Mette Ingvartsen: evaporated landscapes. 25.02.2017, HAU3, Berlin

“People call it an installation, whereas to me it’s a choreography”, said choreographer Mette Ingvartsen for her piece evaporated landscape, during the highly theoretical artist talk Thing | Dark | Speculation | Word : a conversation with Mette Ingvartsen’s works with renowned dance theorist André Lepecki at Hebbel am Ufer.

evaporated landscapes (2009), recently shown as a part of the choreographer’s retrospective, is a radical attempt to remove the dancer’s body from the stage – reminiscent of Malevich’s Black Square (1915) that was painted on top of a figurative painting – and challenge what is considered as choreography. In the piece, rather than dancing bodies, the audience watches the melting ice blocks like icebergs that seem to contain natural light inside, steam recalling a river or fog, as well as soap bubbles that slowly transform into the rain, lightning bugs and ember of a fireplace. Air, fire and water accompanied by the sounds of nature.

Using simple techniques with the help of spotlights, soap bubble machines and steam machines – all hues of blues, reds, oranges, pinks change the appearance of the objects – Ingvartsen generates a man-made landscape, in which sound tags along with to create the atmosphere, however, one should also stress that the use of mimetic sounds decreased the effect of the images and pulled us back to the earth instead of offering a possible high without any substance.

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