Looking is only just allowed

april 18th, 2009

Written for Springdance

The opening day of Springdance & performance festival: It is hot, tight and rather oppressive in the narrow and long hallway of the Centraal Museum. Journalists, dancers, choreographers and others are waiting for the opening of Choreographic Objects by William Forsythe. There’s hardly any space to move so I start to feel like an object myself. I’m being moved by others; someone tells me to remove my bag, and yet someone else pushes me aside gently to get by.

Finally Bettina Masuch takes the microphone and opens with a rather short and brief speech the installation and the 25th edition of Springdance. She urges us to get involved and Forsythe himself stresses to put on the vests which read a short mirrored text. So there we go! To the mirrors, to see how we can manage to rearrange these mirrors in such a way that we can actually read what is written on our back.

But the fun is cruelly interrupted by the voice of Forsythe begging us not to move the mirrors because they were carefully ordered so we could not see ourselves, not even to mention the 14 hours of polishing that went into the work. I felt like a small child whose toys are taken away. I took off the vest and in a sulk I turned my back on the mirrors walking out into the sun. Only to slip back in again seconds later, to take a peek at the other pieces.

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