I see I imagine I do – how documentation works on our imagination – book one of four

Page 1

Two passages of writing extending from the workshop Who ’ s the party now, sister ? Britta Wirthmüller and Sheena McGrandles with guest contributors

I see I imagine I do how documentation works on our imagination

the as if it ’ s just about to happen series–book one of four


Intro­d uction

The as if it ’ s just about to happen book series invites a reengagement with four workshops, facilitated within HZT Berlin’s BA Dance, Context, Choreography programme between 2014–2016. Four of HZT ’ s teaching staff initiated a collaborative writing project with colleagues, HZT students and alumni to access what persists through the entanglement of their artistic and pedagogic practices. They returned to the pedagogic events with the question “What was and is it doing and what can we create with it now?” Initial experiences, notes and memories from the workshops were approached with a strategy of interruption. A specific set of para­meters informed a structure of excerpts, footnotes, invitations and responses that produced a new order of connections based on selectivity, discontinuity and proliferation. As a reader you are encouraged to be involved with the passages of writings and drawings within these four books and online at the HZT website — to follow, skip across, take apart, expand, reassemble, rewrite and respond further. You are invited to expe­rience what is still creating itself, as if it’s just about to happen.

Writing structure

a poem

a footnote

an invitation

a response

of eight excerpts from the workshop experience

of 100 words elaborates every six-word excerpt as a mini-essay, index, archive or script

of maximum 50  words addresses an inquiry about every excerpt and its footnote

of 250 words or a drawing follows after every excerpt, footnote and invitation

Book one of four has two central authors, creating two parts interwoven with guest contributions.


I see I imagine I do Britta Wirthmüller with guest contributors

I see I imagine I do

the as if it ’ s just about to happen series–book one of four


book 1 part 1

Britta Wirthmüller with guest contributors

a poem

five girls and one man pattern hopp trippel trippel hopp into profile time ends at the shore mother  as the rhetorics of battle reappear how should we examine our lives I see I imagine I do feminism should just be more attractive yearning dancing shadows under the armpits

( 1  ( 2 ( 3 ( 4 ( 5 ( 6 ( 7 ( 8


I see I imagine I do Britta Wirthmüller with guest contributors

I see I imagine I do

the as if it ’ s just about to happen series–book one of four


book 1 part 1

Britta Wirthmüller with guest contributors

book 1 part 1 Britta Wirthmüller with guest contributors

Invitation to Tabea

Would you like to draw a five girls and one man pattern 1 ? To be honest, I have a strong imagination of what this drawing would look like if I could draw. But I don’t know how to draw like you do. So I’m inviting you to draw and I’m ready to be surprised by your response.

a poem

five girls and one man pattern hopp trippel trippel hopp into profile time ends at the shore mother  as the rhetorics of battle reappear how should we examine our lives I see I imagine I do feminism should just be more attractive yearning dancing shadows under the armpits

( 1  ( 2

1  )

This line comes from a conversation a student and I had during the workshop. Departing from the question “Are all personal problems political problems?” this one-on-one conversation

( 3

became very intimate. The workshop had been conceived as a residency in which we as teachers

( 4

and the students would come together as artists. There were moments when students seemed

( 5

uncomfortable with working on eye level, maybe also because it possibly meant encountering

( 6

the doubts and troubles of the person who usually listens to yours. How can we think of

( 7

teaching as equally sharing the responsibility for our artistic development?

( 8


I see I imagine I do

4

5


book 1 part 1

Britta Wirthmüller with guest contributors

book 1 part 1 Britta Wirthmüller with guest contributors

Invitation to Julek

You are invited to make three lists of movements: Movements that A) stand for themselves B) remain incomplete by themselves C) complete themselves through themselves and to explain these lists to someone and to compose these movements on paper and to try out this composition and to notate it.

a poem

five girls and one man pattern hopp trippel trippel hopp into profile time ends at the shore mother  as the rhetorics of battle reappear how should we examine our lives I see I imagine I do feminism should just be more attractive yearning dancing shadows under the armpits

( 1  ( 2 ( 3

2  )

This is the beginning of my notation of the dance of the unnamed dancer in Kirsten Justesen and Jytte Rex’s film “Tornerose var et vakkert barn” from 1971. hopp means a little almost

( 4

desultory jump or leap. trippel means balancing the body on the balls of the feet, quickly

( 5

shifting weight from one to the other in a rhythmical manner. While hopp stands for one

( 6

movement in itself, trippel only refers to the first part of trippel trippel. Thus trippel is a

( 7

term that remains incomplete by itself but is able to complete itself through itself.

