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Emmanuelle Santos and Dina Khuseyn were selected by the CNN Montpellier (FR) for this residency at Trafo, Budapest. During their residency, they have worked on their project entitled “Nous” in the studio of The Symtomps and in Trafó Studio. They have been joined by Patrick K-H. (Anton Iakhontov) a sound artist and concentrated on the different constellation of the three people on the stage.

 

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report

 NOUS #
 
During this last meeting around the project « Nous » at the residency in Budapest we were able to define our proposition, establish the process of work that will serve us also during the next residencies and as an effect to get more clear vision of the project.
 
1 / the conditions of reception
 
The reception of Workshop Foundation we perceived as very warm and professional. Lilla was our main piloting person. The office is placed inside the Trafó House of Contemporary Arts, which is a very dynamic and well known art center among the young generation. Workshop Foundation has a dance studio rich in activities: dance classes, presentation of performances, work-in-progress presentations, etc.. It’s also where we had a presentation of our project - « Nous#2 ».
 
Trafó is in a period of changes: the director who was leading the place during 13 years and was practicing artistic exchange with the foreign artists is on the way to be replaced by more local project.  Workshop Foundation does not know what future it will bring them and if it will be possible to continue doing what they are doing under the new direction.
 
This is a very brief and rough resume of the situation. Lilla would be probably able to explain the situation more clearly.
 
About our stay: the flats where we lived were placed in the center of the city and we were proposed a detailed program of cultural events in Budapest.
 
We were working in the White Room in the studio of the Symptoms Company under the artistic direction of Réka Szabo. The company has two studios that are placed in the building called Bakelit Multi Art Center in the periphery of the city inside industrial zone. But even if geographically it’s in one space, they have two different realities.
Governmental help that the studio was receiving during many years was cut off this year. Workshop Foundation was renting this studio for us.
 
In the space of Bakelit there are also: studio for the repetitions, hall for performances with the bar, sleeping rooms for the artists. This place is receiving minimal subventions to exist and unfortunately because of the distance with the center of the city it’s not easy to draw in the audience for the concerts/performances/etc.
 
The White Room is a big studio with fragile sound isolation. Even if it didn’t disturb us a lot we wanted to underline for the future artists to require the silence during the working process. In general there is no noise, if the next studio is not occupied.
 
It’s possible to have a good and cheap meal in the neighborhood. The zone itself is very quiet; there are not so many passageways which are open.
 
2/ Nous #1/Angers-Schools
 
David Marques, Dina Khuysen, Emmanuelle Santos
 
The invitation of CCN de Montpellier to represent ex.e.r.ce at SCHOOLS summer festival was an occasion for us to meet again. Because of the possibility that we’ve been given, to present a form reviewing the things that we’ve gone through during ex.e.r.ce we’ve decided to work with the exercise that has been proposed by David Wampach (during ex.e.r.ce). At that time we didn’t had any other future plans for this project. But after the presentation in Angers it became clear for us that this experience can become a base for the further experimentation around this subject.
 
Practice :
 
Being David, being Dina, being Emmanuelle
 
More then just an imitation it was an exchange around our habits, codes, the ways of “existence” on the stage, “styles” of performing, where each of us was confronted with a task of transmission of “yourself” for the others. Through a dance-body practice and verbal exchange we were testing, experimenting how it is “being” the other on stage, till where we can go on being someone else.  Looking at each other and giving a life feedback allowed us to enter and to improve the skills of being “the other”.
 
We were practicing this exercise during a week.
 
The form :
 
The final form of the presentation at SHOOLS (Angers) was decided verbally at the last day before the performance:

We were “being” David on the music of his solo (from Deborah Hay), after David and Emmanuelle were “being” Dina at the same time when Dina herself was announcing her “ways”, “codes” of performing and the last was Emmanuelle that was playing herself while on the audio we played recorded by us conversation where we were discussing the form of the presentation during one of the rehearsals.

Each part was approximately 5 minutes.
 
 
3/ Nous #2/Budapest-Workshop Foundation/Jardin d’Europe
 
For this residency David was not able to join us. Not to replace, but to confront this practice with other artist and also with other media we invited Patrick K.-H (Anton Iakhontov). Who is a sound-, animation- and multimedia-performance artist.
 
 
Practice :
 
Observation no. 1/ We’ve spend a lot of time transmitting and explaining project to Patrick, that he could understand it and find a possibility for all of us to be able to exchange our habits reciprocally. We were busy with the questions: how his process of creation music could serve us in the movement creation and vice-verse how our dance “habits” could be transformed and exist in the sound reality.
 
One possible strategy was found : when me and Dina - we gathered a musical material for Anton, calling it « personal sound identity card », consisting from a registered noise-sound fragments, music, voices and other musical materials that we could connect to our personalities. Patrick later used all this material as a sort of instruments for his sound improvisation during the working process and performance.
 
The lack of time didn’t allowed us to find a way of « being » Anton. Although we’ve tried it with the perception that we received from him, likewise with some more precise elements, but this chapter is still demanding for a more strong investigation.
 
Observation no. 2 / Since we met in Budapest for the second time, but we’ve started to work with our “habits” that were coming from the first meeting, we had a sensations that it was not a right choice and the question appeared: do we have to re-find the habits that we’ve started with or define, find the one’s that is a part of us today? We choose the second version.
 
If the process is the same: to share one practice together; the quality of investigation is changing in the function to your preoccupation at this moment. It was a fist stage of the project and an experience that was a reference for us, it’s where the common history began. The period of work in Budapest became a part of this history. We would like to go more for the accumulation of this experience, even if they will be different, generate a common vocabulary and create a “history”, “memory” of the project, may be even with some real objects that will stay after the performances.
 
Observation no. 3/ Also we can assume that we have some particular habits, visual approaches together. One of them is to make the face disappear, in order to underline “the absence of individuality”. In the proposed frame of the project: where by the common practice we are trying to erase our own individuality and to become someone else; the body without a face became a common identity.
 
Form:

The performative form that we’ve presented was worked out during the two last days of the residency. We were “being” Emmanuelle in silence, around the subject of a common body. After “being” Dina was presented by Anton, Dina and Emmanuelle working with the sound and body separately in space. During the last part Anton was playing himself and Dina and Emmanuelle became fixed images in the space.
 
Observation no. 1/ We were using the tools belonging to the musical vocabulary to find a form at the end. In an almost unconscious manner the presence on Anton reflected here and influenced our approach to dance space.
 
Observation no. 2/ We didn’t want to present all the material that we’ve crossed during the working process, like in Angers, the chosen form was different from the practice, although it is definitely sourced from it.
 
Photos of the last presentation available here:
http://kni7.wordpress.com/2012/01/22/nous-mi/#wpcom-carousel-14294
 
 
The future
 
3/Nous #3/Paris-Point Ephémère
David, Emmanuelle, Dina and Anton

 
We will continue this practice build on the exchange of interests, models, propositions of each other and accumulate it in the third step of the project. The experience that we’ve crossed can be interesting if someone from us will consider it is still actual, present for him and will propose a practice around it. Also we can decide to leave it completely open for the new experience.
 
The form that will be presented will be « Nous #3 ».

We would also like to construct a sort of catalogue of different small forms and sort of bank of practices, gestures, sounds and objects that we could use or not later, but that will be a part of “common history” of the project.
 
 
The continuation of the project will be turning around some key points:

 
- focused on the practice of exchange
- exploring the questions: How do we decide the form of presentation? How we can define a practice? How much the form presented will be linked to the practice proposed?
- every time the form presented will be different from the one’s before and every time will exist as a finished object.

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