The Artificial Nature Project
People and things
In the exhibition Making Things Public (2005) and in the accompanying book, the French philosopher and sociologist Bruno Latour presented his vision of a ‘politics of things’. How can the concept of representation be extended in our representative democracy so that it loses its exclusive human interpretation? Politics is about the world and therefore it is not only people that are represented in parliament, but also ‘things’. In recent years, Mette Ingvartsen, inspired by Latour's ideas, has worked on a series of performances in which the question of ‘non-human actions’ in a choreography play a central role. It is no longer the performer’s body alone that she brings to the stage; she also allows objects and materials to act as full participants. This is a repeat of the four performances that resulted from that research.
• Evaporated Landscapes was Ingvartsen’s first choreography for such materials as foam, fog, light and sound. Here the choreography takes the form of a relationship between ephemeral elements that float around and dissolve in space. It is as if you, the spectator, were adopting the swaying motion of the materials. Everything is bathed in an atmosphere of peace and tranquillity, fascination and impressions that we experience with a natural wonder.
• The Extra Sensorial Garden is an invitation to enter a fictional garden. All the visitor’s senses are stimulated, and together with his own imagination this produces a strong physical experience. There is not always much to see, but all the more to feel. Changes in light, colour, temperature and sound create a sensitive fabric in this artificial nature experiment. How do you experience nature, does it overwhelm you, does it make you feel at peace. Or do you think that nature no longer exists?
• In Speculations Mette Ingvartsen uses fiction, speculation and description to develop ideas in front of an audience. The body on the stage is part of the performance, but the choreography is in the field of language and in the spectator’s imagination. Although the spectator is not actively involved in the performance his role is essential to its creation. Language and action are equally important in the creation of a virtual performance in the spectator’s mind..
• The Artificial Nature Project is the last performance in the series. It is a new encounter between people and things based on the questions ‘what does it mean to create choreography in which human movements are no longer the focus of attention?’ and ‘What is the relationship between the living and the lifeless world?’ The stage is filled with all kinds of objects and materials, set into motion by the dancers who are part of a swirling mass; a mass of objects that seem to be alive but are not human.
concept & choreography Mette Ingvartsen | performance Franziska Aigner, Sidney Leoni, Martin Lervik, Maud Le Pladec, Guillem Mont De Palol, Manon Santkin, Christine De Smedt (in Brussels replaced by Ilse Ghekiere) | light Minna Tiikkainen | music Peter Lenaerts | dramaturgy Bojana Cvejic | technical director Hans Meijer | assistant choreography / production Elise Simonet | assistant light Milka Timosaari | light technician Susana Alonso | production management Kerstin Schroth | production Mette Ingvartsen / Great Investment | co-production PACT Zollverein (Essen), Festival d’Automne à Paris, Les Spectacles vivants - Centre Pompidou (Paris), Théâtre National de Bretagne (Rennes), Kaaitheater | with funds from Imagine 2020 - Art & Climate Change (Brussels), Kunstencentrum BUDA (Kortrijk), apap / szene (Salzburg), Musée de la Danse/Centre Chorégraphique National de Rennes et de Bretagne | funded by Kunstrådet (Denmark), Hauptstadtkulturfonds (Berlin, Germany) & The Flemish Authorities