JOANNA GRABOWIECKA'S ORIENTATION IN SPACE (OF THEATRE)
Ideas, preferences, knowledge of the situation and place are relative.
However ‘Shimmering space’ has something ruthless inside. Cruel end of
the world full of drama is not noticeable. Space is infinite.
Theatre is opened.
Reason of (im)potency - body
Three women – Magdalena Maścianica, Natalia Matuszek, Izabela
Zerwiłebska and dramas. Modern poetry bring together with reformer’s
art. The rule of three unities is broken, male part – inverted. Will
creates the world. The beginning. Good and bad (will). Woman of blood,
bones and flesh – which is body. Urged by natural laws gives birth in
pain to beauty and cruelty. Love and death.
Result of power(less) – touch
It’s a body’s fault. The source of force. Proof – tenderness and
violation, their traces on the body. Relentless lust for meat.
Insatiability of flaring blood. Broken hearts and bones. Charm of
softness of breast, rear and thighs.. Fragility – hardness. Hot –
cold. Ardour from caresses and fire of terror. Birth and death of
bodies, which are living in oppression and embrace. The show is on.
‘Shimmering space’ seems to glow. Feminine beauty is shining.
Iilluminates and extinguishes the light of hope. Shows the real lack
of hope and sudden rush of positive feelings. Delicate moves of
women’s bodies excite the senses. They fill me with wonder.
Heroine hangs… on a hanger … ‘myself’.
***In Zagora, where the great salt caravan route has been starting and
ending for centuries, where merchants, wise men, lovers has been
waited, appeared characters of Desdemona, Othello, Hermia, Romeo and
Juliet. Peculiar meeting. Surprising like a mirage. Feast for the
eyes, because the meeting was of a visually artistic kind. Full of
impressions, short and shimmering, sometimes pictures which causes
emotions, that keep you in the seat. Pictures like from Vermeer’s
world, from the borderline of painting and photography that documents reality.
In the audience, as a European women, I was in minority. Residents of Sahara become a part of this performance. With curiosity I witnessed how the audience absorbed the play. In the land of story tellers, where the word and the story still have a great value, the story in which picture and move are preponderating, moved their faces. They reacted lively, when I, European watcher, was just observing, the action on the stage. I’ve watched and experienced this performance through the eyes of residents of distant, desert southern land. I was touched when the audience hold its breath in the moments of passion, aggression, longing. For me two performances took place in one time.
Both about insatiability. About things that can take place at the edge of two varied worlds, like feminine and masculine, like Europe and Africa. About things that are inexpressible and often hidden from the rest of the eyes, the ears and the world.
Anna Sala – the author of the project “Painters of the World on
Sahara”, psychologist, art therapist, organizer of cultural activities
(…) SHIMMERING OF A SPACE
Joanna Grabowiecka’s performance was based on stories from three Shakespeare’s dramas – ‘Romeo and Juliet’, ‘Othello’ and ‘Midsummer night dream’ - placed in the reality of ‘Little soul’ by Tadeusz Różewicz. It is a miniature. Less then an hour, three actresses, two hangers, few words. The original title is “Shimmering space”. Sphere of smooth borderline, in which seemly contrasting elements are touching. Maintain in constant motion they are beating, crossing and there is no way to find out in which moment they lose their individuality. What if, in fact, they are the same?
‘I love You’
In each scene shimmering, contained in the title, embrace different spaces. The first space is love and death. Romeo and Juliet. Both cover in white, innocent, insecure, untamted. We follow the way their glances create thoughts, emotions and gestures. We observe how they get to know each other through senses. These senses will give them life, but they will also take their breath away. Because love is an eternal insatiability. Rooted in death, wielding the enormous vital power – the power of fulfilling.
‘I trust You’
What is stronger: love or death? Where is the limit of trusting other person? Can an executioner become a victim? Desdemona sacrifices herself to Othello. She wants to love with every tendon, every breath. But how to understand such gift? How not to become a victim of your own power? Death and suffering seems to be trivial in the face of eternal insatiability. Desdemona wants to die from love.
„I trust myself, I love myself”
Where lies the boundary between ‘I’ and ‘you’? What should be done to offer love as a gift of freedom and not its theft? Third scene is Hermia’s monologue. Evidence of a fight, which take place in her soul, emotions and senses. Hermia, despite of love and desire, rejected her lover. Only when she discover who she is and how much she can offer, she will know how to love and trust. It dooms her to loneliness and suffering, but it also gives her incomparable power. By strewing white powder for one moment she stops the space from shimmering. She sets a clear boundary – of trusting herself.
A particular strength of this performance lies in its maximum condensation. Actresses work with their whole body, every gesture, every glance, breath and word. This resources are used in a maximum way. But not in an overpowering way. Undeniable advantages are lightness, naturalness and sincerity, with which young actresses are moving in the space of performance.
‘Shimmering space’ is, above all, a consistent whole, in which, in a charmingly subtle but also a decided way, is shown how complex are the factors, which determinate our actions, how indistinguishable are boundaries between feelings and how senses can be misleading.
ON AND ON
I not only saw “Shimmering space” rather I lived it. Sequence by sequence. In full emotions. It was a spiritual, touching, but also a provocative trip, which reach my comfort zone within a relation, called love. While watching the performance we gain courage to ask questions, which we avoid being on our own, glancing into the bottom of our souls.
Can love be a reason of our misery, when since our earliest days we are taught that without love our live is a misery? When emotional and even the psychological harassment became necessary to keep our existential balance up against consumption and internal hollow due to emotional lost? Do we have the right to accept everything and do anything in the name of love, till the loss of our own identity, only to make the other person satisfied, regardless of moral, individual of collective, damage?
And finally do we need love to exist or does love need us?
These are only few questions that crossed my mind during the performance, when I was drunk in every detail, every emotion drawn on actresses’ faces, every gesture moving their body, every sigh, every sound, even if they spoke in foreign language. In my opinion, this only strengthen the belief that to be with another person you need more then speaking in the same language, you need more then saying ‘I love you’. You need much more.
Thank you for this extraordinary work. If I had a chance to see this performance once again, I would do that. Again and again. On and on.
pedagogue, psychologist, represents AFDOZ Association (Association du Film Documentaire de Zagora), organizer of Women’s Festival, organized in cooperation with Association des femmes de Douar Laabid pour le développement in Zagora (Morocco).
DIE FOR LOVE
”The other stage of initiation is uncovering a deviance: testing limits of the body by causing pain. In this act you can find violence, but also tenderness. Mutual pain infliction is becoming a confession of love and unity. Ecstasy of recognition is coming with a kiss. This is how you can take someone’s breath away. This is also crossing the line of body, personal space, intimacy. How much of yourself you can give to another person? How close you can be without a risk? (…)”
”There is a tribute to sex as an awakener/revivalist of the fullness of love. Tender and wise praise neither of advances and platonic endearment nor tension of desire, but a praise and a bow to fulfilment. Love is nothing else but hunger – hunger of love.(…)””“Shimmering space” is a body theatre and by flesh, blood, saliva, sperm is telling about soul. This is a performance, which is not touching but raping. Gentleness of three young actresses, sensitivity of signs is broken by turpism and corporeality. The is no point in distinguish between I like it/I don’t like it. It’s vividly, heavily, truly, obsessively and dirtily. But in the same way it’s straight and deeply. It’s a masterwork, which is, with all it’s powers, touching one’s heartstrings, throat and genitalia. (…)”
Maja Margasińska, NoirCafe