Matters of Touch

Matters of Touch

Ania Nowak
Research performance 12.09 - 29.10.2017

Level 0

This is an exercise in listening to materials in their capacity to sense, coexist and become unbearably intimate. It invites to a generative practice of attention constantly oscillating between the haptic and the visual, the unknown and the discernible, the evolutionary and the momentary. Matters of Touch touches upon surfaces as zones of scintillating and micro shifting, of palpating pleasures and porous temporalities.

If, as Anne Carson writes, contact is crisis, how can engagement with touch create embodied ways of thinking and being that elude exclusion and solidification into one identity? How can the movement of pressing close become a strategy for perceiving less noticeable politics occurring on and under the surfaces of our skin? Can I touch you with the bottom of my heart?

Contemporary artistic practices that work both with and through the body are frequently perceived as intangible practices. However, the human body is tangible. Non-human entities that coexist in the environment are also bodies. Just as the tangibility of the body has been disregarded in privilege from the arguments produced, the issue of contact has been frequently understood from an anthropocentric dimension. Many of the analyses that have been carried out on the body in recent years have focused on arguments regarding the body, rather than considerations regarding its constituent tangibility. Ensuring that all bodies are of importance, calling for the political dimension that falls within all material, indicates a new morality that has consequences that are practical, and not just discursive. We need to consider the very tangibility of bodies and the interactions that are produced as a result: contact methods, experiences had, incorporated situations and biological substances that are equally as important as the arguments that we produce. These are a constituent part of said arguments. Just as we also need to consider other contact methods that do not prioritise some bodies over others.

Matters of Touch is the third of the exhibitions in the annual cycle The more we know about them, the stranger they become. Through 4 individual projects and a series of related activities, this cycle investigates the agency of the object - the system of relationships that it makes possible or includes - and the role of matter within a new paradigm shift in which the subject is displaced from the centre of the forces of knowledge and makes room for other entities. It is not so much a question of allowing objects and things to talk for themselves as of understanding and putting into practice other relationship systems in which the distribution of value between subjects and objects is more equitable and, as a result, political.

Ania Nowak (1983, Cracow) choreographs bodies, language and situations. Based in Berlin, she researches love as a strategy of generating knowledge and explores the potential of ambiguity and the in-between zones in processes of embodiment and meaning making.

By and with
Raquel Alamo Bergström
Mar Medina Diaz
Duen Xara Sacchi


Dramaturgy consultants
Julia Rodriguez
Mateusz Szymanówka

Video
Melanie Jame Wolf
Ania Nowak

Text
Irina Mutt