Nash Caldera: What is home for a corm?
‘Aeroponic’ – root systems nourished by air – Acts is the name given to the nomadic Dutch Art Institute’s final Kitchen presentations. Each participant addresses one question, as a practice of engagement.
Here you will find the documentation of Nash Caldera's presentation as filmed by Baha Görkem Yalım. The written report is by Hubert Gromny and it includes a summary of the comments by esteemed guest respondents.
VIDEO COMING SOON
What is home for a corm?
Nash's question: What is home for a corm?
and then we collide,
collide and transform into new forms
We are the corm, the root of the plantain tree
We can complicate the idea of home
Cause we’ve been moving for so long.
Caribbean, Latino America.
Hubert's report: The audience enters a bright space filled with daylight. In the center a delicate, beige textile floats from the ceiling. It is surrounded with stripes of fabric in shades of bronze placed on the floor radiating from the center. On one side of the room the images of Curaçao are displayed on the vertically placed TV screen. The audience settles in the space. After a brief moment Nash enters from the back door wearing orange robe and a ceremonial hairdo. Tapping the rhythm on percussive instrument clavo she leads a group of performers into the space (Miyoung Cheng, Dandelion Eghosa, Iliada Charalampous, Nagham Abu Assaf, Marilú Mapengo Námoda, Alexandra Martens Serrano, Rhodé Visser). Each of them is wearing a beige or bronze sash. They circulate in the space, picking up two stripes of the material. They put their ends in their mouth and begin to braid them. The rhythm changes while loud distorted music comes from the speakers. The sound of clavo is prevails in its presence, adjusting to its rhythm Nash start to recite text and dance sublty. The group attunes to the rhythm as well, exchange braids and surrounds Nash, who is now standing motionless. Performers attach braided textile to her hair. After a pause in music Nash begin to spin and clap, while another song is coming out of the speaker. Morena Buser light up incense. The sound of the songs is not distorted anymore and the audience join in clapping and unite in dancing. With the ascension of the rhythm collective clapping turns into applause. Nash leaves the space and comes back with her hair untangled.
Ana Teixeira Pinto reacted to the question What is home for corm? She reflected on the foundational character of the roots and their connection to the land. As such roots have an ability to bring home back. The roots are bringing fear to land-owning gentry, as they signify nature, which cannot be controlled. This notion of nature was constructed on the colonial frontier and delimited the framework of possible encounters with the environment. Referring to the larger body of work of Nash Ana highlighted the theme of home as re-appearing and observed that many other students are working around the topic of the calming space, space which could be called home, space which could recover for what has been lost. The effort of recovering home is often troubling as the space of home is nowhere and everywhere at the same time. In this performance the notion of home is localized and refers to Curaçao. The piece is operating as a recuperation. It does not erase the violence of colonial processes, which cannot be easily metabolized in the body, but it searches for moments of joy that make life worth living despite multidimensional forms of oppression.
Phanuel Antwi shared that the ceremonies and rituals in the piece posed a challenge to him. The piece being offered as a gift asked Phanuel to situate himself in relation to it. Joining in dance and participating in the performance was an invitation to a temporary community created here and now. Being in a position of the respondent posed a challenge to speak in front of this community immediately after its end. Dance became a way home in the work. Phanuel invoked an essay by bell hooks Homeplace as a Site of Resistance, which speaks about how Black women are able to find ways to make home despite the everyday struggles they face. Home is more than a site of safety and comfort, it is also a site of struggle. The piece itself invited participants to see the inseparability between the land, the living and the dead. Phanuel drew attention that Nash was performing barefoot, which marks the grounding and union with the place. The materialization of home which happened during the presentation was the motion of the spirit existing in another worldliness than a simply material one. The specific elements of the performance such as clavo, drums, braid and ceremonial preparation of hair has brought an audience back to the ground revealing that the underworld is living within the community.
Aziza Harmel shared her was thinking about the soil during the performance. Soil as being composed of both life and death is a repository material but also a spiritual world and as such allows thinking of interdependency between elements, which constitutes it. The interdependency, which could exist also between human beings has both negative and positive aspects. The violence, in that sense, is impossible to be disentangled from the life of the soil, which presents the community with the struggle of constant transformation. Reflecting on the presentation Chiara noted that it was a very generous gesture as an act of sharing and act of invitation. Through this gesture each person in the room had to reflect in one way or another on the complex positionalities present in the space in order to encounter life, death and struggle.
Nash Caldera's "What is home for a corm?" was presented before live audience at the Centrale Fies, Dro, Italy on July 10th.
Find the overview of all 24 AEROPONIC ACTS 2022 here: tuttə (le) rottə - all (the) ways: unfixed