( 8


I see I imagine I do

Departure plateau 07.02 am 600 m

crossing the country in a mobile space of 4 m2. 3 bodies, a jug of black coffee.

Pause chalk 1.43 am riverbed

a triangle (3 bodies), two stones, a dead branch.ideas and cider out of conic container

6

7

Response from Julek

Drive the foot of sun burning. skin bursting. 1.02 pm the mountains knee piercing. (Alpes-Maritimes) silence. Arrival la gordolasque 13 bodies, leisure activities bottles 07.28 pm Mercantour 2675 m of liquid paper w / leafs of plants. When he said he’s looking forward to see the Atlantic ocean and casually mentioned that one could never see the sun setting nor rising over the Mediterranean sea in Nice, I dived down to silence, watching out of the window of my back seat, and directed my eyes on the landscape outside of the car. My legs stretched out under Matthias’ seat, I thought, I cannot change that. The sun will truly never set on the Mediterranean, observed from the Promenade des Anglais (at least not as long as any of us is alive). Impossibility of changing our relation to the sun. At night, the mountain stands where it stood, hiding the image of the fireball falling into the sea. No fleeing from its light. I want to puke. I want to leave the planet. An omnipresent eye, inescapable. (I probably suffer from Erdenmüdigkeit*.) Run or swim. Cross space from right to left, from West to East, from cold to warm. I could balance on one foot on the Equator. by (the act of) walking can we change the mountain? the sun burning the mountain standing the valley lying the city concrete

my body crossing land the planet rolling walk through empty space drive universe fly ovaling of the stellar swim bodies

* means “tiredness of the Earth”


book 1 part 1

Britta Wirthmüller with guest contributors

book 1 part 1 Britta Wirthmüller with guest contributors

Invitation to Rhys

Dear Rhys, This is an invitation to write new lyrics for the refrain of a song that already exists. It could be a song that you are very familiar with or one that you just discovered recently. Feel free to use any of the words below or none at all.

a poem

five girls and one man pattern hopp trippel trippel hopp into profile time ends at the shore mother  as the rhetorics of battle reappear how should we examine our lives I see I imagine I do feminism should just be more attractive yearning dancing shadows under the armpits

( 1  ( 2 ( 3

3  )

“Time is an ocean but it ends at the shore” is a line from Bob Dylan’s song “Oh, sister,”

( 4

released in 1976. My parents always watched the evening news and the images of hijacked

( 5

or crashed airplanes of the 1980s seem to be etched in my memory. As a child the hours at the

( 6

airport before take off turned into contemplations of our forthcoming death, thoughts that

( 7

I didn’t dare to speak about. Thoughts I still hardly ever dare to speak about but thoughts

( 8

I’m apparently returning to rather than refraining from.


I see I imagine I do

Time’s an ocean sister, forthcoming death, the shore That image, stays alive. Parents’ TV shows it live Hijacked crash gone missing in nineteen eighty four Fear returns all her life Contemplates loss of life, But stays alive But stays alive

8

9

Response from Rhys


book 1 part 1

Britta Wirthmüller with guest contributors

book 1 part 1 Britta Wirthmüller with guest contributors

Invitation to Forough

Dear Forough, In a workshop on feminist practices of the 60s and 70s I came across a film by Kirsten Justesen and Jytte Rex. Below you can read an extract from a letter that I addressed to them. How do you think about the time we currently live in?

a poem

five girls and one man pattern hopp trippel trippel hopp into profile time ends at the shore mother  as the rhetorics of battle reappear how should we examine our lives I see I imagine I do feminism should just be more attractive yearning dancing shadows under the armpits

( 1  ( 2 ( 3 ( 4

4  )

“I cannot not make this one connection: at the moment it’s the first time in my life that

( 5

I experience how a political crisis truly concerns me. All through my childhood, my teenage

( 6

years and up till now, the wars, conflicts and threats just came to me through the daily

( 7

news. I’m not afraid of terror attacks. I’m afraid that we don’t find ways to overcome the

( 8

misunderstandings. I’m shocked to see how quickly the conceptions of nationality, defence and revenge are reactivated.”  — Extract from a letter to Kirsten Justesen and Jytte Rex that hasn’t been sent yet


I see I imagine I do

Valleys of void are well constructed between the ones and the others And that is why there is no guaranty that messages, that are constantly being shot by the ones to the others, will reach the others. That creates a huge mass of untransmitted messages, That could be the end of dialogue, That could be the end of shared understanding, That could be the end of understanding, That could be the end of awareness, That could be the end of knowledge, That could be the beginning of self-interpretations, That could be the beginning of misunderstandings, That could be a beginning of violence, That could be a beginning of power, That could be a beginning of power distributions, That could be a beginning of formation, That could be a beginning of community formation, That could be a beginning of resistance, That could be a beginning of actions, That could be a beginning of verbal actions, That could create a huge mass of transmitted messages, That could be the beginning of dialogue, That could be the beginning of shared understanding, That could be the beginning of understanding, That could be the beginning of awareness, That could be the beginning of knowledge, That could be the end of self-interpretations, That could be the end of misunderstandings, That could be the end of violence.

