Inspired by Camus’  The Myth of Sisyphus, this performance sets out to depict the clash between human life’s inherent lack of value or promise and its exigency for a rational search for meaning. Our performance deals with the question of: to what extent are we conditioned by our embedded programming?.

This absurd found in oneself is portrayed through the modes of alienation of the body implicit in the traditional forms life and labor, customs, geographical and cultural origin.

Through their process of research the two artists have come to the conclusion that we are largely conditioned by our cultural heritage. It is only through the conscious and cognitive examination of our traditions; that we may gain the freedom to chose those aspects of our traditions which are of importance to us or to transform them into today’s context. This manner of thinking is used to discover our deeply inherited regimes of existence that we have assumed from our parents and ancestors, as well as through the imposition of social patterns.

Awakening is a unique form of performance: a shared, inter-corporeal and inter-genre, experience of rudimentary states of the flesh stamped in a mythic, phantasmagoric, polymorphous and dynamic, intermixture of ‘proto-bodies’, animate body parts, and graphic acts evocative of Empedocles’ cosmogony and Camus’ insight into the myth of Sisyphus.

This performance is the result of a meeting between a visual artist: Emilie Jagica and a choreographer/dancer: Anikó Kiss. The two artists’ basic mode of work is that of mutual incitement and affront that strips their bodies and movements of their everyday meaning. It contextualizes itself in its own visual traces and leads, through trial and error, to the co-creation of a scenography slowly unraveling a plot of facing and revolt, a facing of the unresponsiveness of nature and a revolt against the senselessness of the traditional categories of human life. The activities of both of these artists associate with today’s mankind; their constant need to aspire, their necessity to work; the monotonous, mechanical exercise of life; while at the same time it reveals the key to gaining a sense of life, which may be found through creativity, through child-like (sincere) joy and through the experience of a new insight.

The location of the performance is in the context of an arena, wherein the audience has the opportunity to observe the flow of events from an unusual angel, while on the other hand the performers appear as if they were trapped in. Each action, preparation, or scene adjustment takes place in front of the viewer’s eyes. Through on-sight heavy physical work, these two artists oppose theatrical magic. In this manner, the created installations modify from one scene to the next by forming a new element of expression, which balances on the edge of performance and other theater genres.

Throughout the performance, both actors are on sight, there are no other associates behind the scenery, yet with their creations they build the terrain in vertical and horizontal terms. The visual world of this performance depicts the alternating qualities of minimalism and chaos, but in contrast to this, in its entirety it remains as one purified unit. Consistently used instruments such as paper, wood, nylon and various shades of paint, also carry one very important symbolic strength within them. In this presentation, paper is used as a basic tool of expression and is revived through drawings, sculptures and costumes. All events are continuously taking place in front of the viewer’s eyes. One can not ignore the emphasis on current creative processes as well as on simultaneous bodily expression.

In the performance we can see ancient motifs such as cave drawings of primordial peoples.

The energy pulsating between these two creators/performers is the driving force of this performance. Their approach is in correlation with the modern Japanese Butoh dance.



Text by Anikó Kiss & Emilia Jagica
Photo credits: Szerda Zsofi