A Place of Listening and Responsiveness in Fragile Forms – A curatorial statement by Delia Brett
December 04, 2018
For a collaborative company like MACHiNENOiSY inspiration is something one arrives at through shared play and struggle. With Fragile Forms inspiration came very differently.
At the end of 2015, after producing 7 shows in one year, co-director Daelik and I found ourselves exhausted and with very little resources. At that time, my partner Alex Lazaridis Ferguson shared with me an essay by Finnish Architect, Juhani Pallasmaa. Pallasmaa’s words were like lamp light for me, illuminating a way out of the dark. In that particular essay, “Hapacity and Time“, Pallasmaa challenges the hegemony of vision in our ocularcentric culture. He reminds the reader how architecture can instead engage and unite all our senses, “replac(ing) distancing visual imagery by enhanced materiality, nearness and intimacy. He discusses many things in this essay: the language of matter, material imagination and the power of weakness, interiority and humility. I’m simply not capable of summarizing the breadth of his insights here, but I share it with you because I noticed upon re-reading this essay just now that it still speaks to me with the same urgency, the same ‘call to action’ so to speak that it did 3.5 years ago.
Through Pallasmaa’s words about time materiality and multi sensorial experience, I am reminded of my own artistic duty, as co-director of MACHiNENOiSY to generate from a place of listening and responsiveness to the space in all its dimensionality. I enter the space and the space enters me—we cooperate.
Although this production has grown in complexity and scale, involving collaborators from 5 different disciplines, both local and international, and although the architecture at the Anvil Center is challenging in its complexity, the dance is simple — it’s you, and us, and our shared imagination exchanging weight, leaning in, and listening with our whole bodies to the experience.