Fri 4 March 2016 (18h00), Sat 5 March 2016 (22h30)

PRIVATE : Wear a mask when you talk to me

ALEXANDRA BACHZETSIS

Suisse

FRENCH PREMIERE

In the late 1960s, Trisha Brown created a series of pieces dedicated to exploring every day movement and behavior. In order to denaturalize the dancer’s and the audience’s relationship to everyday uses of the body, Brown decided to stage the movement on a vertical wall, defying gravity using harnesses and ropes. Displaced to a vertical framework, ordinary movement was seen for the first time as a highly staged gesture, almost a virtuoso individual performance of an embodied normative cultural script.

A critic would say: Alexandra Bachzetsis’s solo PRIVATE: Wear a mask when you talk to me could be considered a sort of an “equipment piece,” where what it is to be explored is how everyday behaviors of gender and sexual identity are reproduced. Bringing Brown’s choreographic tradition into the highly techno-baroque world of global pop culture, PRIVATE is an unsolicited report, fifty-three minutes in duration, on how gender and sexual desire are fabricated through the ritualized repetition of bodily gestures within the neoliberal regime.

In PRIVATE, there are Oriental drag queen dances, gym and western yoga exercises mutating into football and porn poses, stock moves from theatrical training for advertising and the repetition of Michael Jackson’s rituals by teenagers. There is Trisha Brown transitioning into Rembetiko, and a single voice fighting to survive national and gender identity social theaters.

However, PRIVATE does not mobilize techniques of parody that have been developed within feminist and queer cultures during the last years. It doesn’t aim to represent the process of embodiment of gender and sexual norms, but rather it explores the instances of performative failure and inner transition that allow for agency and resistance to emerge. How much history of discipline and dissidence can be encapsulated within a single gesture? Can movement activate the memory of the subaltern bodies that have been buried underneath hegemonic codes?

I would say: I hear your voice singing to me when my own body falls in a void between cultural gender notations. Your voice, exhausted after fighting naturalized gender codes, reminds me that the void embodies an opportunity for agency and survival. PRIVATE is a timeless hymn to transitions. A notation of its inner development, but also a mourning sketch for possibilities that were once open but can no longer be realized. In the end, this dance is not about normative gender performativity, but rather about the somatic energy that allows us to introduce moments of what Jacques Derrida called “improvisatory anarchy” in order to interrupt history and trigger cultural change and political transformation.
Paul B. Preciado

ALEXANDRA BACHZETSIS
Alexandra Bachzetsis is a choreographer and visual artist, based in based in Basel (CH) and Zurich (CH). Her practice unfolds at the intersection of dance, performance, the visual arts and theater, generating a conflation of the spaces in which the body, as an artistic and critical apparatus, can manifest. This fundamentally interdisciplinary approach is reflected in her educational background. She studied and graduated at the Zürcher Kunstgymnasium (CH), the Dimitrischule in Verscio (CH), the Performance Education Program at the STUK arts centre in Leuven (BE), and then continued to post-graduate level at Das Arts, the Advanced Research in Theatre and Dance Studies centre in Amsterdam (NL). During these years of training, Bachzetsis began to work as a dancer in the contemporary dance and performance context, collaborating with Sasha Waltz & Guests (Berlin) and Les Ballets C. de la B. (Gent), among others. Collaboration, transference and a plurality of voices and bodies have informed Bachzetsis’ work ever since and is often thematized as a method of developing new work in her practice.

Much of Bachzetsis’s work involves choreographies of the body and, in particular, the way that popular culture provides source material for gesture, expression, identification, and fantasy as we continually create and re-create our bodies and the way we identify. Within this, she scrutinizes the mutual influence between the use of gesture and movement in the ‘popular’ or ‘commercial’ genres on the one hand (online media, video-clip and television as a resource) and in the ‘arts’ on the other hand (ballet, modern and contemporary dance and performance). For Bachzetsis, the artificial and often precarious relationship between such genres produce an inquiry into the human body and its potential for transformation, however conceptual or actual. Ultimately, the way we all perform and stage our bodies and ourselves – through stereotypes and archetypes, through choice and cliché, through labor and spectacle – is a question that continues to shape the work of Bachzetsis.

Since Bachzetsis started working independently in 2001, she has created over 23 pieces, often working collaboratively, which have been shown in theaters, festivals and public space venues worldwide. In addition to this, her work has been exhibited in a variety of contemporary art spaces and museums, including Kunsthalle Basel (Basel, 2008), the Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam, 2013 and 2015), Tate Modern (London, 2014) and the Jumex Museum (Mexico City, 2014), as well as a number of international biennials, such as the 5th Berlin Biennial (Berlin, 2008), (d)OCUMENTA 13 (Kassel, 2012) and the Biennial of Moving Images (Geneva, 2014). Bachzetsis was nominated for the DESTE Prize (2011) and is a laureate of the Migros Kulturprozent Jubilee Award (2007), the Swiss Art Award (2011) and Swiss Performance Prize (2012).

infos pratiques

Studio de danse, Le Quartz

50 min
8€ ou PASS

distribution

CONCEPT, CHOREOGRAPHY and PERFORMANCE Alexandra Bachzetsis
COLLABORATION CREATION OF PERFORMANCE AND MOUVEMENT RESEARCH Thibault Lac
RESEARCH CURATOR Paul B. Preciado
COMMUNICATION DESIGN and PHOTOGRAPHY Julia Born and Blommers-Schumm
COSTUME DESIGN Cosima Gadient
COLLABORATION SOUND Lies Vanborm
LIGHT DESIGN AND TECHNIQUE Patrik Rimann
STAGE DESIGN AND PRODUCTION ASSISTENT Sotiris Vasiliou
PRODUCTION Association All Exclusive
PRODUCTION MANAGEMENT Anna Geering