10 11

Response from Forough


book 1 part 1

Britta Wirthmüller with guest contributors

book 1 part 1 Britta Wirthmüller with guest contributors

Invitation to Tabea

list of possible problems (gathered over 7 days): indifference commodification loss of belonging complexities of cause and effect antimicrobial resistance unspoken hierarchies inefficacy greenwashing dissipation lack of problems lack of conviction work no work nothing but work privileges perfectionism outsourcing cynicism You are invited to draw whatever you find appropriate.

a poem

five girls and one man pattern hopp trippel trippel hopp into profile time ends at the shore mother  as the rhetorics of battle reappear how should we examine our lives I see I imagine I do feminism should just be more attractive yearning dancing shadows under the armpits

( 1  ( 2 ( 3 ( 4 ( 5

5  )

“All personal problems are political problems,” were the words in mind with which women

( 6

examined their lives at the beginning of the feminist movement. What would I call a personal

( 7

problem in my life? What part of my life would I call problematic — not for others but for me

( 8

personally? So what is an appropriate equivalent today? Which global problems can I identify as my own problems?


I see I imagine I do

12 13


book 1 part 1

Britta Wirthmüller with guest contributors

book 1 part 1 Britta Wirthmüller with guest contributors

Invitation to Sheena

Dear Sheena, Every now and then I’m writing short reports to myself. Connecting the now and the then. You could do the same. Right now it’s raining, strings of rain against a friendly blue sky. Contradictions. Change of scenery. Continuity. Things stay vague but tend to return months later as very distinct.

6  )

I project I extract I transform I arrange I re-arrange I recognise I worship I copy I become

a poem

five girls and one man pattern hopp trippel trippel hopp into profile time ends at the shore mother  as the rhetorics of battle reappear how should we examine our lives I see I imagine I do feminism should just be more attractive yearning dancing shadows under the armpits

( 1  ( 2 ( 3 ( 4 ( 5 ( 6 ( 7

I align I identify I mistake I sort I mingle. Inviting someone else’s work into one’s own process.

( 8

Entering someone else’s work through one’s own process. Committing oneself to one artwork from the 1960s or 70s by a feminist artist. Letting it become the guide to enter a different time period. Allowing it to be the lens through which one observes, does, thinks, acts, understands eventually one’s own process while knowing the other at one’s side.


I see I imagine I do

At home, in every house, tea, coffee, sugar pots. The standardisation. Fitting in. No standing out. Tones of beige. Isn’t that such an undecided colour beige. Egg shell off whites with one floral wall and then that black hole that every seat in the house is poised towards. Background noise to background noise. Zu Hause. Those misunderstandings, when the words you just spoke sound more like music, lost in translation today, a part of everyday here. I get it, I do. You just don’t have to shout it all up in my face like that, all red and things. Capitals don’t make the things louder. She was a soft and tender butch. Yesterday you ran at me crying. Her ear was all red and swollen, crusty with parts dropping off. It was also freezing out. But mountains stood tall and beaches empty. The scrolls of the facebook page, on and on. That corner that you built. When we splashed the paint dead slow across the wall. A sort of pastel soft porn she said or a sort of drowning without anxiety she said. Burning neon. New news. Mama don’t preach, just keep troubling she kinda told me. With that everything in between and then you say, I don’t get the “they” part, that means many. Yes mum that’s right.

14 15

Response from Sheena


book 1 part 1

Britta Wirthmüller with guest contributors

book 1 part 1 Britta Wirthmüller with guest contributors

Invitation to Sheena

This is an invitation to write a manifesto. This is an invitation to write an anti-manifesto. This is an invitation to have a text message conversation with me. Proposed rules: only one text message (160 characters) at a time we stop at 250 words no abbreviations! Disobedience. Yes!

7  )

This is a taboo, but let me say it nevertheless and even more so for that reason. Let’s practice

a poem

five girls and one man pattern hopp trippel trippel hopp into profile time ends at the shore mother  as the rhetorics of battle reappear how should we examine our lives I see I imagine I do feminism should just be more attractive yearning dancing shadows under the armpits

( 1  ( 2 ( 3 ( 4 ( 5 ( 6 ( 7 ( 8

a feminism that doesn’t reinforce binary division and dichotomy.


