Theater der Zeit

SCORES – Insert Tanzquartier Wien

Things that surround us

von Clément Layes

Erschienen in: Theater der Zeit: Je suis Charlie (02/2015)

Assoziationen: Österreich Tanz



Things that surround us (TTSU) started from a phenomenological idea, the desire to inquire into the phenomenon of the »thing«. To deal with this strange, complex, invisible act that makes a chair be a chair, a bottle be a bottle. In this sense TTSU is a slightly utopian attempt to reach things directly outside of the realm of language and the control of grammar. It follows Paul Valéry’s desire »to give the sensation without the boredom of its conveyance.« TTSU does not start with this but builds up towards it, starting with things and language, going through circles it approaches a silent promenade. As long as things are implied in a grammar, in a system, they are part of knowledge and representation, and cannot be directly experienced. To try to overcome this dictate we start by exposing things and meanings and we break them down, to the point of abstraction. TTSU is a kind of meditation on things. It relates to my practice of Vipassana, a type of meditation in which you observe; it means »to see what is«. In learning this technique you spend about ten hours a day sitting silently, and for ten days. In this time you only focus on the sensations within the body – no more meetings, internet, telephone, newspaper, radio, travelling etc. You just observe within yourself, but soon you realise that things keep spinning in the mind. Ideas, emotions and dreams come and go, beyond any control. This discovery puts any pretension of control into perspective. I wanted to stage this big turning plate that was my mind while I was sitting; the peace that sometimes arises from this contemplation, and the absurd claims of human mastery in the midst of ecological disaster. As we say in the performance, »It’s safe«

It is a well-known idea of phenomenology that we do not experience most of what we perceive but recognise it. Our behaviour is therefore conditioned by use and function. So in order to create new solutions to old problems one should disrupt this conditioning and open an area of the mind where the unknown can act again. We are looking for ways to disrupt this grammatically correct knowledge. In TTSU we practised the »automatic reading of things«, following Andre Breton’s idea aimed at promoting a different kind of consciousness, which would not be bound to reason, morality, established rules or conventions. This fundamental gesture related to things is the origin of TTSU: allow things to speak, rediscover them by any means, listen to things as they are, let go of what we would like and allow the worst and the best to appear, accept failure and success, the beautiful and the ugly, the new and the repetition. Not because they are equal, but because they are. So this is the spectacle of life, not a ready-made idea of it. In a way a chair is no more a chair that we make it. It is only a chair in a person’s mind. The reality of these things goes way beyond any category men could ascribe to it. This is true for a performance as well. That is why I have invited people to »read« TTSU through an association circle: the text printed below is the result of this group reading. Below you will also find an extract and a drawing of the various circles of the performance.


