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Jeg graver (I am digging)

“I am digging, into the earth, into history, into myself.
Trying to find answers.
Listening, sensing, carrying trying to understand.
How to be in dialog, to share this time and be together.
Feeling your weight in my body…

Being hold by you.
I get a deeper sense of myself relating to you. I can feel your support, your consistence and realness.
How can ‘doing’ so little give such a deep imprint.

The clay reminds me to take my time…to listen and to slow down.
Embracing the moment!” - iRo

This work is part of my MA research at the Norwegian Theater Academy, Østfold University College, MA (MFA)in Performance 2018-2020. 

The clay that is part of this performance was dug out from the ground at Talberg Nedre Farm in Sarpsborg, Norway.
To reach the clay André Wulf and I was digging and digging and lifting the clay out of the ground with a shuffle and our hands. Carrying it, transporting it over the fields, driving it to the Norwegian Theater Academy in Fredrikstad. That physical and sensorial experience with the clay mediately affected my relationship with clay, and shaped the choreographic strategies continuing my research indoors. 

The struggle, the heaviness, the care, and the time that it took to dig and transport the clay affected deeply how I was working and relating to time.

I wanted to get to know the clay by researching how to develop a relationship to it, allowing myself to be affected by it and see where that would guide me in the artistic process. I was curious about how the clay could affect how I move, how I breath, feel and think. And, how its presence and matter would affect the dramaturgical choices and how I would work in relation to time and space. I was curious to learn about the clay’s performativity and agency and I was wondering how I could facilitate and support that in a performance. I did not want to manipulate the clay or shape it into an object or make it into something that I projected from my own desires. I was interested in how the clay could “perform in itself”, with its natural textures and shapes,
in relation to my body, as an equal performer within a performance.

I am holding, touching, carrying the clay in different ways. Smelling and listening to its sound. The different types of clay requires that I hold and carried it differently and this affects how I move and which movements that is possible to do, without shaping the clay too much.

                                                                                                                                                               Photos: André Wulf

                         ALL RIGHTS SERVED Inger-Reidun Olsen // 2022