LANDBREAKERS are problem makers and solvers committed to the will of creation and the emancipation of artistic convention.
The work involves three artists with dance, painting, music composition and garment design expertise. In intuitive, subconscious dimensions of flow, they are driven by the subversion of their inherent conditioning, merging disciplines in search of the unforeseen. Free of predefined choreography, LANDBREAKERS lets movement emerge from impressions, bringing the body and the sensuality of perception to the fore of the investigation and happenings. Within this investigation there is an attention to ‘working out’ or ‘making things work’ which, ironically, often means ‘letting go’ or the breaking of something. These ideas are supported and refined by the literary work of Thomas Nichols "Death of Expertise; The Campaign Against Established Knowledge’ and Why it Matters and Julietta Singh 'Unthinking Mastery'. By intentionally exposing the audience to this typically hidden part of creation, the vulnerability, struggle, joy, and chaos of art-making is revealed.
Contrary to the name, LANDBREAKERS go beyond form identity, that which defines the artists as successful professionals, into the realm of Being. The outflow of Being into Doing is what connects the seemingly separate disciplines and in turn opens performers and audience alike to new ways of understanding and participating in the world. There is a willing engagement with established cultural and artistic value systems to assess contemporary concepts of virtuosity, ingenuity, production and spirituality; know the rules to break them.
Free from choreographic narrative, the artists respond to spontaneous sensory impulses and impressions from both within and surrounding them. This accentuates the role of the artist as subservient and subordinate to the process of creation, facilitating an emergence of surrender that locates the artist within a dance of unpredictability. Adherence to such a process affirms the artist’s non-commitment to any conceptual pretense usually associated with the general understanding of live performance, and thus mandates an acceptance of ‘failure’. ‘Non-commitment’ is an openness in seeing the infinite possibilities available and suggests another mode of decision-making.
There is no fixed duration to the performance as time becomes the space in which it floats. Performances will last several (4-6) hours at least.
LANDBREAKERS will be held in public locations such as galleries, museums and urban landscapes as a performative installation with an aim to connect with new audiences beyond the theater. Within this installation setup, viewers are encouraged to physically invade the space customarily reserved for ‘performing’. Ordinarily, the viewer holds back. LANDBREAKERS nudges them forward. The intimacy of viewer and performer form a shared encounter that is critical to the work. As such, the audience choose their proximity to the performance, up close or at a distance, lingering for its entirety or leaving and returning at a later time. They may be provoked into simple or participatory reactions or enter into a playful dialogue with the performers. This setting and approach to performance offers space for reflection with a new kind of consciousness; a practice that questions how we think, act and interact in a future-oriented way. LANDBREAKERS promotes the expansion of the social fields of perception within performance, dance and visual art, which have been impeded by the Corona pandemic.
In order to locally ground this peripatetic project, LANDBREAKERS arrive several days prior to performances to collect local audio samples, objects, materials and cultural clichés. These elements are incorporated into the performances as historical and socio-cultural research and aesthetic inspiration. Principally, this is an important gesture to the local public in acknowledging the superimposition and integration of the project within its environment. It is a simple way for LANDBREAKERS to imbue the symbolism of places they visit with their essence; that is, to transcend the quotidian by realising the potential of all things. Especially those things we think we know.
Among other things, the performers will wear oversized garments designed and made by Thomas A. Bradley. Their versatility can both restrict and accentuate the movements of the artists in the space. The unconventional, existential mass, made of ‘up-cycled’ materials, come to life with sculptural qualities that allow them to transmorph from costume to sculpture with a personality of their own.
Sound design will be composed by Ashley Wright in the form of electronic sound tapestries compiled of eclectic field recordings of local surroundings. From street buskers to radio interviews, techno parties to church bells, sound is a continually shifting structure that cocoons the performance. At times it is a driving force that demands particular action, while also sitting in the background as a supportive audio framework.
Large, white rolls of paper cover the entirety of the surface of the floor and walls. In a dance of his own, visual artist Konrad Ross attempts to capture fragments of inter-twining trajectories and imprints of ‘being’ across the once pristine paper. The traces accumulate over numerous hours, across successive performances to become a perplexity of colour, texture and narrative; metamorphic artworks that archive the experience of both performer and viewer into a tangible ‘product', a valuable object. At the end of the final performance of each location, the artworks thus created on the paper surfaces are cut into different sizes. The viewer has the possibility to purchase these works to take a memory of the archive registered.
We strive for an expansion of social fields of perception; how to think, act and respond in a future-oriented way. It offers reflection on a society struggling with notions of proximity and intimacy, setting out to further dissolve the void between performer and audience. Using contemporary dance, costume making and music composition techniques, LANDBREAKERS generates its own genre of storytelling through the exposition of creative effort.
L A N D B R E A K E R S
ASHLEY KONRAD THOMAS
WRIGHT ROSS BRADLEY
ASHLEY KONRAD THOMAS WRIGHT ROSS BRADLEY
ASHLEY KONRAD THOMAS WRIGHT ROSS BRADLEY
Production manager Angelica Morgen
Residency supported by Elvie Barlach, Barlach Halle K, Hamburg,
Residency curated by Valentina Gioia Levy, Pier Paolo at Guidecca Art District