Elien Ronse: A and E

20 minute presentation for AEROPONIC ACTS  - growing roots in air, DAI's 3 day marathon of lecture-perfomance acts, May 2019.

A and E live together in Belfast, in Northern Ireland, one night they take the car and go shopping together in the supermarket 200 meters away from their home. The building is huge and they walk all the aisles one by one so they are sure they won’t forget anything. Between the herbs and spices they notice a lamp a bit different than the other ones.

Ana Teixeira Pinto, Ghalya Saadawi, Laura Harris and Rachel O’Reilly responded to the question:

How much do you want to be someone?

Report by Ayesha Hameed:

A story told of a dancing lamp in Tesco, moves to objects with the word ‘home’ in different homes. The narrator buys these letters to take with her wherever she goes, in a presentation that hones in on such small details. Characters are named after letters of the alphabet. A video is juxtaposed with a live desktop camera that undoes the images while the story being told reverses contexts or transposes objects and gestures from one story/image to another: dancing figurines are followed by dancing figures on the street; hair filled with nuts is combed with a fork; strange geometries of letters; shoes with heels cut out; teeth brushed by a toothbrush pasted to the wall. A text often sets up a situation: a cryptic fabular scenario punctuated by a short trip. The changing of hours into minutes raises the question: How do you live your life? 

Rachel O’Reilly said the pathos in the presentation drew from Angela Mitropoulos’ ‘Oikonomia,’ where risk, home and family as infrastructure is brought into an array. She appreciated how it ‘brings into focus the fullest contradictions of our times,’ and asked: ‘Who can take those risks presented here?’ 

Laura Harris saw the frame as a set of math problems where absurdity and neoliberal abstractions are taken to the limit. She said this frame brought to mind challenges in collectivity and collective cohabitation. The complex use of film with a double screen and jump cuts made it clear that much care went into the piece, she concluded. 

Ghalya Saadawi found it interesting to consider what made it funny and the uncanny in the everyday object. She said the presentation, in the same way that children learn sociality through copying, undid its own imitation, a formal approach to looking that was successful. 

Ana Texeira Pinto thought this was a masterful way of asking big questions in small places: ‘It highlights the way neoliberalism creates false equivalences. You invert these relations and still find gentleness in the process. The humour is never jarring.’


About Elien Ronse