Meg Stuart in one image and ten questions

Programme note 22 Feb 2006English

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Contextual note
This profile was commissioned by the German Dance Platform 2006, which took place in Stuttgart from 22 to 26 February 2006, and was published in the programme book.

Perhaps the whole oeuvre of Meg Stuart is contained in this one image, an anecdote and childhood memory that she frequently revisits. As a child, Meg Stuart dreamt that she was performing with her friends and family in a movie shown in a theatre without spectators. Suddenly she felt the urge to escape the picture – to watch it as well, and pursue the impossible desire to observe herself. When Stuart slipped into these moments of fantasy, her intimate audience asked her to be attentive, more present. And Stuart’s response was to continue rehearsing in order to perform even better in that film.

If we don’t coincide with ourselves, how can we be present in several media, spaces, and realities at once? How do we adapt? If we live in the gaze of others, could this not also pass for living before a surveillance camera? How do we escape being constantly looked at by others? How do we look back? How do we go unnoticed? If we perform ourselves, how do we embrace the potential of speed and transformation? How can we be an image and yet not be an image? How can we control and lose control at the same time? How do we expose our fears, doubts and desires?