I see I imagine I do

Britta, I went for disobedience. I took the decision to divert from the manifesto and to expose just some of those artists we encountered during Who‘s the party now, sister? that were eclipsed or shadowed in dominant narratives of art history. The desire to do this project, which is still ongoing was not only guided by historical interest and nostalgic sentiment. It was to expose how omission and exclusion are still at play today. We should keep asking what gets remembered, what gets forgotten, by whom and how? And while standing in the centre, the periphery should always be in view and vice versa. So here is to you, Eleanor Antin, Judith F. Baca, Lynda Benglis, Renate Bertlmann, Nancy Buchanan, Disband, Rose English, Whoopie Goldberg, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Mona Hatoum, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Kirsten Justesen, Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Lee Lozano, Léa Lubin, Anna Maria Maiolino, Ana Mendieta, Senga Nengudi, Lorraine O’Grady, Itziar Okariz, Gina Pane, Ewa Partum, Howardena Pindell, Adrian Piper, Jytte Rex, Ulrike Rosenbach, Martha Rosler, Kiki Smith, Annegret Soltau, Spiderwoman Theater, Anita Steckel, Faith Wilding, Exterra XX.

16 17

Response from Sheena


book 1 part 1

Britta Wirthmüller with guest contributors

book 1 part 1 Britta Wirthmüller with guest contributors

Invitation to Johanna

Imagine the armpit was a person or an epoch; someone or something with clear characteristics. Feel free to associate: If the armpit was a person or era, who or which one would it be? Imagine the armpit died. Could you please write an obituary? Keep the armpit’s real identity disguised.

a poem

five girls and one man pattern hopp trippel trippel hopp into profile time ends at the shore mother  as the rhetorics of battle reappear how should we examine our lives I see I imagine I do feminism should just be more attractive yearning dancing shadows under the armpits

( 1  ( 2 ( 3 ( 4 ( 5 ( 6 ( 7 ( 8

8  )

The armpit must be considered the most sophisticated place of human interaction. It is a negative space of unmistakable but ever-changing identity. Not bone, not muscle, not tissue nor skin, it is not bound to sentient matter, yet our senses are ensnared by it. Its splendid countenance must not be mistaken with vanity, its hairy adornment is no armour. No perfume will compete with its manifold scent. Its beauty, elegance and versatility are just there for that one purpose: to draw us closer or repel us.


I see I imagine I do

the era of great discoveries is over. it’s over. it’s over and over again. did you know that Vasco da Gama was not alone when he sailed around hope and first stranded on the beaches of India?

18 19

Response from Johanna

he wasn’t alone. he travelled with his sister, Vasca da Bagno* whom we tend to forget. the brain of history’s a leaky thing alike as she. we tend to forget about this time of great discoveries. we shall remember though. recall.redo.reinvent … when we skip down the street, instead of waiting for the late-night bus to come and pick us up, we’re doing it. the dream of flying. one-and-a-half kilometres away. when we unleash a shout, bound somewhere near the heart, behind the bony cage, the chest, when the skins don’t hold together what they’re told, we’re doing it. uncover.discover. we enter the forest. come. lay your finger into it and feel its breath persist, between door and hinge, where you can place an easy chair for light conversation. transpiration. leak detection. hairy forest — lost and found. great grey era — new and old.

*ital. bathtub



Sheena IMcGrandles see I imagine with I do guest contributors

20

how documentation works on our imagination

the as if it ’ s just about to happen series–book one of four


book 1 part 2

Sheena McGrandles with guest contributors

book 1 part 2 Sheena M c Grandles with guest contributors

Invitation to Tabea

Dear Tabea, over the period of 5 days while going about your daily activities observe how your time is spent. On the 6th day sketch out on one page the different forms of labour you think you engaged in. Abstract or illustrative.

a poem

Entering, cleaning, bending, crouching, walking, standing  i am either leaking or lacking  Is it giving someone public recognition? Yes internalised shame, hygiene, sexual orientation It’s reproduced in order to exist  how documentation works on our imagination  re-shape our understanding of the political  How does your bad self look?

