Notes on the practice of Rósa Ómarsdóttir, Inga Huld Hákonardóttir and all those artists and performers they have been working with through Wilhelm Scream, The Valley, and Da Da Dans.
Ah ah ah as in Affinities
The search for – and playing with – affinities between movements, objects and sounds is at the heart of what Inga and Rósa do.
What does the sound ‘waaaa’ move like?
What does this swinging arm sound like in my mouth?
How would this rotating sound be if it wasn’t a movement but a lighting state?
How does this large springy tube invite me to move?
And so on, and so on...
They invite us to find affinities, solidarities, relations between things, which without their work we never would. They make stuff flirt with other stuff in slippery ways. They make lighting states flirt with sounds, they make objects flirt with bodies, they get their eyes to flirt with ours, and all that. And they make the connections between all these things feel very real and actual, but slippery too. They get us floating together in a sea of inexhaustible affinities. It feels good there – floating in the stuff with them.
Buh buh buh as in Bass and Thunder
They play with sonic frequencies that tickle our bellies, our nipples, our tongues, our butt-holes, our backs – from the comfort of the audience seats.
The bass, and the sound in general, gets busy with our insides. Somehow – the sound rumbles us top to bottom. And in doing so, we are reminded that our bodies are there with us in the theatre.
Whilst we sit there watching them search and play with potential affinities between things, we search for, and play with, these affinities too. Not just my eyes and ears – but my whole inside and outside.
My nipples are listening, my asshole too. My hairs – head to toe – are tuning in. My eyelashes are singing with the theremin, you know. And so on, and such. My liver, my kidneys, my heart too, of course.
And in the end – this is what their work does – it asks me to listen and listen again. And in doing so – as I listen – I start to wonder how other people might be listening. As well as, how other things might be listening to other things as well – you know.
Eh eh eh as in Empathy
We might also call it empathy – what they ask us to do. A sensual, generous, excessive, giving, slippery, weird and curious kind of empathising – where we tune into things that are busy tuning other things. An empathy network. Sounds empathising with movements that are busy empathising with lights that are busy empathising costumes, and so on and such – where the unexpected affinities, relations and temporary solidarities between things are animated.
Fuh fuh fuh as in Feeling
Feeling each other’s feelings. Feeling each other’s weirder feelings even, because we are, in this practise, revelling in revealing the otherwise silent part of things, the otherwise invisible, unheard, yet-to-be sensed bits.
Puh puh puh as in Pleasure
It is an orgy of sorts. Objects pleasuring movements, movements pleasuring costumes, costumes pleasuring lights, light pleasuring objects, and so on.
Wuh wuh wuh as in Weirding
Weird listening, weird empathy, weird flirting that weirds things and weirds us.
There are many letters missing – it would also be great to write about puh puh precision, about u u unison, about dah dah daniel linehan, about the puh puh post-anthropocene, about cuh cuh co-authorship, but later. Or never. Not for now at least.