Incarnate Relations is the company name given to some fervently unstable works of live performance made by Jeremy Hardingham in collaboration with numerous other people.
An essential element in all of these performances is their live form: not as styling but as argument.
Duration is itself a material, just as a metronome ticking does not represent time passing, it actually marks its passing.
Each performance is made with specific materials: texts are a strong component, and their vulnerability is treated with minute care, as are questions concerning authorship, editing, conditions of production, and translation.
The use of digital and recorded media and live amplification is treated with a tentative regard, under an anthropological aspect in which the discovery of the telephone, say, is considered a curiously new communicative innovation.
Despite which, and in the spirit of risk and discovery in which live performance is given to exist, each material, as each audience member, is embraced and invited to collaborate in thinking through work made literally in front of you. However what is made in front of you is composed of constituents of history, artifact, fragment, text, expiring beings, inanimate matter and the dead.
The use of materials such as texts written hundreds, even thousands of years ago, and in a variety of languages, engages each work in a gentle activity whose most obvious model is the séance: communicating with the dead, and bringing dead words to new life ! ...
As such, the integral task in each performance is one of gradual transformation, and therefore also translation - a word whose etymological origination comprehends metamorphosis: 'O Bottom, how art thou translated!' (A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare).
A principle of the disciplines under which these works are made is that they are not rehearsed, although they are more often than not assiduously prepared, in order to facilitate their open engagement with the intimate dialogues they are created to explore.
Attention and listening in performance are more highly regarded than making noise, uttering words, or tyrannizing the microphones and copulating with the limelight, although musically each work has a distinct and lively auditory variety, and palpable visible architectures.
International collaborations : collaborative shows : solo pieces. . . .
Unfolding King Lear
This project is as much concerned with solitary and shared readings of the play as it is a variety of performances of it. Intrinsically divided yet explicitly cohering at times throughout the palpating porousity of its 3 hours duration, in which audiences are encouraged to cohabit the performance from a range of stations, moving among its principle inhabitants and performing objects, or sitting at a distance from them, or viewing artifacts and debris from the making of the performance in the generous, free, yet ominous Bar Zero annex. Each of the ten performers are individually engaged in an improvisatory creation, and each of them is rhythmically distracted by the compulsion to read a text which is amassing through stuttering and overlapping both the 1608 quarto and the 1623 folio texts of King Lear. An ancient tale of division unfolding. The show uniquely performs an inquiry into the processes and experiences of reading a play, primarily in English but also in German, in French or in Arabic, as well as a careful sequence of frenzied questions about live performance and living and dying itself. Cruel clowns and tender fools, tyrannies and punk, puppetry and surveys of acting among the ghosts of early film, allow the great divided masterpiece all the amplification of its extraordinary sexual neuroses, as well as its shattered emotional complexity, without specifically closing down on what such a grave and precarious cultural object means, yet dramatically unfolding in questions, in frames, in surging musics and fragile lights, abject bodies whom vividly aging all but usurp their lives. The lives of words are weighed the same as those of persons for this brief expanse of time.
texts: King Lear by William Shakespeare
(3 hours duration continuously; porous intervals throughout)
Performances to date: 5 (2009 - date)
~Accompanying workshops: Ages 8+~
Unfolding king lear a model
is the title of an accompanying solo piece, in which an abject and ruined magician, or fool, enacts upon his person a series of pathetic, bathetic and percussive assaults with puppets, restraints to speech with water, naked bulbs, salt, flaming microphones suffocated with seaweed and other consumable and durable items inanimate and otherwise. All the while relentlessly shaking, trembling, laughing, crying, dancing and reading a precisely slit and filleted text entirely deriving in its chronological unfolding from the historical texts of King Lear. In English & in German, with sub-titles. Very funny!
texts: King Lear by William Shakespeare
(1 hour duration)
Performances to date: 12 (2007 - date)
Location: Cambridge; Providence, R.I. USA; Edinburgh, Brighton.
[Press: "Terrifying, Painful and Utterly Compelling."
(Lyn Gardner, The Guardian)]
The Snow Queen
Warfare and virtual reality are undercurrent problems or concerns performed as questions in this collaborative piece in development, essentially a grave children's show. After receiving into his eye and heart a shard of a broken supernatural mirror, created by a mischievous yet abject magician, K becomes an excellent if cruel imitator until he ties his sled to the Snow Queen, who numbs him with a kiss, and imprisons him in her ice palace with an eternal anagram to untangle. Gerda, beloved of K, is relentless in her courageous search for her benumbed and lost friend, and is assisted by ghosts, dreams, animals and women, but no magic, except for the love in her occupancy of the world, and the fervent intensity of her curiosity as a person. Ten performers comprising musicians, technicians, clowns, puppeteers, dancers and writers are each continually enraged and delighted in making a solitary retelling of The Snow Queen - which they are all simultaneously engaged in performing together. A haunting aspect concerning pain and beauty, agency and consent, is lent to the performance as each performer at the start is sensually cut-off from each other performer, and in the show's rapid yet sonorous unfolding, the audience shares in vivid, intimate encounters as each performer becomes unwrapped, is revealed and enabled again to come into open dialogue. Very dark, light, grave, essentially humorous, spare, rich, poor, and involving in the first instance 2 children, each six years of age; an element of a touring production will include a workshop in each location, from which 2 children are recruited into performing in the show in their area. The fairy tale is not the only text involved in this telling of the story: the show also includes use of materials by Franz Kafka, Walter Benjamin, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Simone Weil, their translators, and others. An integral aspect of this show is concerned with translation in a variety of performative forms: from one language to another, and from one kind of being into another kind of being. Water, Ice, Steam, lights dazzling, flickering and glimmering, sensuous and slow. In English, German, Danish, Icelandic, Finnish and French.
texts: The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen
Diaries & Letters to Felice by Franz Kafka
(90 minutes duration)
Performances to date: 0 (2010)
~Accompanying workshop: Ages 6+~.
Before you know it
A contemplative piece for two performers, based in silence. When utterances occur they may come from fragments of texts assembled directly before the performance, possibly selected by someone in the room, performing or audient, or by someone outside the room: who? is a question explored here in love and fear, near and far. An intimately inquiring, precisely timed performance of stillness and silliness and listening, in mostly entire darkness, corroded with rare flashes and enkindlings of light and raw breath.
In English, French and Arabic.
texts: Gravity & Grace by Simone Weil
Breath by Samuel Beckett
(1 hour duration)
Performances: 1 (2009-date)
In relation to materials including Valerie Solanas' S.C.U.M. manifesto, (militant feminism), a person fails to remain as still as a painting while in live open dialogue with 2 people in Berlin (over the telephone). The duration of the performance is in fact its most stable material, exactly 20 minutes, and the compression this affords is amplified alive in the room. In a sense this performance of pain in American, English and German is attempting to speak with the dead. It is engaged in performing in and of memories of performers, such as Ken Campbell or Harry Houdini.
texts: S.C.U.M Manifesto by Valerie Solanas
Songs for Drella by Lou Reed & John Cale
(20 minutes duration)
Performances: 2 (2010)
Location: Cambridge / Berlin
A Note On Copyright And Piracy:
Each of these works is intrinsically in the initial stages of its life. As the dialogues and practices informing the works develop and change, so too may their specific components, until such time as they are dead, and entirely new work must be made.
If you want any of these pieces in your venue or elsewhere ~ please make contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your attention.