Other People, common ground

Edition #0 - Prologue
Ghent  / Campo - 13th of May - 18th of May 2019


This text was written almost one year after the end of our first meeting. It was written a couple of weeks after the end of the residency at Bergen Dansesenter and the publication of Edition #1 - The Monday edition.
During our work in Bergen and the writing of Edition #1 we noticed that it was hard for us to recollect our process at Campo the year before.

This is an attempt at a reconstruction. 


The beginning

We are meeting because we have met before. Our initial meeting was during a workshop that was part of the Camping festival at the Centre National de la Dance in Paris the summer before. We felt a set of common or close to common interests that we would like to explore. We thought the best way to do this was through work. Not necessarily through the creation of new work, but through working together nonetheless. 

Campo in Ghent offered us the use of one of their studios for a week. Our aim was to use this week to figure out if we wanted to continue to work together and if so, how.

"I started conversing, all in gestures. "Sand. Not-sand," I said, first pointing to our surroundings, then to the two of us. She nodded yes, she had understood. "Rock. Not-rock," I said, to continue that line of reasoning. It was a period in which we didn't have many concepts at our disposal: to indicate what we two were, for example, what we had in common and what was different, was not an easy undertaking. "I. You-not-I." I tried to explain, with gestures. She was irked. "Yes. You-like-me, but only so much," I corrected myself. She was a bit reassured, but still suspicious. "I, you, together, run run," I tried to say. She burst out laughing and ran off"

- Without Colors (From: The Complete Cosmicomics, Italy Calvino)

The Work

We brought books and other things that inspired us. Because we did not know the rules of our meeting, we decided to work through scores and the building of a shared routine.
Everyday, we cleaned the studio floor.
Everyday, we took the same walk together.
Everyday, we worked during the same hours.

Everyday, we started by creating the rules of the day.
Rules that we would use to improvise with and around. We would try to keep track of unspoken rules that came up or rules we noticed we couldn’t do without.

Our first shared interest, dating back to our days in Paris, was the imagination.
We wanted to explore the connection between movement and text.
We want to share a space in the work, without knowing each other’s work very well. Without knowing each other very well. 

After one week, we had come to the following agreement:

  • We will work together each year for two separate periods of two weeks
  • We will work in a new place every time so the work will be the only point of reference.
  • If we are not able to meet for such a long time that we are unable to get together twice in one year with sufficient time in between, we will find a solution.
  • We will do this for twenty years. After twenty years, we can decide to continue on a yearly basis.

 - M M

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