Transformations and mental permutations

Afterwords: Arco Renz & Kobalt Works, Mirth / 9 Jul 2002English

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Contextual note
This text is part of the project Afterwords, curated by Jeroen Peeters for the festival ImPulsTanz Vienna in summer 2002. Every night, three critics in residence shared their impressions and thoughts on the performances immediately after having seen them, in an act of instantaneous writing. During the process of writing, these comments were projected in the theatre lobby and later that night made available on the websites and
A selection of the texts by Jeroen Peeters is available on Sarma, in a slightly edited version, sometimes with a postscript. Two essays elucidate the project Afterwords and reflect on its poetical and political implications. To retrieve the material, search under: ‘Afterwords’.

Writing. Writing about Arco Renz’s Mirth. As a process of revisiting, seeking for words that aim to capture... a certain process. Because Mirth seems itself to be a performance revisiting a working process, moving from the one image or state to another.

Transformations, assuming a certain frame or limitation to exceed it perpetually, almost as a rite of passage.

Take the very opening: five dancers running on the spot. In a single row, frontally, forming one surface, as if they propose an initial image. A paradoxical one though: a running image, moving before it could even crystallise. Or also: five dancers running through this image, making it finally travel in space, making it an image becoming space. A series of images, or rather fragments, thin and ethereal. Leading to this final one: five turning planets at the firmament.

The final image? It seems rather that Renz is choreographing a series of open forms that could interfere with this first process of revisiting mentioned: mental figures from the spectator, maybe willing to fold themselves to a series of words, but preferably not. For all the somatic transformations and slight perceptions provoked by it have their autonomy, are a process in itself. They meet and collide, exceed their limits at that very point, start moving – aiming for mirth?

A final image then? A mental permutation ... to be continued.


Postscript November 2002: This text was the very first instantaneous critique of the project Afterwords. Therefore I found it important to reflect on writing itself, to approach criticism as a process, so not as a truth. Since Afterwords, due to its live aspect, conveyed primarily a process of writing to its readers, the outlines of the project where drawn at once. Evidently, the strongly process based work of Arco Renz was a good occasion to approach these matters.