Association Circle

1 – upward spiral: emptying the object


– it’s a showing – it’s a creation of noise – it’s a mess – it’s lots of different sorts of grains – mixed languages, your own languages – this is a place to speak out – it’s a collection – it’s working – it’s a working art – it’s dealing with texture – es sind variationen von dreck – it’s a lot – it’s fun – i have respect for it – c’est un bordel – es it’st nutzlos – it’s a cleaning process – es ist auch gelb – it’s dealing with time – sisyphos – es it’st dekorativ – it’s dealing with time – es sind viele gemälde – es ist eine mittagspause – it’s a digestion system – it’s dealing with work – melange de nature – es beschäftigt – it’s dealing with time – it’s playful – it’s connected with an effort – es sind wiederholungen – it’s economic – it’s many feet, lot of noise – it’s a place to not stay over night – it’s a game – a collection game – ein treffen – es is ein kompliziertes spiel – es könnte immer so weiter gehen – es it’st das gegenteil von mülltrennung – es it’st absurd – es it’st interessanter müll – eine müllkippe – it’s only for men – it’s the inside of an outside – it is destructed focus – es it’st schund – es it’st rund – jeder kann es verteilen – it’s white, yellow and black – es it’st farbig – ich frage mich, wie oft man es sieben müsste, um alle sachen wieder auseinander zu bekommen – es ist »müll kippen«– it’s a place where money is hidden – made in china – passé – it’s passing a tsunami – mondrian sunami – it’s a robert smithson tsunami – it’s the eye of a sunami – it’s a sandy painting – it is land art – it’s the eye of a storm – es ist die abwesenheit der BVG – it’s bigger than you think – it’s a walking cliché – i is a big question – it’s fundamental – it’s ecologic fundamentalism – it’s accepting waste –it’s a tailing picture – it’s playing being workers – it’s loosing – it’s distracting – it’s the myth of ecology – it’s acceptable – it’s digestion – it’s friction – it’s the repetition of work – it’s collaboration – it has the costume of work – it pretends to work – it’s the anatomy of work – it’s the science of work – it’s the geology of work – it’s cleaning backwards – it’s classic – it’s working for humans – it’s catastrophic – it was a papagey – it’s a papagey – it’s a big bird cage – it doesn’t smell – it’s the grave of a red bird – it’s a dead parrot – it’s a murder site – it doesn’t deal with the internet – it’s non fiction – it’s analog – . . . in yellow and black again – it’s black fiction – it’s multiracial – multi cultured – it’s very old – it’s contamination – it’s dirty – it’s sucking all our attention – it raises the question how old the stones are – and where they come from
– it’s out of control – the desert is the place to be – expensive, untouchable – it’s the sun – all stones are wet – it’s uneatable – it’s uncountable – it doesn’t know where to go – it’s wrong – it’s blue – it’s confused – it’s whaa! – it’s organic – it’s poetry – it’s ok – it’s an occupation – it’s aesthetic by accident – it’s a transit – it’s trendy – it’s trendy – it’s trance – it’s trend trance – it belongs to people – it’s universal – it’s multikulti – it’s global by being local – it’s a cliché – it was bigger once – it can go on forever –it’s a trace – it’s tragic – it’s magic – it’s looking for magic – Maggie is not here – yes, she is – it’s a tool – it’s very practical – it’s using a spoon – a wishes tools – it’s a sweetheart – it goes out on saturday night evenings – it’s anywhere – it’s after an after hour – it’s a heart attack – it likes commissions – it wanted to be a successful dancer – it has skills to differ – it’s smoothing – it’s speaking garbage – it’s branded – it’s mainly from the baumarkt – it’s uploading – it’s loaded – it’s broad – this is a broad way – it’s broken down – it’s decomposed – it’s a process – it’s a natural stream – it’s a culture – it’s a cultivated natural stream – it’s a construction – it’s nature – it’s the ambiguity of concentration – expanding energy – it’s busy – it’s a whole too many – it’s completely dead – it’s artificial – and it will always occupy – it’s a crime – it cannot fly – it’s the end – it’s dirty – there was a lot power used to get it in the shape it has now – it is a problem of fashion – it’s a lot – it’s a lot power that was used to bring this in here – it’s the end of the world as we know it – it’s the world as we know it – it’s practical – it’s a loss of energy – it’s the end as the world wanted it to be – it’s the story of the end of the world – it’s the idea of the end of the world – it’s the apocalypse – in the end there is always the end of the world – the end is always going – it’s a continuous re-start – this apocalypse has a lot of patterns – it’s payable – it’s a tropical apocalypse – it’s a daily apocalypse – it’s easy – it’s waiting – it’s easy – it’s sandy – it’s randy – it’s heavy – it’s saying yes and no – it’s stumble it’s something – it kills handy – it’s action and reaction – it holds your hands – nancy grew up with it – it’s part of handies – seltene erden – blood diamonds – it’s a cocktail – it’s acting clumsy – it tries to be efficient – it tries to be different – it tries to be narration – it tries to be dance – it’s trendy – it tries to be rough – it tries to be circular – it tries not to be musical interpretation – it tries to be serious – it tries to be constructive – it tries to be present – it gives people jobs – it’s satisfying – it’s attracting people to move to berlin – it’s hard to connect it to a specific taste of ice-cream – it’s slippery – it’s discriminating other colors – it’s valorizating textures – it has desire – it’s getting more and more fantastic – it’s hardcore – it’s fresh – es ist sehr höflich – es geht gegen die uhrzeit – it’s entertainment – it doesn’t care about time – it’s german – it’s fresh made in germany – it’s a fresh german collaboration – it’s european – it has a european identity – it’s in the center – eine unschuldige multikulti nation – ein gewächs – this is grief – it’s darkness – it’s not dirt – it’s a reason – it’s a river – it’s made out of sound and light – it’s a clean shift – it’s gonna be lifted – it has the rhythm of the night – it’s transparent – it’s meditating – it’s ritual – it’s inspired – it’s a representation of a big pancake – it is on twitter – it’s a political party – it is sexually orientated – it’s the pancake in die pfanne – it’s aggressive – it’s a kingdom – it’s on the dance floor – it’s sliding – it has a lot of anger – it has a temperature – it’s like a temple – it’s like a Greenberg session – it’s a constraining – it’s drawing in circles – it’s barrack work – it’s speeding up – it’s a bastard – you can’t separate the groove from the shit and the shit from the groove – it’s a theory of poetry – it’s inviting –


