Garden as Contradictory Utopian Space
The research question behind this residency was inspired by a 2019 exhibition titled after Hieronymus Bosch’s 1500’s masterpiece ‘Garten der Irdischen Freuden’ at Martin Gropius Bau in Berlin. The exhibition dealt with the Anthropocene in relation to topics such as seed politics, legacies of colonialism and historical segregation. The exhibition examined the garden as a place of duality and contradiction: between harmony and chaos, exclusion and inclusion, utopia and dystopia. Further investigation led to the problematics behind the term Anthropocene and the discovery of dark ecologist Timothy Morton’s term subscendence. Subscendence simply put means the whole is lesser than the sum of its parts. Somatic practices, amongst other things, facilitate a subscendence of body, allowing the experiencer to access a cellular, neural and metabolic level of listening and understanding. Facing climate extinction, how do somatic practices allow us to re-situate ourselves as a part of a symbiotic community of plants and why is consciously breathing an act of radical resistance?
Due to travel restrictions in place because of COVID-19, Rosalind Masson and collaborator, performer and multi-media artist Florence Freitag, are involved in a long dist/dance residency with the Botanical Garden of TU Dresden with their main research partner, scientific director Dr. Barbara Ditsch. Rosalind is currently working from the Obermühle Görlitz where she lives and gardens. Florence begins her residency in Berlin – accompanied by 21 green indoor companions and a huge Feld – and will join Rosalind in May to continue their research at closer distance and present their research at the Botanical Gardens in Dresden once it reopens.
For weekly updates please visit the artists‘ blogs:
“What is a garden Rosie? Magazine for the season festival HELLERAU 2020 for download.
Rosalind Masson graduated from London Contemporary Dance school in 2006 and completed a master’s degree from DJCAD in Media Arts in 2008. In 2009, she worked at Movement Research in New York. From 2008 – 2013, she collaborated as performer and choreographer in rock, folk and contemporary music as well as performing in the work of visual artists, dance filmmakers and choreographers in Germany, the U.K and the U.S. In 2010, she began producing her own choreographic work under the title Anima(l)[us]. She has directed and produced nine live works and five works for screen which have been shown internationally. In 2014, she joined Laborgras collective based in Berlin, creating and performing in four new works under the title “The Renaissance Project”. She became vice-chair of Neiße Centre for Contemporary Arts in 2019, and continues her freelance work choreographing, collaborating, teaching and performing based in Görlitz, Saxony.
Florence Freitag is a Berlin based performer/dancer, voice-&video artist, writer, facilitator & curator, inspired by the strength of collaborative work. She is part of queer feminist Altes Finanzamt e.V., where she hosts a bi-monthly performance series, as well as the group gathering voices. She is co-founder of TanzRaumGörlitz and transatlanticbirdscrew collective, practicing embodied thinking and reflecting upon sensorial and sensual ways of being in the world. Her voice work brings attention to inner and outer landscapes, recently working with and for Federica Sosta, Lisa Stewart, Zorka Wollny, Ashley Fure & Lilleth Glimcher a.o. In 2020 Florence produced the series „What’s That Noise?“ together with Sandhya Daemgen, featured at Radialsystem and ausland, Berlin.
Under the patronage of the City of Dresden, Office for Culture and Monument Protection, the association Villa Wigman für TANZ and HELLERAU – European Centre for the Arts cooperate in “TANZPAKT Dresden”.
Funded by TANZPAKT Stadt-Land-Bund with the support of the German Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, the Saxon State Ministry for Science and the Arts*, and the City of Dresden. With thanks to the Volker Homann Foundation.
*This measure is co-financed by tax revenue on the basis of the budget approved by the Saxon state parliament.