Order, structural accuracy and separable steps could be the three watchwords of classical production. Typically repressed people state things like: order and tidy and you get paid on Friday (which is like catchy in Swedish), but you know as much as I that this is passé. We don’t first design, then build, then test, then market and then sell it. No way, that’s a waste of time and resources, but it’s also not enough to reverse the order. That’s not change but just happy variation, says Bruno Latour – and you know how it goes, what has to be changed is not this or that but the modes of change themselves. So starting with the marketing is not an option.
Today you won’t get the good money on Friday if you keep up order, on the contrary, if you do, your competitor will in no time detect your strategies and you end up in a business agreement with Nokia. Corporate business doesn’t do “showings” halfway through the process to which they invite competitors. No, this is all about release dates and the right kind of cool power-point presentations. Contemporary production does everything to produce more mess, the messier the better, weak organization, strong entities, vague hierarchies and personal responsibility. Soft-undercover, shadows, lateral production and leaking narratives.
We have to get rid of the Western model based on weak entities and strong organization – like the alphabet – and go Egyptian, where the entity is strong, the hieroglyph, and the organization weak. Stability is there anyway, what is needed is speed and ability to navigate. Make sure you can change your mind, transform a research process into a commodity, a product into a campaign and a Youtube production made to hurt a community issue. Stability is there anyway, what is needed is even more mobility and even less static resources. Stability is there anyway, sell your house, don’t open a space – it’s the most stupid idea. Are you willing to pay most of your subsidy in order to feel like a typical performance artist? Yes, I know if you have a space your funding is secured, but dude – don’t go there – it’s a trap cuz the increase of funding equals the amount of becoming stable, and thus being disabled from expanding markets. Pina Bausch was the ultimate Fordist choreographer and nothing to aspire to. Dance and choreography shouldn’t mourn and complain about the lack of structures and big houses – look what has happened to dance in Germany – but on the contrary use this as an opportunity. We have speed and we can use it to not have to do what we can. We don’t need to become a communist party, but we can occupy ourselves with lines of flight.
You know what, the most uncool ever is to evidence the process in the piece.
Make sure that you are not justifying a creation in respect of the process. More research is bull shit, and yet it has to be there, but mind you, research is not a good thing, but as corrupt as business, families and class struggle.
I wonder why dance still obsesses about being professional? That was important ten, twenty or fifty years ago, but today it’s exactly the wrong question. We don’t need to fight for our survival any more, check it out there is Queen Elizabeth Hall and whatever de la Ville. We have what we wanted, now it’s about getting rid of it. Yes, sure institutions, such as educations, dance venues etc need to watch out with quality assessment, but if your art is being understood as professional quality it also means that it is supporting established markets and measures of quality. Professional quality is always well and balanced. If you want to make something that kicks ass you have to accept accusations of being unprofessional (which obviously has nothing to do with provocation, body fluids or badly prepared work). Ditch your good ideas, exactly because they are good which means that they behave, fit and seem to work. – The only thing professional I want is kids – – If you get invited two years in a row your work is simply not evil enough. You can do better!
Why, and I seriously can’t get it right, do we so ambitiously try to appear bigger than we are, to secure structures and represent our practice in relation to other art-forms. Yvonne Rainer’s No-manifesto is not good, brilliant or even half ass smart when it comes to producing dance – Trio A is a failure (and fuck Beckett) – – and it’s quite boring that Rainer is making it even more of a failure today – but it is also the most important impressive and sparkling manifesto for in what respect dance is specific to other art-forms and expressions. It denounces the idea that dance is compatible with any other art-form, and their positions in respect of dominant discourse, and instead it resurrects dance as singularity. The No-manifesto should not be used vis-à-vis expression, shape, look or attitude but in the sense of production in order to unground our little sister complex and need for reliability, and instead intensify us to operate exactly through volatility, vagueness, ephemerality, movement and mobility. Yeah, as if by magic dance just ended up being totally contemporary. Let’s surf the wave, we have one chance and there is no looking back. Do you really have something to lose? Is what you want to keep up some more of the same?
Check it out, we know – our audience will remain super tiny, our future won’t be amazing and the subsidy will not multiply, we have no chance to go commercial and are doomed to be small, marginal, budget, exception – so let’s stop pretending something else, and at the same time stop being forgiving and tolerant. – – Terminate all opera ballets NOW – – No, upgrading is not an option and we don’t need them as museums – we don’t need Dixieland Jazz museums, so why should there be operas ballets – sure I’d be fine with an opera and ballet museum but not before we have a contemporary venue and scene that maintains a similar amount of state coverage. Every country that builds a new opera house, should be excluded from EU, UN, IMF and some other abbreviations. It’s not acceptable especially as it is anyway just a means to support local entrepreneurs, builders and security companies. Forget about it – there is nothing good what so ever about Verdi’s Othello, nothing, not even when staged by Alain Platel – [send me an e-mail and give me some arguments for a new opera house in Stockholm or whatever city, please].
Let’s return here! So let’s stop pretending, the situation is excellent – basically nobody cares about what we do, nobody bothers about dance. We are too small – we don’t even have a decent magazine – like whatever Artforum, like even poetry has a cooler magazine than we: “-What’s it called?”
“-Oh, the poetry one? I forgot.” That’s how bad the situation is in dance. We have no history, no size, no money, no nothing. No nothing except, passion.
So stop thinking about one thing at a time. Stop asking for money before you start to work, use the marketing campaign as rehearsal, rehearse in spaces that don’t belong to you – you don’t need 150 m2 to make a dance – if you have one, it’s gonna be exactly a 150 m2 dance, and that’s what every dance show is, so why another one – rehearse in the kitchen, over the phone, stop wanting to be a choreographer – look what they have done so far! Mess everything up and sell out. Stop cleaning up- work, fuck transparency – without confusion nothing different. Stop being confused as a means of justifying your lazy attitude. If your audience has nothing better to say after the show than that they liked it but that it was too long, you have not done your job. Make people ravage. Allow yourself to be boring boring very boring. Make really small shows, and short ones. Make tanz-theater and hate dance theater. We have nothing to justify, and hello why should we. Don’t even think about thinking about some idea that you are privileged to work in dance. That’s the moment when you start making really shit work. That’s like saying thank you to somebody that you just had sex with. Look, I didn’t do it as a service. I didn’t do it for your sake. I didn’t do it for any other reason than the fact that I like having sex with you, like a lot.
Take me to bed now, let’s dance.