What would it mean for choreography to perform as an exhibition? In Wiels, Brussels, this question formed the point of departure for the ‘exhibition’ Work/Travail/Arbeid of Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker (1960), the well-known Flemish choreographer.
For Wiels De Keersmaeker rethought and reimagined a previous piece, titled Vortex Temporum, for the different spatial, temporal and perceptual conditions of a white cube space for visual arts. Different was also the duration of this new piece, nine weeks. This meant that the dance performance was, like a regular exhibition, accessible to the public and continuously performed during the official and regular opening hours of the art center. What originally was created and performed as a stage piece with a condensed time and space, was thus completely reinvented. This resulted in a transformation of the material and conditions that are essential in dance.
Five days a week, seven hours a day of only dance dance dance. Is the visitor only viewer or participant, an active or passive figure? Observing and experiencing men and women moving around the different exhibition spaces of the art center is the key in an attempt to comprehend what De Keersmaeker’s intention is, whether ambitious and unusual or futile and unsuccessful it might be.
Work/Travail/Arbeid, a project of Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker in collaboration with Rosas, was performed in Wiels, Brussels, until 17 May 2015.