( 1

1  )

“clean you desk, wash the dishes, clean the floor, wash your clothes, wash your toes, change the

( 2

baby’s diaper, finish the report, correct the typos, mend the fence, keep the customer happy,

( 3

throw out the stinking garbage, watch out don’t put things in your nose, what shall I wear,

( 4

I have no sox, pay your bills, don’t litter, save string, wash your hair, change the sheets, go to

( 5

the store, I’m out of perfume, say it again — he doesn’t understand, seal it again — it leaks, go

( 6

to work, this art is dusty…”

( 7 ( 8

— Manifesto For Maintenance Art 1969!, Mierle Laderman Ukeles


how documentation works on our imagination

22 23


book 1 part 2

Sheena McGrandles with guest contributors

book 1 part 2 Sheena M c Grandles with guest contributors

Invitation to Xenia

Dear Xenia, what is urgent for you right now, what does urgency look like, what could urgency be useful for? Please write a manifesto for urgency in no more that 250 words.

2  )

An old frame for a female subject. The leaking and the lacking. A disembogue, a coming out.

a poem

Entering, cleaning, bending, crouching, walking, standing  i am either leaking or lacking  Is it giving someone public recognition? Yes internalised shame, hygiene, sexual orientation It’s reproduced in order to exist  how documentation works on our imagination  re-shape our understanding of the political  How does your bad self look?

( 1  ( 2 ( 3 ( 4

Faith Wilding is speaking:

( 5 ( 6

“Wait-with, an act of political love.

( 7

Wait-with, an action,

( 8

Wait-with, a meditation, Wait-with, open space between actions, Wait-with, a space of resistance, in this room, in this moment. Wait-with as our work.” — Faith Wilding


how documentation works on our imagination

manifeste d’urgence “I AM ILLUMINATED BY THE MARVELLOUS INCANDESCENCE OF MY ELECTRICALLY CHARGED NERVES. ” ALLOW IT TO MATTER. MAKE SPACE FOR ITS PRECARIOUS EXPOSURE. OPEN SPACES BEFORE ACTIONS. LET THE VOID OPEN. LET THE VOID BLEED. LEAVE THE LACK. LET IT LEAK. MAKE IT INCONVENIENT FOR YOURSELF FIRST. IF YOU ’ RE NOT IN RISK, PUT YOURSELF AT RISK. VENTURE INTO POLITICS AND POSSIBILITY. DON ’ T ASK WHAT FOR OR ABOUT, ASK WHAT ’S AT STAKE. PUT YOURSELF AT STAKE. DON ’ T FEAR TO BE MIS-TAKEN. AT STAKE YOU CANNOT BE MIS-STAKEN. DON ’ T WASTE YOUR TIME IRONING OUT CONTRADICTIONS, WASTE YOUR TIME IN CONTRADICTION. IMMERSE INTO PARADOX. EXPLORE THE DEPTH IN-BETWEEN. ENTER THE DIALOGUE WITH THE VOID. DON ’ T CHOoSE THE DARKNESS OF CLOSED EYES IN OBLIVIOUSNESS. CHOoSE THE DARKNESS OF OBSCURITY. STAND IN FOR BRAVERY TO LEAK VULNERABILITY IN THE FACE OF EXPOSURE. DON ’ T GIVE A SHIT ABOUT BEING AN ARTIST, GIVE A SHIT ABOUT BEING IN AWE. IT IS URGENT, SO TAKE THE TIME. TAKE THE TIME IT NEEDS. TAKE TIME TO FIND OUT. PUSH AGAINST THE TIME OF THE CASH CLOCK. TAKE TIME TO BE WITH, TO BE TAKEN WITH TO BE WAITING-WITH. MAKE SURE YOU CARE. MAKING ART MEANS MAKING TIME. THE FUTURE, LIKE THE PAST, IS DARK. THE PAST, LIKE THE FUTURE, IS IN DRAG. DON ’ T FORGET ASKING YOURSELF WHAT YOU DESIRE. YOUR BEST INTEREST IS NOT ONLY IN YOUR BEST INTEREST.

24 25

Response from Xenia


book 1 part 2

Sheena McGrandles with guest contributors

book 1 part 2 Sheena M c Grandles with guest contributors

Invitation to Britta

Dear Britta, choose something or someone and consciously develop an obsession with it or them. Fantasy is always a possibility. Write one sentence a day for 1 week on this evolving relationship.

a poem

Entering, cleaning, bending, crouching, walking, standing  i am either leaking or lacking  Is it giving someone public recognition? Yes internalised shame, hygiene, sexual orientation It’s reproduced in order to exist  how documentation works on our imagination  re-shape our understanding of the political  How does your bad self look?

( 1  ( 2 ( 3

3  )

Admiring enlists a slight gazing upwards, or towards, it has a clear direction and orientation.

