Alien Resident

To take a closer look at the lives and practices in the performing arts community pulled around by nomadism and embedment, national policies and transnational migrations, Alien resident will scan the current situation through the stories and views of several people and bring them into the theatre to allow for debate. Sarma has invited the following people, who will all present artistic, philosophical and political reflections upon the problematic. All the interventions are specifically conceived for Alien resident, which will be moderated by curators Jeroen Peeters and Myriam Van Imschoot.

The American choreographer and performer Eleanor Bauer, alien resident in Brussels, conducted a series of interviews with artists, critics, producers, and dramaturges from the Brussels dance community, pursuing the question what a ‘community’ actually consists of in times of transnational mobility. This research has a sociological side that yields insights which are also relevant to the context of the Berlin dance community. The diversity of materials (audio files, drawings, photographs…) and the multitude of voices will inspire Bauer’s artistic project that seeks to voice the multiple, roaming identities that inhabit her own situation.

Film maker Jorge Leon, a long-time collaborator of Meg Stuart, presents a new work based on an interview with the former dancer Ronald Burchi. After training as a classical dancer in the USA, the American Burchi used to live and work in Europe in the early nineties, didn’t manage to tie work permits to his actual working situation and ended up with an illegal status – a situation which is actually more common in the dance world than we know or want to admit –, to eventually go through a legalisation procedure in Belgium. Burchi’s story sheds light on the many realities of the alien resident, but also allows Jorge Leon to further develop his artistic research on the format of the video interview as a potential portrait.

The performance artist, curator and writer Mårten Spångberg develops since a few years collaborative projects under the label ‘International Festival’ ( Their project The Theatre seeks to build a full-scale transportable theatre that can be used by others to realise a variety of programmes and activities, “as a possible re-articulation of the circulation of performance practices in Europe.” What has happened to theatre? Has it lost its very specificity to be a site where individuals share and exchange in processes of subjectification? Spångberg will address the question what the scope of theatre and performance is in times of mass mobility and communication.

The philosopher Dieter Lesage has edited the publication A portrait of the artist as a resident, which includes views upon the problematic of the artist’s residency by a group of ‘daily life experts’. Their stories allow us to diagnose the current situation, point at its symptoms and contradictions. Taking the publication as a starting point, Lesage will unfold a theoretical and political perspective upon the questions brought up by the contributing authors in a lecture: ‘A Portrait of the Artist as a Resident (remix)’.

How do we move on and create a window for the future? Meg Stuart will absorb the issues and energies of the discursive event Alien resident and channel them into an intervention to launch a concluding panel discussion with all the guests.

Alien Resident 17|12|2006
Berlin , Germany

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