Eleanor Bauer [US/BE]

Parliament Without Words

26.11 – 27.11.2011

In a festival that concentrates on the word, the choreographer and performer Eleanor Bauer is launching a counter-movement: what lies behind the words? She will set up a parliament without words together with students from PARTS.

If language is what separates humans from nonhumans, what happens when we take it away? The purpose of a parliament without words is to close this gap between humans and nonhumans, to exercise our direct relationship to things as "vibrant matter" (borrowing the words of Jane Bennett) and to experience our own bodies as such, in order to look at and convene with our physical world in an intelligent and intimate way. In a parliament without words, perhaps things and beings are mutually affective and affected.

A parliament's work creates and assigns values and meanings to material things outside and inside the parliament itself. What would happen in a parliament that relates to things not in terms of their names and the utility assigned them by humans, but as fellow members of the assembly? What would happen if those things had a voice in the conversation? The power of things as actants is happening without us, with or without our acknowledgement, with or without our giving them a voice, with or without our anthropomorphic empathy. But if we want to discover a new relationship with things, we have to start somewhere, however extreme. Parliament without words is an experiment to see how we are changing and changed by things.


concept Eleanor Bauer | performers Nestor Garcia Diaz, Pavle Heidler, Renan Martins de Oliveira, Siet Raeymaekers, Michiel Reynaert, Michiel Vandevelde | co-production PARTS | thanks to Liz Kinoshita, Adam Weig

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Kaaitheater artist-in-residence 2013-2016