( 4

With this sort of looking often a haze around that thing or person is present; in which own

( 5

projections, histories could be stored. Admiration in this sense asks you to out yourself, to give

( 6

it out to a public. With this we try to avoid the pedestal effect, yet still an elevation of some

( 7

sort is a given. It may also be a celebration of their life to say you are important. It is a

( 8

personal choice; your personal attraction made public.


how documentation works on our imagination

I wonder why I was hesitating to google you as if it was something forbidden. Now I’m not sure what to make of you or what you will make of me. Will you think of me as just another of your “all-time favourite ‘feminists’ whose specialty is talking over muslim women”? I adore people who can draw, especially who can draw comics like yours catching atmospheres and facial expression with a few lines. And even more I’m fascinated by your humour and your superhero’s wit. “Women’s lives are NOT for you to prove a point!” I wish Qahera could be my superhero too, could she? http: / / qaherathesuperhero.com /

26 27

Response from Britta


book 1 part 2

Sheena McGrandles with guest contributors

book 1 part 2 Sheena M c Grandles with guest contributors

Invitation to Tabea

Dear Tabea, using the orifices of your body, could be anus, ear, etc. draw two corresponding images, that relate, to ‘whole’ and ‘hole’. Title each drawing with a dedication to a favourite part of your body and include the orifice used.

4  )

In the clapping choir during the workshop, it was known as the shame hole. In earlier times

a poem

Entering, cleaning, bending, crouching, walking, standing  i am either leaking or lacking  Is it giving someone public recognition? Yes internalised shame, hygiene, sexual orientation It’s reproduced in order to exist  how documentation works on our imagination  re-shape our understanding of the political  How does your bad self look?

( 1  ( 2 ( 3 ( 4 ( 5

referred to as fundament, coming from Latin foundation. Often used in put downs, arsehole,

( 6

pain in the ass etc. It is located at the backside of the body and found at the other end of the

( 7

mouth. It is the last exit point of the body and for some it is never a point of entrance. We all

( 8

have one. Tight, red, and circular it’s a sensuous point, filled with nerve endings so tender, so humiliating so deviant. In dedication to the ANUS.


how documentation works on our imagination

28 29


book 1 part 2

Sheena McGrandles with guest contributors

Sheena M c Grandles with guest contributors book 1 part 2

Invitation to Magdalena

Dear Magdalena, the artist you chose to work with during Who’s the party now, sister? was Senga Nengudi. Using the mode of artistic response, focus on one of her works to create a score. It should be notated so that others could perform it. Include the title and year of the piece.

a poem

Entering, cleaning, bending, crouching, walking, standing  i am either leaking or lacking  Is it giving someone public recognition? Yes internalised shame, hygiene, sexual orientation It’s reproduced in order to exist  how documentation works on our imagination  re-shape our understanding of the political  How does your bad self look?

( 1  ( 2 ( 3 ( 4 ( 5 ( 6

5  )

Does doing it again make it more real than the first time? What must one take into account in order to do it again? What has happened between now and then? Is what you do a copy of an

( 7

original? Is it just for preservation sake or does it have a critical stance to the here and now?

( 8

What role does memory, fiction or imagination have? Is the context important? And why now?


how documentation works on our imagination

on a day with high gravity and low blood pressure we find a space where our bodies can be soft we turn over and back we watch a fly on the window we turn over we turn over we count our inhalations exhalations and fall asleep we turn over

a score responding to “ R.S.V.P. � by Senga Nengudi, 1977

30 31

Response from Magdalena


book 1 part 2

Sheena McGrandles with guest contributors

book 1 part 2 Sheena M c Grandles with guest contributors

Invitation to Britta

Dear Britta, create 3 short poems. Each poem must contain let’s dance together. 1 romantic, 1 tragic, 1 humorous

6  )

I imagine her shopping for pacifiers, I imagine her at home preparing the mask and sewing

a poem

Entering, cleaning, bending, crouching, walking, standing  i am either leaking or lacking  Is it giving someone public recognition? Yes internalised shame, hygiene, sexual orientation It’s reproduced in order to exist  how documentation works on our imagination  re-shape our understanding of the political  How does your bad self look?

