On the 16th November 2019, The Space In-Between (Berlin edition) took place. This was part of our Change Maker programme and was a follow on event from The Space In Between event at The Southbank as part of Unlimited.
The day was full of performances, mess, musings, cups of tea, glitter and protest: A festival within the No Limits festival, occupying a utopian space in between. It featured 17 artists with and without disabilities from across the UK and from Berlin. Presenting 5 hours of work in progress featuring dance, live art, videos, interactive performances and discussions – The Space In-between asked us to look beyond the binary choice between ’normative’ and ‘othered’ bodies and proposes a new creative approach.
Artists: 12 Change Maker artists Gareth Cutter, Gemma Nash, Hamish MacPherson, Jemima Hoadley, Julie Cleves, Katharina Senk, Kimberly Harvey, Robbie Synge, Rowan James, Tanja Erhart, Vicky Malin and Welly O‘Brien. Along with 5 artists from Berlin who had been working with Sophiensæle developing their work; Akiles, Angela Alves, Josefine Mühle, Laura Lulika & Hang Linton, Silke Schönfleisch and Tamara Rettenmund.
Gareth Cutter and Gemma Nash
Performance – Gemma and Gareth create eerie and seductive soundscapes of electronic textures and organic found-sounds in their attempt to capture and celebrate the strangeness of the voice. For The Space In-Between, they experimented with live sound performance, presenting a selection of work-in-progress scenes reflecting on the voice’s historical myths and legends, and speculating what it might sound like in the future.
Hamish MacPherson & Kimberley Harvey
Film – Zu vier Händen I
The film is part of an ongoing dialogue between Kimberley and Hamish as they follow their own separate but related artistic research enquiries into holding (Kimberley); and care and passivity (Hamish). The project is a series of hand conversations involving a range of unremarkable objects, such as electrical tape, glitter and a spiky ball. Through these materials we see the detail of how the four hands investigate, direct and respond to each other.
Camera: Luke W Moody
Performance – Zu vier Händen II
A short introductory performance workshop comprised of a series of table-top conversations with the artists.
Performance – ‘HE (and me)’ is the beginnings of an exploration of Jemima’s role as parent carer to her teenage son Nathan who has Down’s syndrome, Type 1 diabetes, an obsession with Romeo & Juliet and who would really like a girlfriend.
They use the play of Romeo and Juliet as a lens through which they look at their world and Nathan’s desires and needs.
Working in close collaboration with composer Jennifer Bell, their work in progress uses verbatim text drawn from conversations and interviews with both them and their family members.
Julie Cleves & Robbie Synge
Performance – Julie, based in London, and Robbie, based in The Highlands, collaboratively address physical access issues through choreographic actions and DIY object design. Working together for almost a decade, their practice was initially founded in developing a specific studio-based floor movement technique. Their attention has more recently shifted to spending time together outdoors, being more visible and acting together upon simple but challenging ideas such as sitting together on grass or moving together along an uneven forest path. For No limits – The Space In between they presented a work-in-progress version of ‘Passing Through’, a live performance sharing their practice through physical actions, voice and film.
Performance – A Room Full of Elephant is the first scratch performance of Rowan’s new show in development, aimed at exploring the complicated maze of how we value and view difference and the judgments we make.
Rowan is a poet and theatre maker. His work explores the world around him using word play, wit and well thought out audience experiences. He delivers complex rhymes with directness and swagger, making work that holds you tenderly by the collar while it slaps you in the face – subversive, quick-witted, full of road hardened wordplay and the flare of showmanship.
Performance – ‘Two crutches_Tanja and Katharina_Bangalore and Berlin … non_yielding’ is a connective performance with encounters in between. Katharina Senk and Tanja Erhart are connected their audiences from India and Germany via skype, while exploring the pleasures and pressures of being moved by their crutches as their leading dance partners – touching, sucking, pushing, bouncing, dropping, swinging, flesh-bending. The messiness of succeeding and failing in their encounters becomes a lively game full of desire, rigor, curiosity and daring.
One to One Performances – “Our Hands” – Vicky Malin explores the possibilities of her hands to better understand their movement, connections, experiences and stories. With her own perspectives and experiences central to the research, this creative practice is in relation to encounters with many others, including doctors, artists, friends and strangers. People joined Vicky for a one to one conversation.
Performance and Film – The Fainting Couch is based on Welly’s deepening fascination with the gaze, observation and the objectified body – who observes who and how do we observe each other, especially within contained and framed spaces like the camera, computer screen or the theatre? Through the persona of ‘Sylvia’, Welly also challenges and destabilises assumptions and expectations about her own image as performer. To realise the project, she worked with long term friends – film maker Ben Hawley and designer Rachel Edwards – to help bring her ideas to studio and film.
A bed is our most intimate space and also a place of regeneration and movement. Angela Alves spends a lot of time in bed, resting. This is where she thinks and talks with others who also spend a lot of time in bed. About overcoming the guilty conscience and about resting as an act of rebellion. In “REST… or how to stay upright in bed” she exposes the private to the public, who was invited to intrude into her personal sphere. During ‘a bed’ the audience were invited to listen to the mattress, where the unheard voices of the exhausted have a say.
SEAGULL SPEAKS is an artistic prophecy at the interplay of image, animated and living bodies and video. The landscape resembles different patterns of psyche. Psyche is transpersonal and seen as untamed monstrous territory and perfect resource of chaos. Chaos is highlighted as important drive for multispecies becoming. SEAGULL SPEAKS is part of Under the Dome research in co-authorship with Xenia Taniko that draws on mythological symbolism of the underworld and C.G. Jung’s collective unconscious. Under the Dome induces altered states to source un-known archetypes from the depth of the body.
Tamara Rettenmund & Akiles
How much support does medical science really provide to the patient target group? In a world run by a pre-dominant system which resulted by industries and business, including the medicine industry, taking over economy and thereon society, you find yourself moving further away from your ambitions and plans. TAMARA RETTENMUND AND AKILES approach their own body, their own compromised neurological networks with the collective wish of improving beyond the so called common medical senses and treatments, each with their own method – be it rewiring, movement or nutrition.
Laura Lulika & Hang Linton
The term teratophilia is made up of the Greek words for monsters and love. It refers to people who are attracted to monsters, but it can also mean fascination for people with disabilities and deformities. Accompany your local monster baby, Selkie Sirin, on a criptime strip. It celebrates the different nature of bodies and at the same time questions the widespread desire for fetishization and staging of marginalized bodies. The performance confronts the taboos that are still associated with sexuality related to illness and disability. It also addresses the financial uncertainty in which disabled people with low incomes find themselves. A little-known fact: many disabled people use sex work to make a living under the pressure of capitalist society – a society where there is no room for the chronic ailments it produces.