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daily chronicles

Choirs and monsters: families of ideas
Text by Claudia Galhós

Is it possible to create a family tree of ideas? That could be another proposal or perspective of approaching the history of art…?
The possibility came up in a first conversation with Alwynne Pritchard, in the first weekend of TryAngle. Then, the challenge would be more to follow the path of a given idea, starting from its last apparition in the world of art and make the way backwards, searching for its original manifestation. One example: it might be tempting to go to Steve Paxton’s experiments in the 60s, during the times of Judson Dance Theatre, to find the first attempts to use natural daily bodily actions such as getting up, sitting or falling into the floor… From its very initial experiments, Paxton assumed he was researching on the performative possibilities of such common actions. And the clear identification of that intention might be one of the reasons why when thinking about such movements in performance art and dance – sitting, walking, getting up… – it is easy to go back to him.

But does that mean that he is really the starter of the dislocation of those daily gestures into the frame of art? And is it that tracing the first use of a gesture is the same of tracing the first idea someone had about… lets say… using an everyday gesture in the frame of theatre?

There is an attempt to catalog the use of essential gestures in art in the french book “Histoires de gestes”, a collection of essays organised by M. Glon (edited by Beau livre, published in 2012). But that is a different story… is already the story of manifestation and concretisation of ideas. It is not necessarily the first emergence of the ideas themselves…

If we take the case of TryAngle and try an exercise of gathering in families the experiments that are going on here, just taking this clear frame – of time, space and people involved – it is interesting to identify that there are kind of collections of ideas, and through the chronology of time when they were proposed we can easily retrace that path. But this razes another question: even the projects that seem not to be related to the others share some kind of common element. So, there is always something missing from the frame we choose to draw. At the same time, is evident that even the ones that are part of a ‘family’ are different from each other, they are formulated in singular ways and express diverse strategies of approaching the creative process or the intentions behind such ideas.

To section in collections groups of experiments is in itself an act of annulling the conviction that all strategies to create compartments means to surrender to a non natural logic of approaching the world, which means participating in the reduction of its significance and potential of meaning. Any attempt to create an unified reading of the world is denying its complexity and richness that escapes any attempt to contain its mystery. But knowing that there is more to each experiment than these possible approaches through its similarities – the conscious of that – protects from any temptations of reduction of multiplied meanings. So, considering all this, here it is a proposal of two family trees of TryAngle ideas (only some of them): the choirs and the monsters (with no explanations… and with assumed subjectivity)

“360 degrees” – Ola Osowicz and Anna Nowicka
“I have met my destiny in quite a similar way” (the once before “ABBA Medley”) – Andrea Spreafico
“Fado – Fade” – Jorg Ritzenhoff
“Coro do Tempo (Tim Choir)” – Alwynne Pritchard
“Amazon” – Philipe Vincent

“The Monster Inside” – Thomas Fourneau
“The Pig Project” – Andrea Spreafico
“Bird Project” – Alma Palacios
“The Power of Horror” – Linda Blomqvist
“Hunters” – Philippe Vincent
“How to Mutate? Can I be you?” – Thomas Fourneau