( 1  ( 2 ( 3 ( 4 ( 5 ( 6 ( 7

the t-shirt at a table, I imagine the conversations she has about the work. I imagine she has not

( 8

rehearsed. People gather. I imagine the absurdity of the invite. I imagine her appearing, in a cloud of smoke, loud music. I imagine her movements, low, inviting, swinging, approaching. She leaves. Left with ourselves, the music playing, we wait a time until someone starts dancing, the space moving from theatre to party, etched in my eyes the words, let’s dance together.


how documentation works on our imagination

1. The gallery’s fainting light is but a sliver If not my fears, its dampness makes me quiver Fake friendly faces, greetings, greedy grins Against my ear hot mellow breathing sins Alas, enough, the door! I’m almost out And here the circle breaks, a silent shout Your caoutchouc buds abiding by my eyes As far away a solemn widow cries Let’s dance together

2. Scattered tears on ice Tomorrow’s trash still stinking Let’s dance together

3. A hammock and a horse are seldom but the same But pacifiers do resemble nipples Catch flies and looks and keep them in my name Delete the rain but watch a puddle’s ripples Let’s dance together

32 33

Response from Britta


book 1 part 2

Sheena McGrandles with guest contributors

book 1 part 2 Sheena M c Grandles with guest contributors

Invitation to d.a.

Dear d.a., write a personification of the return of the political. You could do this through an untold or invisible life story, this is just one option.

a poem

Entering, cleaning, bending, crouching, walking, standing  i am either leaking or lacking  Is it giving someone public recognition? Yes internalised shame, hygiene, sexual orientation It’s reproduced in order to exist  how documentation works on our imagination  re-shape our understanding of the political  How does your bad self look?

( 1  ( 2 ( 3 ( 4 ( 5 ( 6 ( 7 ( 8

7  )

The fear of her return ‘they’ fear her coming again, this time stronger, better, more threatening than before this time plural, shape shifting and governing. Her return caught up in different waves 1, 2, 3, 4, now five, six. Times all mixed, futures open and unpredicted. Maybe to comes Yet unimaginables And Already nots No longer “expelled to a retirement home in an unfashionable rundown holiday resort” — Angela McRobbie


how documentation works on our imagination

ballerina / felon / muse

Setting: Pops’ basement, surrounded by records, model cars, and a Frankensteined stereo system that lingers in the background of many childhood memories. Between sips of Hennessy, Pops shares a memory with me. A memory of a dancer performing at an Isaac Hayes concert in the 70s. The auditorium is pitch black. A spotlight hits centre stage, revealing an oversized music box. As the lid slowly lifts, a candy cane striped pole rises into view. A figure emerges with the pole, a tall, lean, bald, statuesque black woman. Her body performs a soulful arabesque as it rotates before thousands of peering eyes. She is a ballerina in a soul concert. On her second rotation, she bends backward, gracefully, intentionally, her head and torso swan-like, sankofic, seeking return to a home that exists beyond the music box, the stage, and the audience. She descends into the music box. The lid closes, and the lights dim. She’s gone. Pops never mentions Hayes’ performance, just the power of the nameless, mesmerising, ballerina. I learn later that her name is Helen, that she was one of Hayes’ best friends, that she was a thief, that she was a mother, that she was a convict. I learn that she survived an attempted murder-suicide. I learned that journalists don’t pay her for her story and often leave her out of history. Helen’s documented life consists of arrest records, autopsy reports, and gossip columns. So returning to her requires messiness, a reimagining of “criminal,” and a reconsideration of whose story gets told and on what terms.

34 35

Response from d.a.


book 1 part 2

Sheena McGrandles with guest contributors

book 1 part 2 Sheena M c Grandles with guest contributors

Invitation to Joy

Dear Joy, in what way do you understand the work you do to be political? Could you describe one of your performances through a series of images? Number them from 1 to …

a poem

Entering, cleaning, bending, crouching, walking, standing  i am either leaking or lacking  Is it giving someone public recognition? Yes internalised shame, hygiene, sexual orientation It’s reproduced in order to exist  how documentation works on our imagination  re-shape our understanding of the political  How does your bad self look?

( 1  ( 2 ( 3 ( 4 ( 5 ( 6 ( 7 ( 8

8  )

Referring to Renate Bertlmann’s “let’s dance together” (1979), “in what way is your work political in relation to the performance and presentation of the female body?”

All I know of this work is a series of photographs:

1. B ertlmann is wearing a mask, a crown of pacifiers and a t-shirt saying

2. She is tied to a wheelchair with rope and seems to be trying to move

3. She is pictured dancing with the audience without the wheelchair.

“lets dance together”, she is fumbling with a radio in a gallery. through the crowed room, no mask or crown of pacifiers.


