Installation - Dance - Performance
Uplifting Attractions 2019 - Fabian Barba

Een project van Fabian Barba, Marisa Cabal, Tuur Marinus 

(A Dutch version of this text will follow soon) 

This performance-installation by Fabian Barba, Marisa Cabal and Tuur Marinus can be considered an ode to gravity: material poems to the force of attraction between Earth and ourselves (and between every body, for that matter). Gravity is part of our daily lives, it makes itself felt at every moment (our own weight), and yet we have learned to overlook it. Uplifting attractions is an ensemble of structures that invites us to contemplate, feel and play with gravity. Through ropes, pulleys and very simple mechanisms we redirect gravity so as to allow it to move us in different directions. Here, though gravity always pulls down (towards the center of the Earth), we are empowered to move up. Indeed, all the structures of uplifting attractions allow us to leave the ground, to be temporarily suspended on unstable equilibrium.

And yet, the bodies that thus leave the floor are not ethereal. They don’t lift up as if animated by some fairy-like immaterial constitution. They are uplifted because of their existence in the midst of extreme (material, bodily) tensions. The bodies are allowed to move up because they are pulled in opposite directions. The tensions that arise in this encounter of opposites -opposites that do not cancel one another, but that meet through complex dynamics - are at the core of this project. Thus, somewhere between lightness and heaviness, falling and levitating become partners of the same dance; gravity flirts with its own suspension; and every structure of uplifting attractions shows the tricks that make its magic possible.

Gravity might be what keeps our universe together, spinning in a fragile equilibrium that has taken millions of years to be found. Gravity, on the surface of the Earth and on the confines of the cosmos, has made our existence possible. Resting upon it, other complex systems of dynamic equilibrium have become the cradle of our little lives, equilibriums we have upset to the extreme of endangering the continuity of our own being. Uplifting attractions are songs to the beauty and fragility of our belongingness to this interconnected balance. Having no goal, they’re but the time to wander through our inter-relationality.

Extending upon the principle of the coexistence of dualities, these structures are not only to be observed by the public. Visitors will also be invited to participate and try out the structures by themselves becoming observers and participants. From previous attempts, we have noticed that when the structures are activated by performers who know the structures, the equilibrium and functioning of the structures appears as common-sensical. However, when a newcomer connects itself to the structures, the re-aligned play of forces and the difficulty at finding the right balance makes itself present. To the poised and calm activation of the structures by the performers, follows the playful and quasi carnivalesque recreation of the visitors.

(A Dutch version of this text will follow soon) 

Creation & performance Busy Rocks - Fabian Barba, Marisa Cabal, Tuur Marinus Technique Joppe Wouters Costumes Busy Rocks Executive production and diffusion Caravan Production Production C-Takt (Dommelhof) Thanks to Le Cyclop (Milly La Forêt), La Manufacture (Lausanne), KAAP (Oostende)