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RELAY (2018)

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A black flag floats in slow motion. The movement of the flag and the flapping of its fabric become choreography and sound. Loyal to her broad vision of artistic disciplines, Ula Sickle and a diverse group of performers, accompanied by sound artist Yann Leguay, relay one another in a physical and fascinating test of endurance. This anarchic Relay draws its inspiration from the many recent protests taking place around the globe, among them, the mass marches in Poland in defense of women’s rights, called ‘czarny’ protest, or ‘black’ protest.

Presented as a single continuous action taking place over 6 hours, the performance functions as an installation where the audience can enter or exit at any time. A succession of performers take over the lead, moving alone in a large open space with a single black flag. Every 15 minutes the flag is relayed to the next performer. This relatively simple act is amplified through the use of sound and light. Commissioned for the 2018 edition of the Nuit Blanche in Brussels, which takes protest as its central theme, the action can be read both a symbol of continued resistance but also of a certain inertia, 50 years onwards from May '68.

"In light of the heritage of May ’68, the worldwide shift to the right leaves a bitter taste. In 1968 we asked for so much more than we got, but what we got back then is still more than what we have left today, says political theorist Chantal Mouffe. (...) Conservatism and racism are soaring, neoliberalism has depleted the welfare state and climate change is spiralling out of control… Regarding these historical evolutions, Sickle also wants to raise the bigger question of how resistance is still possible in a system that has managed to incorporate every form of opposition. Which individual and collective agency are we left with?"

Charlotte de Somviele

Ula Sickle (Concept, performance, choreography), Yann Leguay (Sound design), Popol Amisi (Performance), Liza Baliasnaja (Performance), Sidney Barnes (Performance), Amanda Barrio Charmelo (Performance), Mavi Veloso (Performance), Mohamed Toukabri (Performance), Nathan Ooms (Performance, internship), Antoine Neufmars (Dramaturgical assistance), Elise Vermuyten (Production for Caravan Production) with the support of Nuit Blanche 2018 & Kunstenwerkplaats Pianofabriek

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