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Tribute to incompleteness

During Beginning Ending by Varinia Canto Vila

What happens in the process of building and constructing; in the process of mistakes and ugliness of incompleteness; in the process of failure instead of success?
These seem like the questions Varinia Canto Vila was asking in her preview performance During Beginning Ending at the Brussels Working Title Festival on 3th of December 2009. In the program brochure she perfectly articulates her intention for this performance: “The actions and movements in this work could be compared to construction-sites. Construction-sites attract the attention because they show us buildings which are mid-way: they will be completed or will cease to be.”
Comparison with human movements and construction-sites reminds of the solid immoveable structures and buildings which are erected to resist the passing of time. It is the hopeless demand of human kind for eternity through the erection of massive structures as a contrast gesture of his mortality. Those structures open themselves to the gaze like the completed, perfectly accomplished gestures in dance. They want to be admired. The admiration of the abilities of human kind… The gorgeous architectures of the past reveal themselves with an imposing power on us humble watchers—similar to how structures of choreography built with perfectly executed movements reveal themselves in front of their audience. They display perfection, stability, trust and harmony where the sweat and pain of creation process is hiding from the gaze.
The mid-way structures created by Varinia Canto Vila are far from claiming perfection. Her humble appearance and informal existing in space is welcoming a different perspective to the easy answers of what catches our eyes and demands our gaze. She opens a door to something in its becoming, in its incomplete ambiguous form to be looked at and also to be admired. Beginning her performance by watching the audience with the direct but not tempting look is like a reminder of their own gaze. The gaze which has the power of demanding, judging and expecting. Her movements are not finished; they don’t illuminate any meaning and expression. They resist to any meaningful form throughout the performance. She struggles with them. She forces herself to do movements which seem that demand to be accomplished and executed perfectly and she never gets there. The endless repetition with no success…Repetition as one of the main aspects of the process of building a finished choreography ready to display itself to the gaze of the audience is not the case for this performance; the repetition here is not for creating a concrete structure, but almost for revealing its aimlessness. Her use of facial expression which is unlikely to see in the dance is also incapable of adding any meaning to what she is doing.
After being exhausted with the movement battle she minimizes her movements and starts to snore. A snoring? A body trying to do something incomprehensible, forcing itself to do movements with no proper meaning is snoring. That leaves no place for resting our minds in the sweet bed of convenient meaning. No wrapping the process in the finish point.
She finishes her performance like her beginning by looking to the audience. But this time there are traces left form the process: her face is red and sweaty; her breathing is faster than the beginning. She looks at us and opens more questions: How many steps are there before the finish point?  And what steps they are?

Ayrin Ersöz

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