Last summer I decided to work on a solo. I
had just finished Juli Zeh's novel Spieltrieb
which inspired me strongly. I borrowed the headline of one of Zeh's chapters
for my Solo: Splendid Isolation. From
the beginning on I wished to develop this work in collaboration with other
artists. I asked Olivier Tirmarche, the sound designer of the artist collective
Superamas and collaborative artist of the performance Show Me!. We both agreed on continuing and deepening our work of
text and sound in Splendid Isolation.
In August I met the choreographer Jennifer
Lacey. I asked her right away if she could imagine to coach my work, especially
the dance and the choreographical part. We met for a lunch at Museumsquartier,
I showed her some videos of my last works and I introduced my thoughts and
ideas for Splendid Isolation. I got
to know Jennifer in 2007. She was giving a ProSeries together with the choreographer
DD Dorvillier at the festival of Impulstanz in Vienna. These two weeks of Vampire Theresa moved me a lot. It was
an intense working time, which gave an unforgettable insight in the working
universe of Jennifer and DD Dorvillier as well as in the thoughts, minds and
investigations of the workshop mates. Jennifer's stage work and her reflection
on forms of collaboration are very exciting for me.
That summer I stayed in Vienna. Between
enjoying being involved in Impulstanz and going by bike to the Danube to swim
between grey skyscrapers and barbecuing Viennese who also had decided to spend
their summer in Vienna City, I started to set up my first ideas for Splendid Isolation. I remember wandering
around in my flat, reconsidering essential topics of my previous work: My
investigations in the phenomena of pathos and further on in the options of
pretending and not pretending as a performative practice, believing and not
believing as a practice for me as a performer and as a spectator too in the
performance Pittoresque (in
collaboration with Fanni Futterknecht). While following these thoughts, a book
fell into my hands which caught my attention. A book of lyric written by my
grandmother Dora Dunkl who was a poet between the two world wars. The next
evenings I stayed in the August heat of my flat spending time drinking beer out
of cans, smoking cigarrettes and reading my grandmother's poems. I was
impressed. I was impressed by her pathos, by her belief in the originality of
her words and work, by her committment to language, her belief in the unique
power of words and her search for an individual, untouchable, own language. -
So different to my access, so different to what we could call a postmodern
access to language and artistic work in general. I decided to involve my
grandmother's poems in my work and to watch carefully where this could bring me.
I was aware and excited by this bold venture to start off with this poetry.
Which form, which space, which necessity could I find for a poem full of pathos
in the landscape of contemporary performance in the year 2010, the context
which I am working in?
In October Jennifer arrived in Vienna. I
introduced the small bits of my work which I had developed until this point.
Small pieces which had just gotten a little life, a little identity, a small
existence, just ready to be borrowed, stolen, worked and practiced with. An
anecdote, a book or two, a small dance, jelly Halloween eyes, a poem and a wish
to call ghosts. And there we went ...
The original, unique, untouchable material
of: the clay dance, the flour dance, calling the ghosts and composing a french
Practicing being naked and involved in the
movement, practicing being naked and not being involved in the movement,
practicing believing, not believing, pretending, not pretending, being
committed, pretending to investigate, pretending to believe, pretending to be
committed, making something happen, believing in making something happen,
pretending to make something happen, pretending to lose control, pretending to
believe to lose control ...