2 – Downward spiral: finding an agreement


it’s a dead parrot – it’s a dead parrot in the desert – it’s what attracts people to Berlin – . . . – broken circle . . . – . it’s a circle – it’s a circus – it’s a circus – it’s the manege of a circus – it’s a manege – it’s a fresh circus in Berlin – it’s a treasure island – it’s a village – it’s a ménage à Berlin – it’s a Berlin manege – it’s going in circles – it’s a manege ménage – it’s a ménage manege – it’s a managed manege – it’s managing of ménage – it’s the management of a manege – it’s money for circus – it’s a ménage manege yes – it’s a ménage mayonnaise – it’s magic – it’s the manager of a manege ménage mayonnaise – it’s mayonnaise – it’s köstliche mayonnaise – it’s a mangeyannaise – it’s manager jazz – it’s a major circus – it’s a bionage – I pass – it’s a parrot in mayonnaise – it’s ice-cream – it’s a bio drowned parrot – it’s an image for manager – I pass – it’s a drama parrot – it’s a mamamamama – it’s amamamamamma – repeat – ménage a la mayonnaise – it’s the parrot death in the wrong manege – it’s a management of words – it’s the mayonnaise of a manege – it’s the ménage of a manege – it’s a blue mayonnaise – it is a sick manager – it’s a manege after the parrot left – the parrot is a false friend – I pass – I pass – I pass – it’s a sick but managing manager – parrot is a false friend – I pass – I pass – it was a stuffed animal – parrot is a false friend – a well done well managed friend – it’s a sick trendy false friend manager – it is a sick false friend managing – managing sick false friends – managing sick false friend – dessert parrot false friend – sick friend – sickness of a manager – I pass – it’s a sick friend – it’s the dilemma of a lame manager – it’s healing furniture – I pass – I pass – it’s managing your friends sickness – it’s manages – it’s a management manege – it’s the memory of a manager – this is my last word: it’s a major force of nature – it’s a major force of nature – it’s a major force of nature – I pass – major force of nature – I pass – major force of brooms – major force of boom – it’s the big bang still happening force – it’s the majority of nature – it’s the big bang of course – it’s the moving management manege – this is my last word: it’s the major force of men – I pass – it’s enforced nature – my last word: major force of nature – major force of nature – major mayonnaise memory ménage management – this is the rest of desire – it’s the major truth of temporality – it’s temporal proof – my last word: it’s a major manege of nature – it’s a monster – it’s a monstrous manege of nature – it’s a monstrous manege mayonnaising nature – mayonnaising nature – this is mayonnaising nature – it’s a monstrous manege – it’s a monstrous manege – it’s mayonnaising nature – mayonnaising nature – mayonnaising nature – the world is one major melancholic manege – it’s a manege – it’s a monstrous mayomanege – I pass – I pass – it’s monstrous nature – it’s monstrous – it’s a melancholic monster – this is mayonnaising the melancholy – mayonnaising the melancholy – mayonnaising melancholy makes the world go round – I pass – it’s melancholies – it’s melancholic mayonnaise . . . – it’s a maya dead monster – it’s a manès – it’s a Manet – it’s up to you – how to master melancholic mayonnaise – the mystery of melancholic mayonnaise – the melancholy mastered – the history of melancholy mastered – it’s cooking stones – it’s melancholic masturbation – the mystery of melancholic masturbation – it’s mmmmmh – it’s unisex – it’s mayonnaise – it’s a unisex false friend – it’s a unisex mmmmh – it’s a unisex mmmmh – it’s a unisex mmmh – the major force of mmmmh – my last word: it’s a management – all are born in minnesota – it’s a management – I pass – it’s a pass – I pass – major go management – a process of management – mastery mangy – it’s white head on crack and management – it’s craving management – it’s cracking management – my last word: it’s cracking managers – this is my last – breaking me apart – it’s a painful dilemma – it’s a painful dilemma – it’s a painful management – it’s a painful management – the forgiveness of pain – it’s managing – it’s i’m not managing – it’s the management of melancholia – it’s managed for it’s melancholic managements – it’s a manege of melancholic managers . . . this is my last word – this is my melancholic ground – i pass –


Association circle-February 13th toward the second showing. With: Marinus van Eldik, Margrét Sara Gudjónsdóttir, Irina Müller, Begüm Erciyas, Florian Feigl, Jasna L. Vinovrski, Tian Rotteveel, Hermann Heisig, Vincent Weber, Ruth Waldeyer, Clément Layes.

Clément Layes lives and works as a choreographer and performer in Berlin since 2008. Together with Jasna L. Vinovrski he founded the company Public in private. By the collaborative approach, they are aiming at broadening the borders of choreographic language, intriguing different thinking, perceiving and reflecting about own and about other medias.

Things that surround us by Public in private has been presented on 29 November 2014 in the context of SCORES NO9: no/things at Tanzquartier Wien.



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