1/10/16 Guest Projects, Sara Sassanelli

Photo: Sara Sassanelli

Photo: Sara Sassanelli

'Nolo: Curating the Body' and 'En Beige' by The Uncollective
Guest Projects, London
1 October 2016


There was something heavy about Eve trying to put together these movements, to find spaces to rest in between and to also make that moment in the space about her. Her fingers in water made me think about the spaces in which those fingers exist on a daily basis. It made me think of how we can make someone else’s experience real, while we are either watching it or embodying it ourselves and whether ethically that’s a good idea or not. How did Eve want me to look at her? How was I watching? How was everyone else watching? Was I simultaneously watching the six other choreographers, and did I care about who they were and why they had been invited.

It was precarious, I felt like Eve might leave the room at any point, and that made me feel comfortable, I liked the idea that it could all collapse at any given moment. This also felt like a fuck you to what I had imaged the piece would look like, and what I thought the concept would illicit. Did the collaborators feel important or crucial, no, but were they, yes.

It left me thinking about what happens when we expose the awkwardness of making, the invisible objects she was wheeling in. Was I disappointed that these invisible objects didn’t move me? And why was I so affected by the physical presence of the bowl of water, I wanted the water to be hot…maybe it was cum, or it was the insides of somebody…or maybe it was just water – but it moved me.

What are we left with once we expose the awkwardness of the bowl, the wig, the invisible objects, we are left with Eve. The ethics felt blurred. I felt present.


Society has failed Eve & Michaels love for one another; how: are they going to navigate their identities, their relationships, their friends, and their work when everything is asking them to soften their ruptures. To me, this is how En Beige became what it is, of course this being my very heavy projection of what I am feeling about relationships/partners/sex at the moment.

Going back to what I was saying about NOLO – and NOLO definitely influenced the way I watched En Beige – what are we left with once we expose the awkwardness of boxes not ticked, lines not filled or unnecessary discomforts. Everything I am writing here is also how I personally feel about the United Kingdom in relation to: people.

Eve & Michael make a space, a liminal space of sorts, for them to mock those things that make them (us? Maybe) uncomfortable. They do it with a compelling and alienating sense of unspecificness to the images built in the piece. As I was watching I became worried that maybe me as a friend of both of theirs had in the past asked them uncomfortable questions they might have not liked. It made me feel violent in some way. It made me think of how people are fighting off my violence with: Irony?

What I often hear people asking of/to them:

‘oh you share a room?’
‘Are Eve & Michael together?’
‘Does Eve love Michael?’ (Vice versa)
‘Do you think they stop each other from having meaningful relationships with other people?’
‘Eve posted a whole album of pictures of Michael’

I watched the rest of the piece as though I was under water. They perforated something for me that went beyond mocking the ideals of married life, of British married life, of blandness. I thought about how ambiguity functions, and what it can offer when you have achieved being a complex person.

I thought about the fucked up elevation of being simpler, less complex, and lighter as an individual. The fact that complex is rupture, that emotion is too much, that affection is gross, that loudness is horrible, that liquid is icky, that eruption is messy and that sex is bad.

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