What if process

Apart from some other – more administrative – craziness, the project that was finished last week was a solo performance “What if” by Maja Delak. A premiere on 3. October and re-run on 4. October at Old power plant (Stara elektrarna) was a tip of an iceberg of work. It was a pretty much non-stop work since beginning of august – two full months. While there was a lot of different material gathering through the process at wasn’t until Maja and myself went for a short 10-day residency at a lovely village ‘Savičenta’ (Sanvincenti / Svet vinčenat) where daily distractions were minimized that we were able to make a crucial turn with materials. Between separate blocks of texts and separate choreographies that had been somewhat disconnected there was no glue, no red line that would connect them (on non-mental, non-verbal level), they’ve been like boxes that one could stack up, but nothing would pass between or through them. We took a decision to improvise with sound, movement and texts in order to work on ‘ambiance’ non/presence, silences… This resulted in a more organic multi-layering of different media on various levels that somewhat made the right sense. There were related intensities flowing through the fragments.

The final piece holds a lot of this feeling of ambiance. Or perhaps an ‘unfocused focus’ on environment, a space that surrounds the action, the movement and texts and concrete sound – it is where the intensity lies. It is peculiar directionless quality of space, of its ephemeral-ness in time and in sound that seems so crucial in creating an atmosphere that supports non-judgmental but still extremely intense message that lies within the artist wanting to express it. Despite of desire to demystify art on every level, art is still a mystery. And these are just some of the aspects of artistic work and art’s role in the world that are extremely difficult to communicate to people like economists, merchants, many politicians.

A crucial lesson from it all for me was how important it was to take those 10 days of distance from different daily distractions (admin work, kids, meetings for this and that..) in order to be able to just sit, move, work for 4-6 hours straight with focus on one thing. It’s seems like the only sensible thing to do, but seemingly so difficult in these times.