MY AUGUST FEELS LIKE DECEMBER
My August feels like December will be a multi-disciplinary performance in which dance, digital video art, scenography and restoration-art will be equally interwoven. The performance wants to give individual mourning a communal character and build a space where grief can be shared acceptably with others. Starting from memory, Pieter wants to embody individual grief and alienation from the world after which he transforms himself both physically and emotionally. Exploring how his own body and soul react to loss, but also how a death can create space for growth and development as an individual.
My August feels like December is based on Pieters own experiences of losing his parents, but it is not a purely individual therapeutic art work. He looks for ways in which the exposition of his personal emotional journey can also be transformative for the audience. During the performance, he will detach himself from the autobiographical narrative and further illuminate the mourning process from abstraction elevating his embodied bereavement to a more universal level.
Grief is too often surrounded by a hidden, almost voyeuristic veil and My August feels like December wants to make an attempt to draw it out of that shadow. The audience and the performers share the same space, the viewer walks through the performance as if in an exhibition; after all, there is no escaping (your) grief and mourning. The performance initially evokes an obligation to embrace grief, based on personal experiences that are presented to the audience; but this ultimately turns out to be a way to emotionally charge the space, after which the space literally changes physically. The shared space thus becomes a visual reflection of the changes a person goes through in the process of coping.
The performance creates a space of reflection where the metamorphosis of the performers makes room for the viewer's grief and transformation. Where it becomes acceptable to share grief. Where individual mourning takes on a communal character. Where the viewer can be comforted by the shared experience of a stranger.
The project is a collaboration between different artists, each with their own medium-specific vision. Although the performance is directed by Pieter each artist has autonomy over their own medium. They come together and listen to each other and work together to eventually grow into one single direction, a symbiosis of shared experiences oscillating between the performative and the museum-like.
My August feels like December is an intimate and emotionally charged experience shared between the viewers and the performers, together they become one commune where comfort and hope prevail.
© Mimi Bai, conjuring a future full of pasts, 2019
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