marcela levi

Julia Ostwald
TQW Magazin
fevereiro 2018

A kiss is the beginning of cannibalism

Marcela Levi and Lucía Russo expose us in "Boca de Ferro" a body that becomes ecstatic swirling world that liquefies trembling with excitement that leads chimerically ad absurdum differences of nature and culture, male and female. In the following, as marginal notes some concepts are noted, which seem to vibrate in this one-hour electrification.

Abruptly he is there - on the edge: the dancer Ícaro dos Passos Gaya meanders between the entrants, circulates around his own axis, elbows twitch at an angle between body and periphery, spread fingers, eyes twisted, mouth open, tongue outstretched. Pounding against the ground, the rhythm of the feet screwed into the ear.

Sweat drips red from the color of the face, more a distorted mask. Set pieces of theatricalized scenes move through the poses and gestures of the performer. There are no directions, the center becomes the periphery becomes the center.

Oswald de Andrade's Anthropophages Manifesto, published in 1924, outlines the alien-inheriting, self-appropriating man-eater as a radical figure of resistance to colonial power structures based on the distinction between reason and body, west and non-west. Devouring knows no separation in body and mind, only the change of forms - "anthropomorphism" [2].

The anthropophage repeal of self and alien produces a body whose only constant is the exchange, as Andrade notes: "From the equation I, as part of the cosmos to the axiom cosmos, as part of the ego. Self-preservation. Knowledge. Anthropophagy. "[3] Ícaro dos Passos Gaya's fluid body, which seems to enter into other alliances with every step, gesture and beat, and exudes itself in exchange for the world, disturbs any attempt at a stifling identification with which the traditional Western Look body objectively trying to make it so loud Andrade "[k] adaverized". [4]

The body here is living on the verge of life and death. In his excessive waste of himself, he recalls Bataille's idea of "unproductive expenditure" [5], which sees man as the essence of abundance, of excess, shaped by an economy of exchange and communication. In doing so, he anchors the lower, frightening, disgusting, shifted to the colonial Other as a fundamental part of existence, in which "high" and "low" are inseparable. This is emblematic in the illustration of the Acéphale - that is, the headless - from the title page of the eponymous magazine he founded in 1936. The figure with the head in the step creates a subjectivity that moves thought into the guts and does not separate reason and sexuality.

Sudden pause, it trembles, quivers, spans, presses until something bursts out. The birth always returns. Shots pop: death, fluttering wing resurrected. Swirling in the world absorbing, dripping with sweat pouring into it.

Michail Bachtin [6] presents the grotesque body based on Rabelais' romance cycle from the mid-16th century to the two giants Gargantua and Pantagruel as a paradigmatic means of incorporating the dominant religious civilization by the folksy laughing culture. The body of the individual is here not understood by the world, but understood as part of the comprehensive cosmos - just as life itself is thought of as something cyclical, unfinished, in which dying and being born are not at different ends of the scale. Accordingly, the giants change their sizes, become even landscapes or is Pantagruels mouth temporarily inhabited by the narrator. The body openings - especially the torn open mouth - are connecting gates between inside and outside, which can be crossed at any time in both directions. It is above all liquids that connect the human body and the body of the world. So Rabelais describes how the urine of the giant Pantagruel flows in such quantities that it comes to a deluge, elsewhere the earth sweats profusely, her sweat eventually forms the seas.

In a similar way, the dancer spreads through his dripping sweat in the world. His skin is not a disciplined, closed, but the sweat marks an uncontrollable liquefaction of the border lines, which is known to have been stereotypically attributed to the female in Western tradition.

Overwhelmed music: The "Crocodile" sings for us. The voice as a means of liquidation: "Bonsoir", "Let's go", "Love", "Maismaismaismaismais ...". Haltless giggling. Retort voices, each singling out their own drama, rapping, screaming, whispering, decentralized from a different direction. There is no direction. Fragile beauty of a Renaissance painting, pulling all the outside inward, moving the hips to the side, slowly lifting one slightly opened hand, the other approaching the body, a tongue instead of lips, the head glowing red, the penis tied up with pink ribbons. "Beleza".

The fragmented voices patter on the performer, who at the same time devours them and spits them out again as reclaimed sounds. Instead of a duality of eating and speaking, body and language [8], the language itself is digested here and made into self-alienating viscera. In contrast to the gaze, listening causes disorientation; in its non-fixability, it is comparable to fluidity. In her feminist essay "Laughing the Medusa" [8], Hélène Cixous shifts the perspective of the deadly gaze of the Medusa to her laughing, shrieking voice that echoes from the many mouths of the serpents that make up her hair. Instead of the headless, in which the head and sex become one, here it is the one that consists of nothing but a head that collapses static identity through its many-headedness and polyphony. The fluidity of the sexuality of the voices in "Boca de Ferro", despite the sexually charged intensity, leads to an A-sexuality that has nothing to do with traditional differences.

In the current climate of reawakening myths of closed identities and supposedly autonomous, "original" (national) cultures, the grotesquely disorganized, exhaustive and inherent world - and in this sense social - body experiences new relevance. Just as we stand with the world in a mutual relationship with the first breath or already as a body in the body, it is the irreversible process of acquiring, rewriting, or deconstructing, through which culture is always deconstructed and reconstructed.

It is not the grotesque body that breaks the norms, but, on the contrary, a society that sees its bodies as identical, autonomous, and supposedly rational, giving birth to monsters.

Julia Ostwald studied dance education (B.A., Fontys Dansacademie Tilburg, NL / Escola Superior de Dança, Lisbon) and dance studies (M.A., FU Berlin / University of Antwerp). For many years she has worked independently as a dance mediator. Since 2016 she is supervising by Nicole Haitzinger the doctoral studies at the University of Salzburg to the voice in the dance and is there as a scientific project assistant at the doctoral college "sex_transkulturell" and at the Department of Dance Science.

[1] Georges Batailles.
[2] Oswald de Andrade, Anthropophages Manifesto, in Oliver Precht (ed.), Manifeste, Vienna 2016.
[3] Ibid.
[4] Ibid.
[5] Georges Bataille, The Concept of Exhaustion (1933), in the., Theoretical Work Vol. 1: The Abolition of Economics, Munich 1975.
[6] Michail Bachtin, Rabelais and his world. Folk culture as a counterculture, Frankfurt / M. 1995th
[7] Ibid.
[8] Cf. Deleuze, Logik der Sinn, Frankfurt / M. 1,993th
[9] Hélène Cixous, The Laughter of the Medusa, Vienna 2013.