Etcetera & Sarma
During the 2013-14 season, Sarma collaborated with the Flemish journal Etcetera to develop complementary content in paper and online publishing.
For thirty years now, Etcetera has been an important medium for reflection on the performing arts in Belgium and elsewhere. In essays, interviews and reviews it chronicles new artistic work and explores artistic oeuvres and practices in relation with broader tendencies in the arts and in society. Known for its essayistic writing, it provides space for in-depth analysis and individual writing styles. For ten years, Sarma has been a leading figure in publishing anthologies, text collections but also new discursive formats on dance and performance.
Performing arts criticism goes through a profound crisis today. After the crumbling of space for reviews in the daily media in favour of human interest and consumer's advice, also specialized media such as corpus and Dance Theatre Journal had to close down recently due to budget cuts. So far the dispersed self-publishing on blogs, forums and social media on the internet doesn't quite offer an alternative space for art critics to develop a voice, let alone participate in the creation of a public realm. Discourses in and on art are increasingly being instrumentalised, also by funding bodies and within the cultural field.
Denied are the work of art and the artistic practice as particular and autonomous forms of meaning production that partake in shaping the public sphere. In a society where art and its discourses have to justify themselves continuously, these autonomous and plural discourses will eventually fade out. For discussing contemporary art as a public affair, claiming a proper discursive space for art remains an important challenge for media and critics, in order to stimulate a freedom of looking, thinking and writing. The vulnerability, ambiguity, complexity and multiplicity of critical discourses may put the familiar frames of interpretation at stake and tinker with the dominant quest for transparency and unequivocality.
Against this background, and aiming for a diversity of discourses on dance, performance and artistic practices, Sarma and Etcetera develop a joint editorial trajectory in which print and online publishing are complementary. A traditional print medium like Etcetera remains an important model through its legacy and form: an editorial board and individual authors make choices and take responsibility for them. Not constrained by length, language or medium, Sarma provides new texts and collections that entertain a dialogue with Etcetera's editorial content. Background and analysis, informal documents and multilingual collections, oral and multimodal contributions create a larger context that can nurture the artistic field, its discourses and reflection.
June 2014 - Etcetera 137
Anthology Jeroen Peeters
On the occasion of his book Through the Back: Situating Vision between Moving Bodies (reviewed by Rudi Laermans in Etcetera), Sarma collected Jeroen Peeters' entire body of work in dance criticism. Several essays frame the collection:
- Rudi Laermans - 'Kijken naar/schrijven over dans' (Dutch, English)
A review of Through the Back, focussing on Peeters' essayism that seeks to widen the gap between looking and writing in order to unfold his poetics that seeks to 'think' the critical potential of contemporary dance.
- Lars Kwakkenbos – ‘De hordes van een uitgestrekt denken’ (Dutch, English)
In the late 1990s Jeroen Peeters wrote his first reviews and formulated several theoretical and philosophical frames for his work. How did his poetics develop since, thinking and writing in the proximity of dance?
- Jeroen Peeters – ‘A flower-gathering’ (English)
Cutting a pathway through his own work, Peeters reflects on the development of an oeuvre that balances between a strategic approach of commisioned work and embracing the foreign desires that spurred on his writing into new directions.
How do we want to organize work, remuneration and the management of time in our society? How do existing models of labour relate to current artistic practices? Can an experimental approach of artists to time and work perhaps shed light on alternative forms of ‘useful unemployment’, which in our society receive little appreciation?
In early 2014 the Belgian legislation concerning social security for artists is being reformed, but not without struggle and collateral damage. To nurture the debate, Sarma plans a series of publications under the heading ‘Call for artists’. In search of sharp-witted questions, a broad contextualisation and possible solutions, writers are invited to explore questions around labour and artistic practices.
- Koen Brams en Kristien Vanden Brande – ‘Interview met Kobe Matthys: sociale zekerheid voor kunstenaars’ (in Dutch)
Kunstenaar en activist Kobe Matthys zet uiteen hoe het ‘kunstenaarsstatuut’ het voorbije decennium onder druk is komen te staan en welke aanpassingen in de wetgeving er volgens hem nog nodig zijn.
March 2014 - Etcetera 136
Essays on William Forsythe and Ballett Frankfurt
Linked to an essay by Gerald Siegmund on the recent work of William Forsythe (in Etcetera), Sarma publishes three essays by dancers on their collaboration with Forsythe within the Ballett Frankfurt. The texts appeared earlier in German in Gerald Siegmund’s monograph William Forsythe: Denken in Bewegung (Henschel Verlag Berlin, 2004). About these texts, Siegmund writes: “Forsythe underscores the ability of dancers to describe their own actions, to make themselves aware, through the use of verbal language, of what they’re doing, as well as how and why. The method of description is a first step towards the literacy and emancipation of the dancer, a step away from the dependency to being merely an executive instrument in service of an almighty choreographer.”
