Esther Planas

Copyright 2019

What is left over if I subtract the fact that my arm goes up from the fact that I raise my arm?
Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations §621

The Dancer that Paused:

Probably, the idea of leaving the path to be a Dancer and embrace instead the Pause, the no-Dance as the challenging new field of dance, started long ago, between a mirror and an acrobatic like gesture, between time 5 or 8 from the tempo and the sweat of too much physical exercise. For the love of what Dance should be, for me to stay, go and come from, the dance that I learn to hate and the one I ended up "finding and loving".

Dance as entertaining, as a Court's event of miraculous acrobatic achievements or Dance as Ritual, as Language, as gestures that induced trance and communication?

Dance as a private intimate perception, on every day's body trajectories, or quotidian signs, positions, that our living in the world has produced and keeps creating: walking, kneeling, crawling, eating, cleansing, bathing, showering.....and more and more and more.

Old and new poses, positions, mixed with new movements and actions from our relation to new machines ...

Creating new trajectories:

I left Dance as a path, to keep dance where I wanted it to be, not so much on a stage, not submitted to cultural politics and its gatekeeper's tastes, or to the need of some entertainment like huge apparatus .. not either submit to the eternal youth and only physical and technical abilities that make of us exploiters of our bodies.

This Modern Court that transforms talent in to a commodity, that exploits artist as its front line soldiers, to sustain the whole machinery of capitalist values till the paroxism. Where artist has to suffer, compete ruthlessly, and sweat: Not like on a graceful countryside village celebrations, but like in a Roman Circus.

Any one is free to be an Acrobat, but Dance can be also just more similar to natural gestural life, to ritual and medium like relations and gatherings. Collective or individual celebrations and moments.

Esther Planas 2010

Dance Tropisms?:

At work here is a new tropism and a new sort of reflexivity, involving artists as well as theorists and activists in a passage beyond the limits traditionally assigned to their practice. The word tropism conveys the desire or need to turn towards something else, towards an exterior field or discipline; while the notion of reflexivity now indicates a critical return to the departure point, an attempt to transform the initial discipline, to end its isolation, to open up new possibilities of expression, analysis, cooperation and commitment. This back-and-forth movement, or rather, this transformative spiral, is the operative principle of what I will be calling extradisciplinary investigations.
excerpt from Brian Holmes text

Images/ Archive/

In this section there are a series of selected images that come from starting points in testing alternative movements and interaction to other phases of my work, some performing at gallery spaces in 1996 other in urban sites and later back in to the gallery space 20 years later.

Movement or Dance?

Spectacle or Conversation?

Interaction or Acting?

Real or Staged?

A whole ambivalence about vocation, talent, gift, mediumnistic capacities, mysticism, ritualistic relations and celebration and how to negociate navigate produce dialogue inhabit the world that transform all of this in spectacle, entertainment, excellence, competitiveness, envy, betrayal, isolation, surface, monetary investment propaganda, distraction, decoration. My training as a Dancer has been very intensive over the years since 1970, but I also had experienced a massive crisis about what was for me to be a Dancer and what was Dance, and my need of questioning tuck me to unexpected conclusions. I had stop dancing on various occasions and had come back to it every time to find new insight and techniques that surprised and inspired me. But I had to break free of what it felt like a too intensive physical dynamic on my life. Dance Theatre seemed more close, but somehow, after years of investigating and frustrations too, I have found a Zone of Action for my works:

As actor, medium and agent, inside a context that could be film, installation, book or stage.

I am using and reviving (in a sort of hauntological exercise) pictures and films of ancient rehearses of a self that has long gone from 1996, when I used to search movements and positions that could be used for my work as a visual artist too.

Always aiming at a crossover, at a feed of one on to the other, a mirror perhaps, or a step from one dimension on to an unknown yet place.

Esther Planas 2010

Threptikon:Devorama E1 Oct15 Five Years Selected for the ARTLICKS weekend Festival Threptikon was an open research on the soul of plants hosted at Five Years 2015 in the picture collaborating with artist Jennifer Ipekel