«Trigger is a time-specific one: it arrives, gets organised, and finally evaporates». Conversation with Annamaria Ajmone
Your work, Trigger, is part of the wider project Pratiche di abitazione temporanea (Practices of temporary residence). What is it about?
In 2015 Virgilio Sieni invited me to the Biennale College: on that occasion, he devised an action inside the squero di San Trovaso (in Venice, a “squero” is a boatyard where traditional boats are built and repaired). Afterwards, I often found myself working outside theatre spaces. Pratiche di abitazione temporanea is a name I conceived with Giulia Basaglia, who was helping me with the organisation of the work at that time, with the aim of gathering a set of diverse experiences, an “archipelago” of choreographic actions that have in common a similar performative approach. Dance as a multi-stage path, with stopping places and temporary residences aimed at creating a journey which connects different spaces. This creates an inevitable spatial, temporal and perceptive transformation of the chosen place. I would say that it is not a site-specific action, but a time-specific one: it arrives, gets organised and finally evaporates.
How does the place affect the performance, which you define “a mobile system”?
Amongst these actions, Trigger is the only transferable one. It was conceived so that it could be rearranged in different spaces, while remaining clearly recognisable: the only condition is that the room is large enough to contain it. When I started to imagine Trigger, I was aware that it would not be possible to reharse, nor to observe with attention the assigned rooms except on the very same day of the performance – which was originally divided into two parts, Trigger side A and Trigger side B. This is why we had also chosen a mixtape by Palm Wine, recorded on two sides: side A was the daytime zone and side B the nighttime zone. On that occasion, Virgilio Sieni had invited me to create a single performance for two separate spaces (Palazzo Pitti and Cango). So I imagined sort of a “survival kit”, which could be rearranged in a different way depending on the place. The kit is composed by a rectangle, which I inscribe in the space every time, and by a series of compositional tasks. The audience marks the limit of the rectangle, thus creating two areas: one inside the rectagle and one outside, and they communicate so as to allow the use of the whole room for the action. However, for each place we need to think in advance about lighting (I prefer natural lighting, but it is often not possible) and sound, which needs to be amplified so as to fill the space completely. Finally, I need to rearrange entirely the choreographic structure in accordance with the two areas I define.
What is the soundtrack of the performance and why this choice?
Palm Wine is the pseudonym of the musical project by Simone Bertuzzi, Hypnomaghia, published by Musica Moderna. It is built on decreasing fluxes and conceived as an archeological run which unfolds between South American dance music, field recording repertoires, soft psychedelia and dub. I opted for this musical choice because I needed to create a sound environment which kept on changing slowly, creating rythm and diversity in the landscape which is being crossed. As I mentioned earlier, Trigger was originally composed of two consecutive actions which took place in two different spaces. The use of a tape with two sides, from daytime to nighttime, was conceptually linked to the two sides of the performance.
Your research is very peculiar, because the choreographic score is composed during the performance. What does this mean and how does your compositional work take place?
The choreographic score is composed of a spatial draft, which is renewed in each situation but is outlined before going on stage; and of a series of tasks with directions of diverse technical, rythmic and termical nature. All these elements become my alphabet in the composition. There are also some fixed elements which, for instance, connect a given point in space with a given musical moment and a precise choreographic reference. Trigger is composed of elements which are translated and revised instantly, completely improvised areas and fixed moments which help me not to be completely free; which may be very risky in the context of a 20-minute time frame, whereas I adopt this technique in other works of extended duration, like two or three hours.
What is the role of the audience, which sits along the sides of the performative area and shares the stage with the performance?
I like the idea of acting around the public, but unlike other actions which are part of the “practical” series, in this case I had the audience seated, so as to create a limit for movement: in order to follow the performance they need to get organised, turn around, search, because I am not visible to everyone at any time. I play a lot with proximity, in a way which is never intrusive but definitely “termical”. Therefore, all viewers have their own vision; and also, I believe, a different experience according to how I moved in the space and also in relation to the proximity or distance I have kept.
What do you expect from this edition of NID Platform?
To be totally honest, I hope it is a chance for my work to be seen and presented in different contexts.
Graduated in Lettere moderne and at Scuola di Arte Drammatica Paolo Grassi (where she hold a degree in Dance). In 2013 she creates [In]Quiete, selected for premio Equilibrio 2014 when she won a special prize. In 2014 she creates the work Tiny with which she wins Dnappunti coreografici 2014, premiered at RomaEuropa Festival 2015, and presented at Biennale Danza Festival di Venezia. Since 2015 she’s working on an ongoing proeject titled Pratiche di abitazio- ni temporanea, a serie an site-specific actions. The project was presented in Milan (Solo, Fondazione Prada), Venice (Buan, Biennale College), Florence (Trigger, Palazzo Pitti e Cango), Paris (Innesti, Istituto Italiano di Cultura), Los Angeles, (De La, Night Gallery), Reggio Emilia (Antala, Musei Civici), Milano (Slide in B, Bonotto Edition). In Biennale Danza 2016 she presented Imaginary garden with a real tods in them. She won the prize “Best young Italian Performer 2015” for Danza&Danza.
Interview by Lisa Cadamuro, NID Platform staff
Translation by Chiara Andreola, NID Platform staff