ART VILLA GARIKULA (what I see)

I see an ant.

Walking on what may look like a bright pink desert.

Seeking a direction, almost like smelling its forward path it goes sideways, backwards, forward, in uneven waves.

Gradually it reaches the end of the pink table and disappears.

Then after a while the environment changes.

With a breeze that touches my right cheek comes the the rain. Slowly but constant.

I see men by the river.

I do not see them washing their car by running it straight through the river, as they apparently do.

I would love to see that.

What I do see is a white butterfly. Moving in seeking patterns similar to the ant. A dog is passing, stopping and gazing out at the view. It smells the air and then quickly hunts the sound of somebody hitting a bucket.

Now the sun is back.

I must have been gone for a while. I guess I wasn’t paying attention.

When I look up I see green hills with a shape like this (arm moving)

Out in the field everything is open.

The ground is warm. The grass is about 15 cm high.

When I look down into the field I discover its richness. Insects of various kind and sizes, the names of which I don’t know.

Rocks of various kinds, none that look the same.

An ocean of ants crawling on a muddy hill, a little yet gigantic hill.

Green grass of various sorts.

I really shouldn’t be placing my feet on this ground.

Now I need the toilet.

I am back.

Dear field of grass.

How I respect you. How I cherish you. But still I must admit, I don’t know you anymore.

You have secrets that to me becomes fantasies. Fantasies that scare me.

I hear a “hussing” sound.

I move away and then I think: A snake? My thought was slower than my reaction.

And my writing takes more than a lifetime.

I see a computer.

I see my self standing in an open field of grass with a computer. I see myself writing about what I see.

I hear the sound of a bee traveling so I turn around. Now I see the sun behind the clouds.

I press save.

I worship this present moment and do not want it to go away.

I stop.

I think.

What do I see?

I see Georgia.

Desert mountains close by. Snow on top of the distance mountains.

Layers and of mountains in all directions.

No, not everywhere.

Somewhere I only see treetops melting with white clouds.

The clouds have cotton shapes and I don’t know what’s behind.

More mountains?

The wind is both occasionally and constant.

It has no nationality.

I wonder where it has been, where it started, where it will end.

I see a butterfly. A beautiful cliche.

It could cross boarders if it wanted to. So could I. Not everyone can do that.

Break.

I hear a lot I do not see.

Some ducks. Birds pretty much in every direction. An occational car. Some occational dogs.

Am I on the internet?

I see a bed with a white sheet blowing in the wind.

An old rusty bed with metal decorations. Old. Nice. It is a single bed. I walk towards the bed.

I see an old chewing gum.

I see a paper cup.

I see somebody walking up in the desert mountains.

I think it is some cows.

I lay down. Will I fall? No, it’s ok.

Now I have sun on my face.

“Hello, you fool, I love you”, not a Rednex, but a Roxette song pops into my mind.

Now the time is 1027 in Norway,

1127,

1228 in Georgia.

Landing Sites Specific

Landing Sites Specific – a residency in contemporary choreography at Art-Villa Garikula, The Georgia
24th April – 5th May 2014

Art-Villa Garikula

In collaboration with Art-Villa Garikula the workshop Landing Sites Specific is led by Amanda Steggell, professor in choreography at the Department of Dance, Oslo National Academy of the Arts, with Master students in choreography Anne Kathrine Fallmyr, Solveig Styve Holte and Heidi Jessen, and students from the Art Academy, Tbilisi.

Research should no longer be done off to one side, in a school, a library or laboratory. Where one lives needs to become a laboratory for researching, for mapping directly, the living body itself, oneself as a world-forming inhabitant.
– Arakawa + Gins

How can we approach the situation of being artists-in-residence working with issues of site specificity in the field of contemporary choreography today? This is the question we seek to answer at Art-Villa Garikula, and one we have sought to answer in a suburb of Tokyo earlier this year. As you may imagine these sites are worlds apart from each other and our own home town, Oslo, Norway.

The ‘site’ we co-habited in Tokyo is namely the Reversible Destiny Lofts, MITAKA. The lofts are both an artwork and an apartment building; a creation of the artist /architect duo Arakawa + Gins and an iteration of their esoteric theory of Architectural Body from which the term Landing Sites comes from. They are dedicated to the memory of Helen Keller, the American activist and author who learnt how to communicate after losing her sight and hearing as a child – hence seemingly reversing her destiny by confronting and articulating her embodied experiences of her situation or ‘surround’. The lofts are designed to challenge one’s physical abilities and perceptions in every day life; to stimulate the body and its immune system, challenge notions of communal living and to encourage the body to ‘decide not to die’!  (See http://choreography.khio.no/?p=48 for more).

Now we have landed at Art villa Garikula, deep in the Georgian countryside in the little village of Akhalkalaki, in the Kaspi region far way from the city and its suburbs. It is a stark contrast to our Tokyo experience with its meticulously designed architecture, and our own home town, Oslo. We encounter a community; a building and a garden that is in a constant state of reconstruction in accordance with its surround; a village, an agricultural landscape of vast reaching hillsides and a fast flowing river. We encounter a socially-orientated art project that has decided to live. Perhaps we can call it an organic or ecological process that poses a utopian alternative to the political situation with which it co-exists.

What can a body find out about such a place in the short period of our residency?
What is worth doing, from the perspective of contemporary choreography within this time frame?
Can we contribute to this unique community (even if just modestly) by our presence?
How are we changed by the experience?

Via quick and dirty exercises in choreography we address these questions with a sense of curiosity. On the one hand via an attention/awareness to the situation. On the other, an incentive to engage with the community that sustains and is supported by the Garikula project.