Who are we? Our thoughts, feelings, experiences, motives and ways of acting are probably only a small part of what we call human potential. We came to being unexpectedly at some point in space-time and from this moment we subject to many, more or less conscious, transformations. We change the reality that surrounds us, we create its’ new versions to fit our tastes and ideas. Or is it the other way round and this evolution of the world taking place in eternity, forces us to continuous changes – a rush to reach the ideal?
There is no reason to think that the human form of existence is in any way more free of the limitations imposed by biological nature than it is in the animal world. Chimpanzees lack of cognitive means to understand human ambitions or subtleties of interpersonal relationships. Perhaps we also lack the ability to understand what it would be like being a radically improved man – a posthuman. What thoughts, problems and aspirations would we have? What would our social relationships look like?
Transhumanists consider human nature as a „work in progress”, an open process of a not-too-well-developed being which we can learn to modify in a desirable way. Man, as we know it, does not have to be the culmination of evolution. He might be the subject of constant change and humanity might be a process.
The performance of More by Ramona Nagabczyńska is a kind of a record of humanity in a process. The author goes back to the history of experiment conducted in 1990s by two artists – Genesis P’Orridge and Lady Jaye Breyer, in which they both tried to become physically similar to each other through a series of plastic surgeries. This experiment tread a fine line between art and science. The result was supposed to be the creation of one, new, pandrogynic being in two identical versions. We could observe a transformation of the body and psyche of both people. The impulse to give in to such an experiment was not only obsessive striving to cross all the boundaries, bend standards, but boundless love and mutual fascination of both artists.
Nagabczyńska also begins with love. On an empty, white, laboratory-sterile stage, we observe two interlaced bodies. Franz Schubert’s Serenade resounds in the background. Dancers move in their own rhythm. They adhere to each other so closely that they seem to be one organism. With time, their movements become wider, but the characters are still almost indiscernible. Touch, closeness of bodies, erotic gestures become almost intrusive and stand in opposition to the lyrical words of Serenade. They are beautiful and ordinary at the same time. They are undergoing constant transformation. They are developing to finally show two separate beings that break away from each other and then reattach them, searching for new configurations. With each new movement and rhythm the dancers go beyond the limits of speed, width of the gesture, interference in the space of the partner. Music also becomes louder, faster. Everything is more and more. However, something new is emerging from all that noise and chaos. A different being is formed, still searching, still looking at the other one as in the mirror, exploring himself, loving, feeling. Nagabczyńska allows us to enter the process of building a new person through a series of trance-like images. She shows us fractals of female bodies, attentive, focused on themselves, being in the creative process. When they are finished they will be identical and unbreakable. Is this the end? Did they reach the limit they wanted to cross so much? The process is ongoing. The end is always a new beginning.
The performance took place at the Culture Center of KADR on March 26, 2018.
Concept and choreography: Ramona Nagabczyńska
Realization: Magda Jędra and Anna Steller
Dramaturgical consultations: Karolina Kraczkowska
Music: Sasha Zakrevska (Poly Chain), Franz Schubert, Umberto
Lights: Jan Cybis
Production: the Body / Mind Foundation with the support of the Performing Europe program
Partner: network apap – advancing performing arts project
Project co-financed under the European Union Creative Europe program and by the Capital City of Warsaw Warsaw and the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage
Premiere: 30/09/2017 Teatr Studio in Warsaw as part of the Body / Mind Festival