See You Soon
See You Soon (Ne mai vedem)
by/ with Alina Uşurelu (EZA) & Cristina Lilienfed
created at PerfocraZe International Artist Residency – p IAR, Kumasi, Ghana, February 2020
In the winter of 2020, the two artists spent a month at the Perfocraze International Artist Residency in Kumasi, Ghana. This center is supported by a group of Ghanaian artists who in a few years have managed to create a self-sustaining ecosystem that hosts several dozen artists each year. The meeting with Ghanaian art and culture shook a series of concepts and visions that Alina and Cristina shared, and in this intense process of knowledge a performance entitled “See you soon” was born. Beyond the theme with which the two artists began the work process, this performance crystallizes the transformative experience in which they took part and the meeting between the two cultures.
The performance started by exploring the rituals of passage dedicated to the souls of those who died. In this process, the duo composed of a choreographer and a photo-video artist / performer created a new ritual that incorporates elements from both cultures and creates a new type of reporting on the ritual. Thus, researching the cultural symbols belonging to both cultures (Ghanaian and Romanian), they came to explore different relationships: earth and myths, water and the human voice, vegetation and rebirth. The research had a strong personal component, and the description that the guests were able to read contained the following phrase: “We offer our bodies to create this new ritual, in the hope of creating a connection with all those who participate.” Cristina and Alina
A series of symbolic actions integrated in the residence space and in the public space, on the nearby streets, aimed to offer the public the opportunity to actively participate. Thus, the public took part in washing the bodies of the two performers, like a ritual of preparation and purification of the dead, in transporting them on two solid wood doors in an open space and then watching them dancing in close contact with the dry earth. from under their feet. The audience then witnessed an intimate moment in which the two artists dug a hole in the ground, where they whispered, said, shouted messages for those they lost. “Our intention is towards the earth; we whisper, we shout, everything we would like to say to our dead, but the messages remain isolated in us and for us. Here’s the paradox. ” Alina and Cristina
A procession follows in which the public is invited to follow the two performers. They carry on their heads a jar that they dug out of the ground where they left their messages for the missing. Several people join them on the way to the mango tree waiting for a growing group. The tree full of fruit, the tree – rebirth is full of braided strings like oversized “mărţişoare” that guests have the mission to unravel piece by piece, while Alina and Cristina tell the story of an elderly woman who had the power to resurrect animals , especially wolves, with the help of rituals. In the end, the artists share the fruit with their audience and talk about the lived experience.
In autumn 2020 they had the opportunity to create an exhibition and a reenactment of the performance at Diptych Art Space.