Residency Sergiu Matis at ICI – CCN de Montpellier "Blazing World"
In the frame of the Creative Crossroad activity, Sergiu Matis was selected by NDA Slovenis to receive a 2 years structural support by the LLB network to work on several projects. He is receiving a residency at MDT Stockholm, a residency at ICI-CCN de Montpellier and a teaching experience and research opportunity at Workshop Foundation in Budapest.
He is, amongst others, working on his latest performance "Drang" and "Blazing World".
residency at ICI-CCN de Montpellier:
With "Blazing Worlds" I would like to continue the "Future Histories" series, which began in 2019 with "Hopeless." and "Extinction Room", followed by "UNRUHE / UNREST" in 2021 and my new work "DRANG", which premieres in February 2022 as part of Tanzfabrik Berlin's "Open Spaces" at Radialsystem.
"Blazing Worlds" will continue the series with a further thematic focus:
Whereas up to now it has been about protagonists lamenting losses of the natural world, about societal collapse and the prediction of impossible futures, “Blazing Worlds” will not focus on dystopias, but will open up the horizon for another possible future and imagine alternative worlds. The previous works in the series take ancient Greek and Roman pastoral and epic poetry as their point of departure to identify the origins of crises and the fatal, undesirable developments. While those works raise the question, how we could have intervened and changed the origins, “Blazing Worlds” will focus on the act of intervention itself. It will be about possibilities of utopias, visions of futures and activism. I understand this work, much like the genre of science fiction literature, as a platform of experimentation; it will imagine new worlds that go hand in hand with questions of identity politics, gender politics, notions of society and the capacity of imagination as a practice of empowerment; these worlds are not dystopian but technological, enchanted, primordial and magical, they are fictions that open up the possibility of alternative worlds.
In the development process for Blazing Worlds, I will continue to use the science fiction genre as a starting point. So far, I have not staged the science fiction scenarios specifically, but used them as backstories to imagine extreme bodies and physicalities. With Blazing Worlds I want to engage with the historical tradition of imagining new possible bodies inhabiting imaginative worlds and create a new network of utopias.
21.09.2022: club de danse – ICI-CCN
22.09.2022: work-in-progress - public opening
In «DRANG» (urge, drive), the performers search for the new drive to dance, the drive towards imaginative invention, and for ways to re-sacralise the world. The world premiere of «DRANG» together with the Berlin premiere of «Terrain» by Milla Koistinen, Paul Valikoski and Ladislav Zajac will shape the opening weekend of Tanzfabrik Berlin's «Open Spaces» festival at Radialsystem. With the initiative «Tanzfabrik ♥ Radialsystem» the two institutions cooperate within the framework of the festival in order to specifically improve the presentation conditions of dance creators.
The dance in «DRANG» no longer grieves for lost nature, but is animated by the desire for new possible enchanted forests and for magic. The search for magical algorithms is accompanied and stimulated by fantasia, toccata and passacaglia scores for harpsichord, from the Renaissance until the present. Unassuaged grief transforms into a generator of a storm of feelings – immediate, spontaneous and direct – in their raw urge, navigating from crisis to crisis with the drive of the Pre-Romantics and the visionary rebirth of the Renaissance. But if, for the Pre-Romantics, 'Drang' (from the Proto-Germanic word þrangwaz – pressing, narrow) was the drive towards darkness and death, this new Drang is animated by being in awe for life, in all its shapes.
«DRANG» is part of «Future Histories», a series of performances that explores the relation between nature and society, and particularly the artistic and performative responses to the climate emergency. Moving on from mourning the losses of the natural world (in «Hopeless.» and «Extinction Room»), and from attempting to rebuild society and identities in the post-apocalypse (in «UNREST»), «DRANG» continues the series.
"I often think of my practice in relation to technology. “Body as archive” is one of the central concepts of my work. This archive contains different dance techniques – from ballet to Cunningham, from folk dance to modern and contemporary dance techniques. During the course of my practice I developed tools to navigate this archive, to revisit it, and to rethink ways to perform it. The tools can, for example, explode the archive, and then restructure it from the multitude of fragments that collide and overlap, in a virtuosic dance.
The practice combines sets of tasks, creates systems to check or indicate the multitude of options in motion, and generates algorithms for movement. The analogy would be a computer that runs several programs at the same time and is also able to navigate huge amounts of data simultaneously. This computer-like mind is a necessary imaginative exercise during the practice. How would Artificial Intelligence control the human body in motion? That fresh look on movement offered by a computer-like mind, generates a thinking in the practice that reorganises motion from awkward mechanics to virtuosic algorithms and hyper-organic simulations. I strongly believe in the idea of a virtuosic dancer. The dancer as a cyborg (as in Donna Haraway’s sense of the term) made of flesh and technology with a fluid identity.
This shuffling manifests in performances as a multitude of aesthetic propositions, strategies and means that aim to orchestrate a very precise randomness, and to create noise – structured chaos. This chaos becomes an intense experience both for the spectator and the performers.
I call the practice the Visible Thinking Body (VTB) – a performative process of thinking the body in motion.
In my most recent project, Hopeless. (premiere: 8.2.2019), I turned the practice towards the periphery of thinking, and I was looking for ways to un-think the Visible Thinking Body. This periphery of thinking includes the so-called “3i” technology: impulses, intuition and instinct. These, together with the rational decision-making of VTB create some sort of dialectical thinking in movement. Thus, there are more ways of accessing different layers of the archive, layers that could be hidden, suppressed, unknown or elusive.
In UNRUHE, the project planned for the second half of 2020, I plan to develop my practice further, focusing especially on the intersection between movement (choreography) and voice (text). The choreography is envisioned as a complex ecosystem, a network of relations that is articulated through a dialectic between VTB and unthinking-VTB.
I often use sci-fi or dystopian scenarios as a starting point to think of extreme bodies, and exaggerated physicalities and performativities in dance. With the real menace of climate change as well as the new political climate, the dystopian scenarios become utterly real nowadays. UNRUHE will be an attempt to mirror the pre-traumatic society of the present, in reflections distorted by all possible dystopian scenarios. The feeling of powerlessness and the fear of uncertain futures, translates into restlessness. The restless bodies in UNRUHE are in survival mode and their actions are powered by the need for radical actions."
RESIDENCY AT WORKSHOP FOUNDATION BUDAPEST
During the residency Sergiu is working on his own practice, the Visible Thinking Body (VTB), which he developed throughout the years during creation processes for all the dance performances he made since 2013. With each project, new tools for generating movement were created in VTB, that would appear from, and out of the necessity to resolve the conceptual questions, specific for every project, connected to theory and aware of their politics.
Sergiu Matis is also holding a workshop on VTB at Trafo Studio and will perform her solo at Turbina Cultural Centre.
Residency Sergiu Matis at ICI – CCN de Montpellier
15.09.22 - 25.09.22
ICI - CCN de Montpellier-
Residency Sergiu Matis at Workshop Foundation Budapest
02.05.22 - 19.05.22
Performance presentation Sergiu Matis - Drang
17.02.22 - 20.02.22
Residency Sergiu Matis at MDT Stockholm
30.08.21 - 11.09.21
Performance presentation Sergiu Maris - UNRUHE
30.05.21 - 30.05.21