The Finnish art collective WAUHAUS and visual artist Terike Haapoja are looking for 4–7 performers to form a working group for the making of a film and a performance with the title To Be Given Over. The work will premiere in Multiplié dance festival on the 22nd March 2023 in Rosendal Teater.
Who are we looking for?
The production is looking for people who share an interest in exploring the bodily experiences related to being carried. They hope that the process will produce knowledge of different aspects of interconnectedness and deepen our understanding of the vulnerability of all bodies, as well as the ethics of interaction.
Bodies of all shapes, abilities, genders and ethnicities between ages 20–80 are encouraged to apply. Different bodies have different experiences of vulnerability, care and being supported, and the project seeks to learn and share understanding of these different experiences.
No professional experience in performing arts is required to participate in the project.
How will we work?
To Be Given Over will use the working group’s personal experiences to begin to build choreography revolving around different experiences of being given over. Together, in a safe environment, you will explore what it means to be in another’s hands and use power over another; the vulnerability and intimacy that nudity offers; gestures of animalizing and humanizing. These scenes will be the basis for a video work and stage choreography facilitated by the directors. One of the tools used by the working group is a camera, which the performers can utilize in planning the scenes. The documentation of the working process will also be a part of the project.
We hope that the performers will be open to sharing their own experiences as part of the process; exploring the dynamics of presence and touch in a group setting; be ready to touch and be touched according to boundaries that are mutually agreed upon; explore the corporality of their body both with and without clothes according to boundaries that are mutually agreed upon.
The choreography will contain nude bodies, but the level of nudity will be agreed upon with each individual performer.
The process begins with a workshop where we will map the boundaries of all the participants and define the rules of communication to ensure a safe working environment, as well as find an agreement on how the video material will be used. We acknowledge that boundaries regarding nudity, touch, or sharing personal experiences can change during the process. The agreements that are made will be assessed every day at the beginning and end of the day, in order to guarantee that the working environment is safe and consensual throughout the process.
In addition to the performers and directors the workshop may include one person who will operate the camera and one person who will record audio.
Both the video work and the live performance will be presented at the Multiplié-festival in March 2023. The video work will be presented in other contexts after the initial premiere in Trondheim.
*Please note that the times might slightly change
The work will take place in two parts:
January workshop and video shoot:
When: January 16th – 29th 2023
Where: Rosendal Teater
How: Practices will be in the evenings during weekdays around 5pm–8pm (4 days during the week) and for 6 hours a day on the weekend
Performances at Multiplié dancefestival:
When: 20th – 23rd March 2023
Where: Rosendal Teater
How: 18th – 21st March workshop for around 4 hours in the evening/afternooon
Performance 22nd March and 23rd March at 20:00
Participants will be contracted and receive compensation for participating in the project.
For more questions about the project, please email email@example.com
How to apply:
To apply, please write a small paragraph about why you are interested in participating in the project. Please state if you have any restrictions regarding rehearsal period or the performance date.
When selecting participants for the project our aim is to build a diverse group of performers. We will also prioritize participants who are able to commit to the whole rehearsals and performance period.
Please send your application to firstname.lastname@example.org latest 5th December.
NB: Please name your email “Interest in participating in To Be Given Over” in the subject line.
To Be Given Over
Performance and video installation by WAUHAUS x Terike Haapoja
Today, a divide is deepening between bodies that can be used as a mere resource, and those that are treated as protected subjects. At the core of this violence is the body, that is the home of subjective experience, but that can be reduced to its bare physiological existence (meat, labor, energy). As bodies, we all are vulnerable to this violence. And as bodies, we all have the capacity to carry the whole world inside us. Exploring the mechanisms of this divide is an ethical urgency.
To Be Given Over borrows its title from Judith Butler’s 2020 book The Force of Nonviolence, where they write how we all are, as bodily, vulnerable beings, always already given over to others. Vulnerability results from this fundamental interdependency that can turn into destructive or caring relations.
The choreography takes as its starting point the movement between encountering the other as a subject, in their worldliness, and as an object, a body. The piece builds on the original concept of visual artist Terike Haapoja, and is developed and directed together with choreographer Jarkko Partanen of WAUHAUS collective. To Be Given Over brings together Haapoja’s experience on the question of the animal in the society and how it intersects with race and gender in the biopolitical framework, and both Haapoja and Partanen’s explorations on how notions of animality, subjecthood/objecthood, sovereignty or consent are played out in the fields of BDSM and kink scenes.
We all need to be carried during different times of our lives. What kind of experiences do we have of being given over? How do our different social roles or bodies influence how we experience being carried? Being given over is connected to an idea of passivity, it reminds us of the materiality of the body, how we are made of flesh, meat. Being given over can be pleasurable or demeaning, even objectifying. Forcing another to be a passive body or the object of actions can also be violent. A passive body can be used in different ways: it can be consumed, used for pleasure, or put to work. Animalizing is a central mechanism in justifying the use of the bodies of others. Bodies that are categorized as animals can be used – this affects both humans as well as other beings. We are, after all, always animals as well, bodily beings. Some bodies are more susceptible than others to being treated as animals, bodies, or meat. What kind of touch or support can reposition bodies as agents, as coexistors?
About Wauhaus: wauhaus.fi
About Terike Haapoja: terikehaapoja.net