Currently I am in the research phase for FLUSH, which will premiere at Sophiensaele Berlin in February 2020.
FLUSH is an evening-length piece that unfolds in a reduced set-up: 3 performers on a stage, framed by a panoramic backdrop. FLUSH is based on a carefully assembled movement vocabulary that takes inspiration from ubiquitous video-editing techniques. It combines the laborious task of performing live slow motion, rewind, fast edits and endless repetitions with the considered exploration of composition and non-linear narration in order to create a ‘landscape play’ coined in 1935 by Gertrude Stein. Stein’s ‘landscape plays’ speak to the sensibilities of our highly mediated lives I draw from this in exposing the impossible task of embodying such complexity and disunity in the body. FLUSH relies on a highly technical, articulate and stylized composition drawing on the formal ordering principles of juxtaposition, simultaneity, multiplicity and repetition also to be found in the ‘plays’ from Stein. It is a study on radical temporaries and illogical intimacies that proposes various articulations and modes of temporality, even going as far to evoke a lesbian time / aesthetic.
Bodies, temporal and physical manifestations will be the explicit material in the construction of the landscapes. In the work of physical composition and image I want to expose the tiny details that are hidden in situations, the ambivalences and notions between actions, subtexts, the hesitations and irruptions - all the little shifts in intentions and reactions. I will try to do the impossible which is to stop time and move it simultaneously in order to see everything that is there, with the desire to produce certain situations form the mundane to the spectacle, from dry to dramatic. I will examine images that are both classical and contemporary, that capture constellations of females in situations and in others that are theatrically abstract or even contain dyke or faggot gestures. One concrete idea I will explore is how a constellation could constantly shift through such narrations as the romantic, perversion, erotics, violence, absurdity, disgust and then then into abstraction. A leaking of meaning twisting and turning through physical manifestations of a disturbed, scattered artificial landscape unfolds as one manifestation.
On the continued insistence of the technological to analog I will also experiment with cinematographic colour palette techniques and find ways of doing this analog. I will work on colliding classical painting palettes with more modern colours, for example ultramarine and vermilion with neon etc also in additional to costume, draping and fitted clothing.
In the previous studies due to the extensive work required on the physicality often the face as a surface of composition was left out. I want to pay special attention to the expressive quality of the face. In this enhancement I will also experiment with different forms of make-up. For FLUSH I will focus on make-up as a tool to create the hyper real, applying analog photoshopped techniques and also to use make-up as lighting technique enhancing the artificiality of the body.
Concept and direction: Sheena McGrandles
Performed by: Sheena McGrandles, Annegret Schalke and Ewa Dziarnowska
Sound: Stellan Veloce
Dramaturgy: Thomas Schaupp
Art Direction and costume: Michiel Keuper
Supported by: Hauptstadtkulturfonds Berlin, Siobhan Davies Dance London and Goethe Institute.