- Dana Caspersen, ‘The Body is Thinking: Form, vision, discipline and dancing’.
The creation of imaginary bodies requires a specific training and gaze of the dancer. Caspersen discusses the influence of Forsythe’s work on her view on her body.
- Prue Lang, ‘Thinking, Motion and Language’.
Woolf Phrase (2001) translates literary techniques such as the interior monologue into physical techniques of self-observation. Lang explores a genealogy of corporeal and spatial thinking in Forsythes work.
- Thomas McManus, ‘Inside Enemy’.
What goes on in the mind and body of a dancer during a virtuoso solo passage in a ballet? Mc Manus describes the fast part of Forsythe’s Enemy in the Figure (1989) from an internal point of view.
Writing on/as choreography by Daniel Linehan
On the occasion of Daniel Linehan’s book A No Can Make Space, reviewed by Jeroen Peeters in Etcetera, Sarma presents several texts by Linehan, in which he stages his choreographic way of thinking.
- Daniel Linehan, ‘Gaze is a Gap is a Ghost. A self-interview’ (2012)
- Daniel Linehan, ‘Doing While Doing: Transcript from memory’ (2012)
- Daniel Linehan, ‘Thinking about watching and dancing a choreography’ (2013)
December 2013 - Etcetera 135
Cairography is the first edition of a publication series that seeks to enhance the discursive exchange on performances practices in the Arab and western worlds, crossing language barriers. It reflects on the problematic status of quotidian languages in the Arab world, on the lack of documents and archives that would allow for research on the history of contemporary art practices in the Arab world, and on the ensuing "moments of difficulty and self-exile, forgetting and remembering, solitude and finding intimacy." The collection was edited by Adham Hafez and Ismail Fayed of HaRaKa in Cairo and appears both in English and in Arabic. For Sarma, it is the first text collection in Arabic to become part of its archive. For an extended introduction and overview, see Cairography.
September 2013 - Etcetera 134
Essays on Sarah Vanhee's Lecture For Every One and Turning Turning
- Kristien Van den Brande, ''De muizen sluiten een pact. Over het creatieproces van Lecture For Every One'
- Joe Kelleher, 'Lecture For Every One by Sarah Vanhee' (English)
- Joe Kelleher, 'Lecture For Every One door Sarah Vanhee' (Nederlands)
- Laura Burns, 'Speaking Bodies, Plural Voices'
- Joe Kelleher, 'Virtuosi of Exposure. On Sarah Vanhee's Turning Turning (a choreography of thoughts)' approaches thinking, speaking and exposing oneself on stage as an ecology of practices
- Multimodal documentation of Sarah Vanhee's workshop Talking ahead of one's thoughts
Why do we look at animals in the theatre?
- Jeroen Peeters, 'Waarom kijken we naar dieren? Klein bestiarium' (in Etcetera, on animals in recent work of David Weber-Krebs, Martin Nachbar, Antonia Baehr and Jozef Wouters).
- In 'Animal Dramaturgies. An audio abecedarium', parallel to reflections on the creation process of Martin Nachbar's Animal Dances, Jeroen Peeters discusses animals, concepts and others matters populating literature, philosophy and art.
|Lars Kwakkenbos||The hurdles of broad thinking||Sarma||2014|
|Joe Kelleher||Lecture For Every One van Sarah Vanhee||Programme note||2013|
|Aylin Kalem||An Unusual Relation with a Harp…||Sarma||2014|
|Jeroen Peeters||Animal Dramaturgies||Sarma||2013|
|Adham Hafez||Between languages and realities||Sarma||2014|
|Ramsay Burt||Danced Testimonies of the Traumas of Migration||Sarma||2007|
|Jeroen Peeters||Daniel Linehan en Afreux, A No Can Make Space||Etcetera||2014|
|Lars Kwakkenbos||De hordes van een uitgestrekt denken||Sarma||2014|
|Kristien Van den Brande||De muizen sluiten een pact||Etcetera||2013|
|Daniel Linehan||Doing While Doing||Sarma||2013|
|Myriam Van Imschoot||Exercise in Microscopy||Danssolo / solodans||1999|
|Ismail Fayed||Forgotten Histories and Parallel Historiographies||Sarma||2014|
|Daniel Linehan||Gaze is a Gap is a Ghost||Programme note||2012|
|Thomas McManus||Inside Enemy||Denken in Bewegung||2004|
|Rudi Laermans||Kijken naar/schrijven over dans||Etcetera||2014|
|Joe Kelleher||Lecture For Every One by Sarah Vanhee||Programme note||2013|
|Jeroen Peeters||Living together on stage||Herbst. Theorie zur Praxis||2007|
|Rudi Laermans||Looking at / Writing about Dance||Etcetera||2014|
|Doa Aly||No Time For Art||moabdallah.wordpress.com||2011|