivaldesarts (Bruxelles) With the support of the Regional Directory of Cultural Affairs of Paris – Ministry of Culture and Communication and the Hauptstadtkulturfonds Thanks to Seloua Luste Boulbina, Asad Raza, Boghossian Foundation-Villa Empain The development of one of the phases of this project has been supported by P.A.R.T.S and NATIONALEN PERFORMANCE NETZ (NPN), Koproduktionsförderung Tanz

©Lisa Rawe (Videostill), Anja Beutler, André Delhaye, José Caldera