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HANDLE WITH CARE
What needs to be restored? The objects? Our collective collection?
How can we re-consider conservation and the restoration of a museum's archive through the body?
How can we consider the excavation of the past as a process that addresses what has been excluded?
This building is turning to dust.
There are gaps in the history of these objects just like there are gaps in my teeth.
My spine continues to crack, to twist, to fall apart.
But we live in a constant state of conservation.
A constant state of reparation.
A dance requires and gives rise to a different, more bodily, more visceral, more tacit and potentially more phenomenological way of looking and perceiving that involves the whole of ourselves. It dares the perceiver to enter new territory that cannot be foreseen, expected or categorized. It is therefore a space that tempts the perceiver to open to a new experience that is not entirely in their control.
- Minou Tsambika Polleros
The dance is a guardian of a kind of intelligence…
What we are doing is a really concrete action of healing in the sense of remembering the gestures we are not able to do anymore.
- Ana Pi
If a paradigm shift is a change in assumptions, then my most fundamental questions reside around how I address and change the practice of collection, and how this affects the act of curation.
How do our personal collections relate to museum collections?
How can we address what has been excluded?
- Alexandra van Dongen
We will explore fear and trauma stemming from our different but connected ancestral links to the transatlantic slave trade. Responding to the accumulated layers of history on site will allow us to feel the compression of layers within our own bodies. In compost, compression over time creates heat which leads to activation. The more layers there are, the more they get activated.
Everything breaks down eventually.
I was particularly interested by the legacy of transatlantic slave money and colonialism present at Newstead Abbey. I was struck by how this history was only a small part of the museum’s public narrative and was unsure as to how I, personally, could address this...I decided to invite other artists into the project: choreographers and dancers who are, in different ways, addressing these racialised histories within their existing research projects.
I’m looking at ghosts and haunted houses as metaphors for how histories of slavery and colonialism haunt the present.
– Seke Chimutengwende