how documentation works on our imagination

How can you tell that my work is political? At a certain point, when we learn to analyse art works, and look at them critically, we are learning how to project certain things onto them. As a non-white body on a stage, is just being on stage a political act? Does this political act change if my audience is in a white supremacist mindset, or if my audience is living within systems of oppression? Does my body on stage already come with a narrative? Can this perceived narrative eclipse my own goals for the work? Like many constructs, the ‘political’ shifts depending on the context. My interest is in the shifts more than the politics. I do not understand my work to be political. That frame is not how I devise/process my work. Having a voice, being visible, not assimilating, being proud of my heritage, having no shame, breathing, making eye contact, being vulnerable, maintaining my integrity, surviving, these can be political acts. 1. black: walls, marly floor 2. b lack: body covered in black oil back to the audience, black matte latex hotpants 3. black: body with face in profile, black lipstick, blacked out teeth, black painted finger and toe nails. a knowing smile 4. black: body moving between grotesque painful, clenched, to a pin up girl on a beach blanket … 5. black: body bearing black teeth laying on the floor in ecstasy

36 37

Response from Joy


book 1 part 1

Sources

Britta Wirthmüller with guest contributors

Book One Part One Kirsten Justesen and Jytte Rex, Tornerose var et vakkert barn, 1971 Bob Dylan, Time is an ocean but it ends at the shore, 1976

Book One Part Two Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Manifesto For Maintenance Art 1969!, 1969 Faith Wilding, Wait-With, cited in Bettina Knaup Telling stories differently, 2014 Deena Mohamed, Qahera, 2015 Manuel Maples Arce, A Strident Prescription, 1921 Senga Nengudi, R.S.V.P., 1977 Angela McRobbie, cited in Claire Hemmings Why Stories Matter: The Political

Workshop description

Grammar of Feminist Theory, 2011

Who ’ s the party now, sister ? In January 2016 Britta Wirthmüller, Sheena McGrandles and a group of second and third year BA HZT students worked off-campus in three spaces of the gallery secondhome projects in Berlin Wedding. The emphasis was to research and re-perform invisible, peripheral, forgotten and censored works, artists and practices from the feminist art movement in the 1960s and 70s. The workshop tied together, investigative-style research, story­ telling, feminist practices and archive building; visual, performative and audio. Individual and collective modes of re-doing, re-appropriating, re-enacting, tribute acts and artistic responses engaged the politics of redoing the already done, through asking, What gets remembered, what gets forgotten, by whom and how? The workshop culminated in a public event, presenting re-tellings and re-doings that emerged from the research.


HZT teaching staff

Josephine Findeisen

Alistair Watts

Judith Förster

Simone Gisela Weber

Florian Feigl

Juan Felipe Amaya Gonzalez

Sheena McGrandles 1,2

Renen Itzhaki

guest writers

Litó Walkey

Camille Jemelen

Britta Wirthmüller 1,2

Suvi Kemppainen

Katerina Bakatsaki

Julek Kreutzer 1

Derrais (d.a.) Carter 2

Katrine Staub Larsen

Jeanine Durning

HZT student

&

alumni

guest writers

Anna Lena Lehr

Arnold Dreyblatt

Myriam Lucas

Essi Kausalainen

Johanna Ackva 1

Liina Mariudottir

Johannes Lothar Schröder

Asaf Aharonson

Magdalena Meindl 2

Joy Mariama Smith 2

Cécile Bally

Johanne Merke

Rhys Martin 1 Helen Mirra

Sandhya Daemgen

Josefine Mühle

Katerina Delakoura

Lyllie Rouvière

Anne Schuh

Xenia Taniko Dwertmann 2

Zhenya Salinschi

William Wheeler

Ewa Dziarnowska

Sunayana Shetty

Rosemarie Eberl

Grėtė Šmitaitė

Ivan Ekemark

Julia Keren Turbahn

Forough Fami 1

Aabshaar Wakhloo

Tabea Xenia Magyar

ook one b part one

2

ook one b part two

all drawings

project editor : Litó Walkey copy editor : Karen Christopher publisher : HZT, UdK Berlin graphic design : Milchhof Atelier: Andreas Töpfer, Carsten Stabenow printing  : Steinmeier, Deiningen Special thanks to Tabea Xenia Magyar and all guest writers for their contributions to this publication. Thanks to Chrysa Parkinson and DOCH for inspiration from the format of The Dancer as Agent Collection publication. Thanks to Matthew Goulish and Lin Hixson for inspiration from their assignment for reading essays, recounted in the introduction by Jane Blocker for Matthew Goulish ’ s publication The Brightest Thing in the World. HZT — Inter-University Centre for Dance Berlin is the joint responsibility of the Berlin University of the Arts (UdK) and the Hochschule für Schauspielkunst “Ernst Busch” (HfS) in cooperation with TanzRaumBerlin, a network for the professional dance scene. Weblink : www.hzt-berlin.de ISBN : 978-3-00-055501-5

Authors 1

Imprint



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