Iga Świeściak: photogenic property triplet

‘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 Iga Świeściak'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.

photogenic property triplet

Iga's question: How wide must the cut of cutting edge technology be, to shove inside a cardboard box of aggressively mating ferrets?

Iga's introduction:

this particular slice of time somehow sparklier

and extra experienceable extra extractable

part of it being already chopped (into pickpocket video genre)

clutch onto its gestures -> them far gone, oh


but cramp that duration the fuck in, 

it wants out but can't has no right to


gurgle the froth of its niceness

hold this image and eat it. (skin it, slay it, exxxcrement it)

Hubert's report: Three TV screens mounted on metal stands are facing each other and together with three sculptural objects demarcate the circular space where the performance takes place. Three performers (Iga Świeściak, Dylan Spencer, Hanah Jones) wear similar, tight body costumes, with a small cable attached to it between their legs. Video on the TVs is a life screening from the phone held by Dylan, the sculptural objects resemble technological devices of unknown purpose. Another element of the presentation is a soundscape created with use of various tools by the fourth performer located on the side (Miel Ferraez). The three performers in costumes start moving according to the sounds in a jerky way. At moment Hanah grabs a basket and runs around the space, Iga captures Hanah who tries to release herself while Dylan films their struggle live streaming it to the TVs. The movements of capture and release establish a choreography of the performance and how Iga, Dylan and Hanah engage with each other with presentation unfolding. Each of them has a phone, and streams images to the TVs. The three performers grasp each other and drop their phones on the floor. Iga orchestrates bodies of Dylan and Hanah placing them against each other, pick up the phone and life-streaming their positions through the phone. The movement of the phone activates the non-moving figures in a way resembling a sexual intercourse. After being released Dylan and Hanah are crawling away as if they were injured. The performers engage in a jerky dance, moving their limbs convulsively, gasping and breathing in different rhythms, and engaging with sculptural objects. Each performer locates themselves near one of the unknown devices. They attach a small cable from their costume to the longer wire stemming from each device and attach to it an object resembling a phone, which appears to be a candle after being lit up. They lay down next to the sculptures and tear off their costumes. The wax from the candles is dripping on their bodies. While moaning performers move away from each other creeping on the floor and throwing their legs into the air. The presentation ends with performers resting on the floor next to the candles, with wax dripping on their skin.

Phanuel Antwi pointed out to various ways the skin was activated through the presentation and commented on its erotic playfulness. Phanuel observed that this playfulness had a serious dimension, while being located in an ambiguous space. The way in which the soundtrack was created emphasized the ambiguity of the performance by exposing the procedure of making sounds live in front of the audience---exposing discrepancy between the character of a sound and the simple equipment used to create it. The dialogue between the moving performers and the one creating a sound were complementary and collapsed the relationship between time and space through life editing---cutting the space and time at the scene. As such the performance offered a space to think of sexuality and technology through forms of cut and cutting.

Ana Teixeira Pinto spoke about the rich iconography and acts of iconoclasms employed in the presentation. Ana evoked Gaspar Noe’s film Enter the Void, where sexual intercourse was shot from inside of a woman body to speak about the notions of the erotic and the abject and their use in aesthetics aspiring to transcend the human perspective. Ana noted that in the performance this transcendence was different then the one of a transhumanist discourse of disembodiment---in the presentation the human was transcended by the weird embodiment, pointing into direction of queer dindividuation. Ana commented also on the symbol of the basket referring to figures like Red Riding Hood, which enabled to bring specific cultural iconography into a bizarre dialogue with a technological frontier. Melting of phones and dripping wax on the body opened another realm of iconography of religious self-emulation and contemporary technologies. The performance was operating on various dimensions of the somatic and put in motion new registers of representations with very rich visual language. Deciphering its grammar was enjoyable and playful.

Chiara Figone appreciated the feeling of being puzzled and pointed out the enjoyment of confusion. She commented on a strategy of moving away from something, which seems to be graspable and known, and creating a specific insidious space, placing the audience outside of it. From this position the audience is not a part of the specific grammar created by bodies moving in the space but is in the position of deciphering it and understanding the relationships between performers.


Iga Świeściak's "photogenic property triplet" was presented before live audience at the Centrale Fies, Dro, Italy on July 11th.

Find the overview of all 24 AEROPONIC ACTS 2022 here: tuttə (le) rottə - all (the) ways: unfixed

About Iga Świeściak