performance

Alexandra Bachzetsis: From A to B via C
29 Jan 2015

New performance by Swiss artist Alexandra Bachzetsis. 

Location
Teijin Auditorium, Stedelijk Museum
Time
8 - 9 pm
Language
English
Admission
Entrance fee to the Stedelijk Museum + € 2.50
Reservations

Necessary. Send an e-mail to reservations@stedelijk.nl, stating your full name, e-mail address, telephone number, and the date of the program you want to attend.

In Alexandra Bachzetsis’s new work From A to B via C, three bodies move from and towards each other, acting as each other’s mirror image – yet mediated and unsynchronized. The mirror image becomes a site for transposition where various elements are transferred, leaving corresponding traces. Evolving as it is performed, From A to B via C proposes a set of three trajectories: from one body to another, between language and the moving body, and towards a new space for performance.

Throughout the performance, three dancers use each other as instructional mirrors in their attempts to compose scenes of true virtuosity. The space in which these scenes take place can be a ballet classroom, the staging of an iconic image, or an online dance tutorial, yet what they have in common is that the ‘virtuose’ can only exist for a brief moment, as if achieved by accident. Then it changes into a different version of itself, more true than its purest original or decomposing in front of our eyes. The changing scenes are indicative of a desire to belong, to communicate and embed one’s own identity. In this setting of instruction and virtuosity, the dancers’ bodies – their interior and exterior – are the vocabulary, grammar, and syntax with which to transfer knowledge and information. Ultimately, they enact their own transposition into each other, blurring the lines of autonomy, individual agency, and the hierarchies between their bodies.

The relationship between language and transposition is one of the central questions in From A to B via C. For Bachzetsis, language is conceived as something physical and embodied, yet the work also raises questions about translation. In which ways is knowledge transferred in language, as an ostensibly arbitrary collection of signs functioning as indicators of meaning? And what is the language of the performing body? The latter question in particular seems pertinent to dance and performance, as scores and notations are often proposed as linguistic carriers for bodily expression. The score enables the performance to be transferred in its most reductive form, yet how does this written language affect the embodied performance?

From A to B via C will unfold in different versions, taking place in the theater, exhibition space, and online. Between the different platforms on which performance is presented, a common space emerges. We wonder how we got here, and carefully trace back our steps.

The trailer of From A to B via C

More information about the artist:

Alexandra Bachzetsis lives and works in Basel and Zurich. She is an artist and choreographer whose practice spans performance, theatre, dance and visual arts. In particular her work creates an inquiry into the similar influence between gesture and movement in ‘low’ genres such as romantic comedy or hip-hop music videos and in high art forms such as ballet and performance. Her performances also question stereotypical representations of the female body in contemporary popular culture. Typical gendered clichés become tools of self-reflection and empowerment. Bachzetsis has been working independently, producing and presenting her work in theatres and contemporary art venues since 2003. Recent works as choreographer and performer include Mainstream (in collaboration with Yan Duyvendak, Zürich 2007), ACT (in collaboration with Lies Vanborm and Tina Bleuler, Dresden 2007). This side up (single-channel video and text print in collaboration with Julia Born, London, 2007), Soirée (in collaboration with Lies Vanborm and Tina Bleuler, Zurich, 2008), Dream Season (Zurich, 2008), Dancing (with participation of students of Rietveld Academy, Amsterdam 2009), Bluff (Zurich, 2009), Rehearsal (Ongoing) (two-channel video, Glarus, 2010) and A Piece Danced Alone (Zurich, 2011). In 2007, Bachzetsis received the Migros Kulturprozent Jubilee Award. In that same year she co-founded the artists collective Company together with Lies Vanborm and Tina Bleuler. In 2008 she took part in the 5th Berlin Biennial for Contemporary Art and had a major solo exhibition SHOW, curated by Adam Szymczyk at the Kunsthalle Basel. She won the Swiss Art Award 2011 and was nominated for the DESTE Prize 2011 in Athens, Greece. In 2012 she won the Swiss Performance Prize and her work Etude was included in dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel 2012. Her recent work The Stages of Staging premiered at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam in September 2013.

Credits:

CONCEPT AND CHOREOGRAPHY Alexandra Bachzetsis // PERFORMANCE AND CREATION Alexandra Bachzetsis, Anne Pajunen, Gabriel Schenker // RESEARCH CURATOR Hendrik Folkerts // SOUND Tobias Koch in collaboration with Dan Solbach // TECHNIQUE Patrik Rimann // COSTUMES Cosima Gadient // PRODUCTION ASSISTANT Mali Thüler // COMMUNICATION DESIGN, PHOTOGRAPHY AND CINEMATOGRAPHY in collaboration with Julia Born, Gina Folly, Mirjam Laura Leonardi // PRODUCTION/ASSOCIATION All Exclusive // PRODUCTION MANAGEMENT Anna Geering // SUPPORTED BY Kooperative Förderververeinbarung between: Stadt Zürich, Kanton Basel-Landschaft, Kanton Basel-Stadt, Pro Helvetia-Schweizer Kulturstiftung, Stanley Thomas Johnson Foundation, Roldenfund, Fluxum Foundation and Oertli-Stiftung // COMMISSIONED BY AND DEVELOPED in collaboration with Tate Modern, London, Biennale of Moving Images, Geneva and Fundación Jumex Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City // COPRODUCED with Kaserne Basel and Theaterhaus Gessnerallee, Zürich // WITH SPECIAL THANKS TO Roger Diener