“Love, despite its toxicity and violence…”

“Love, despite its toxicity and violence…”

Keith’s director’s notes for Turbulence…..for now:
Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine revealed how many of us have prioritized
human rights issues (and identity politics) at the expense of economic
injustice and more lasting structural change. I set out, over two years ago,
to challenge my own ignorance about financialization, about the roots of
economic turbulence, and to sharpen my understanding of extreme wealth
disparity. The mythological association of capitalism to democracy to
freedom must be troubled, contested, and ultimately destroyed. Ok that’s a
manifesto. How can a manifesto inspire a dance?

Foolishly, I decided to make a BIG BIG project during a time of economic
contraction and precarity for most artists. Of course precarity and violence
for the vast majority is directly linked to an overwhelming concentration in
the offshore tax free accounts of the very few. My rage is always close to
the surface but the bank bailouts really pissed me off. And somehow I¹ve
received much more money to make this work than I’ve ever received before.
So I¹m paying as many artists as I can to play with me, to ask questions and
share their bodies, and to collaborate in making a poetic response to the
economy. In the studio and on stage, Halberstam¹s Queer Art of Failure
dialogues with academic texts on neoliberal financialization and activist
tracts from Occupy blogs. I propose movement scores about unsustainable
structures and others respond with personal stories that reveal gender and
racial class hierarchies. We work on everything at once, producing almost
nothing coherent or clear.

We joke that Turbulence is a failed political theater collective. We
recognize the critique that contemporary dancers embody the ultimate
neoliberal subject: dedicated to individual freedoms we are always working
and rarely payed, prioritizing career over community we are internationally
mobile, serving corporations who acknowledge us only as free content
providers on facebook and youtube. And still we play, theorize, dream and
struggle in a queer utopia of our own collective imagining and embodiment.
Without delivering a coherent critique nor a totalizing vision of resistance
and reconstruction, we hope to inspire broader public engagement, discussion
and action with regards to the economy, particularly its violence,
corruption, and injustice.

A couple of quotes that I carry into the studio with me:
1. All clarity is ideological (Trinh T. Minh-ha)
2. Love, despite its toxicity and violence, can bring us closer to the
possibility of expressing human tenderness. If one is ambitious enough to
want to create a shared history, then one must be willing to risk an
impossible dance, one that pivots on a desire to outmuscle exhaustion, a
desire alive to our wavering capacities to bestow and receive responses, and
an apparently insatiable desire to question these capacities and what
motivates and blocks them, repeatedly. (Peggy Phelan)

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