Mette Ingvartsen

Date: 15/09/2006
Place: Mette's kitchen

When Mette Ingvartsen was still in school, there was a lot of sharing and exchange between students. There existed a kind of community created by the structure of the school where you automatically belonged to as a student. When she left school, she felt the need for a community to continue the discourse she and others had started at P.A.R.T.S.. Ingvartsen likes to exchange and to take part in other people’s processes and work. At this moment she feels part of a community that arose from P.A.R.T.S.. Brussels does not feel like home to her. Home would be a place where she felt she could stay for the rest of her life. She thinks of Brussels as a boring city that is very convenient to concentrate and work. Because so little happens, you do not get distracted and it is easy to focus yourself.
The idea of community is very present in Ingvartsen’s work. She likes to examine the idea of mobility and the new structures of thinking enabled by new media. She feels recognized by the larger dance community and her investigations seem to interest others. But most important is her own recognition, that her work is valuable to herself. That does not mean that criticism leaves her cold; it does affect her when the people that are close to her are sceptical about her work. She thinks it is very important for everyone in the dance field to engage in discussions, whether you like a certain piece or not.
Ingvartsen feels a strong need for non-productive work. It is important to exchange without having necessarily a product as an outcome. Not everything should be ‘instrumentalized’ for product’s sake. It can be as important to produce tools to work with. In her life, the borders between the professional and the social are sometimes blurry. There exists an interesting field between the two: the conversations and discussions with others that might or might not result in new projects.
She notices how the notion of ‘self-organisation’ is much stronger in Eastern than it is in Western Europe. In Western Europe there already exist good work conditions for the performance field, so there is no need for the dance community to organize classes etc. There are places to work, residencies and possibilities to get money. In Eastern Europe there are not as many institutions that organize all this so the performance field has to set up its own initiatives in some way. The Western approach is much more liberal and individualized with people trying to make their way on their own. The trend to be an author producing work is very strong and omnipresent: the subvention and education system are also focussed on individuals. P.A.R.T.S. for example pushes its students to become authors.

little suburban city – develop tools – open source – representation – media – artistic isolation – enclosure – fruitful – self-organisation – promising – education – discourse – protocols – software – actualization process – code – frustrated – authorship position – formats – assessment – analytical mind – survival strategies – vulnerable position – eating out


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