What world can we create together?
There is a project of civilisation that is funded in a dream. It is sustained in the belief in the human, creative and intellectual potential of each person. This would be a community built in trust, mutual respect and cooperation, without loosing the space for the expression of the individual. In our days, it has become harder and harder to find within capitalistic society the place where such an apparently utopia idea could inhabit. And when there is a proposal to think society differently than what it is, immediately it is evident that the artist becomes essential. Similarly there is the tendency for increasing approach to the artistic act as a commercial act. This way, the artist should conform to the rules and to what is more appealing and what can attract more people. Precisely because of this context, the importance of such a place – the supposed utopia, which in fact is a possibility – is a reflex of the understanding the relevance of contemporary creation, which is threatened. It is also a project of future and a dream for a civilisation to come. In fact, this idea of a community to come is what really is condemned. Is the common project of coming together to built a better reality together that is condemned.
It is in this frame of thought and sensibility that TryAngle happens. It is an intention of trying to materialise this vision of another way of being together. And this was a very strong question in Marseille. It is not an utopia, is a reality check and a collective act of resistance.
TryAngle is with artists, for artists, primarily. But only because in the artists lays the responsibility and the intelligent and sensible imagination of that community we dream of. So, is with artists, for the artists, because in them remains the potential of transformation of the reality we live in. But for that, it is needed a context – a place – in which the rules of everyday are interrupted, in the hope of something else emerging.
TryAngle is a place full of paradoxes. It aims for freedom of action, but by trying to offer a peek on what freedom can be, brings all the second effects of doing so. And people get lost, or people get stuck.
The portuguese theatre director and one of the Zap Visitors of TryAngle talked about this context in his meeting with the artists:
‘It is not very often that we are put in this melting pot of artists and have a sensation that we could act or put in question our way of acting and producing. And I think maybe there are a lot of contradictions here: first of all the need to make a presentation; or these need to make something that mirrors ourselves to the others in some way in this fast two weeks period. It creates a lot of paradoxes.’
Paradoxes are part of life, and they have the potential of feeding the imagination of the artists. And paradoxes emerged throughout the two weeks, in the practice of performance, in the experiments, in the questions… The same way it was very present the desire to work as a group, to profit from the opportunity of having people available to share a doubt, a question, an experiment. And this was what it was all about. To create the conditions for artists to experiment freely, outside the market of art, without the pressure of producing something to be consumed. All these ideas produces an opportunity, an amazing moment of exception, the possibility of experiment artistic ideas, intentions and practices, and in the process it reveals it’s contradictions.
Marcia Lança, the portuguese choreographer and dancer, has been in a accompanied thinking process about the themes of the new piece she is creating. She called this practice ‘Context’ and in it there is the question of the relation:
“We cannot think/exist all alone. The relation with the other, the search for the identity of the other constructs me at the same time I construct the other.”
At the end, the moment when the doors open and people come from the outside world and access some artistic gestures – some excerpts of what was tried mostly in La Gare Franche, but also in Théâtre des Bernardines -, that frame of sharing becomes a complicated one, because it has a similar organisation of a showing of a finished performance or visual art piece. And all the spirit of non judgement, of exchanging, of sharing, of trusting, is threatened. So, if the apparatus and the frame of organisation suggests some kind of formal presentation, lets just try to keep an open state of mind.
In the end it is all about embodying the interest in the other, in the questions of the other. Engaging in a shared moment, an ephemeral dialogue with each of the pieces or fragments or testimonials of what was this act of being lost and searching for something different from what we already know, different from what we already feel comfortable with, different from what is the norm. Maybe then we can start creating something together. With artists leading the way.
*TryAngle – Performing Arts Research Laboratories is a project from European Program Culture 2007-2013, and results on the collaboration from different artistic structures: Théâtre des Bernardines (Marselha), Tanzhaus.nrw (Dusseldorf), Carte Blanche (Noruega) and Fico Ballet (Eslovénia). The leading partner is Espaço do Tempo (Montemor-o-Novo, Portugal).