How Do I Eat This?

an improvisation score by nein9 kollektiv

Amidst the Covid pandemic, this score was devised in spring 2021 through the tension between wanting to perform – to encounter the public through our art – and the impossibility to do so, imposed by the restrictions.  We decided to bring our practice to a public space.

Elaborating on a possible performance situation, we drew on “magical realism”: a style described by Matthew Stretcher as "what happens when a highly detailed, realistic setting is invaded by something too strange to believe”; a blurring of the limit between the realistic and the fantastical. We decided to construct a realistic, private, and familiar situation in the public space; and explore the fantasy facilitated in the contrast between the private and public, the quotidian and extravagant, through our movement-based practice.

Contemplating which situation to stage, we recalled our longing for restaurants. Another routine disrupted by the pandemic: seemingly negligible, yet nonetheless integral in the illusion of normalcy, of daily life.  We decided to meticulously construct a fancy-dinner-date – with its peculiar set, performativity, and atmosphere – in a public park; where those peculiarities will juxtapose the setting of the park and facilitate a sense of “magical realism” through which we will conduct a practice-based research, on various emergent topics.

Ariel HDIET.jpg

Volkspark Hasenheide, Berlin; May 2021

Raz Mantell, Ruby Frances Jones

Videographer, Editor: Rotem Weissman

Music by Roi Becker

Volkspark Friedrichshain, Berlin; August 2021

Jin Lee, Rotem Weissman

Videographer: Nada Choi
Editor: Rotem Weissman

Music by Tai Rona

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a research of aesthetics. The juxtaposition between the fancy-dinner-date and the park is rather striking: between the symmetry of the set and the openness of the setting; the uniform, black-tie-formal color-pallet of the set against the lush environment and colorful by-passers. This informed our focus on the videographer-director function, and later the editor function, through which this research of aesthetics is observed and unfolded.

a research of performativity. The mannerisms informed by the fancy-dinner-date serve as a base for movement and embodiment research. Particularly, we focused on distorting the normality and formality of these mannerisms; relative       to their new, weird and “magical” context, and the breaths of information and challenges it presents.

a research of performance technique. Alongside the movement exploration, the elements of set design – props, liquids, foods, and so on – presents and facilitates the exploration of areas of performance technique that our collective is otherwise not strictly focused on. Additionally, the unique performer-spectator relations of this score invites a serendipitous exploration of performance technique. 

The score we formulated is structured thusly:

 

Set Up.
Gather a group of at least three practitioners.
Decide on a familiar situation, and gather all the necessary equipment (props, costumes, etc.) to create a representation of it.
Construct the set, the stage, in a public space with passers-byers and bystanders.

 

Activate the practice.
A possible practice-configuration frames each session as approximately ten minutes, roughly three songs (played on a speaker),

and includes three embodied roles:
Practitioners. Two participants improvise on and in-relation-to the situation and stage.

Videographer and director. One participant films and directs the performance.
Witnesses. The other participants witness the performance.
Discuss this session, and perhaps watch the video, together.

Repeat the session with the new information, with the same people assuming the same roles.
Repeat the practice-configuration, the participants delegated different roles.

 

Wrap it up.

Edit the videos from the practice and upload them.

 

Through repeated activations, this score – such as any other – allows for emergent research impulses. We invite you to activate this score, edit and upload the videos, and send it to us; to share your experience, and the various research impulses that arose.