Arts Dance

Without Borders pushes back against boundaries

Removing artistic borders
Removing artistic borders

The politics of borders are tricky. Some argue that lines between countries, between cultures, even between physical objects, are arbitrary boundaries that those with line-drawing privileges just made up as it suited them.

“When we’re talking about borders there seems to be a real desire and pleasure in creating them; we like to know what things are and where they fit, but the power to do that isn’t equal across all individuals,” explains writer Mari Sasano, who takes part in Mile Zero Dance’s Without Borders salon this weekend.

“So some people can define borders more than others can. There’s power to define, and then there’s the power to kind of fuck it up,” she laughs. “The way that people subvert borders is often very interesting and often comes from a place of being other, or being considered other. And that’s been fascinating to me.”

It’s that subversion of boundaries that will be explored by many of the artists at the salon this weekend, which moves to Dc3 Art Projects in the Oliver core.

Borders within one body are not so easy for others to see, stresses Sasano; the lines between gender, identity and biology can be fluid and invisible, though still distinctly there. As a twin, Sasano has been particularly interested in dissecting these lines. For the salon, she is preparing a piece titled Hyphae, named for the branching filaments that grow from certain types of fungus. The piece takes form as writings on a large-format poster. And, as mycelium tend to do, the work could expand to take up a fair amount of space at Dc3.

“There are some very interesting ways where crossing boundaries creates bridges between separate things in actual nature,” Sasano says. Her notes for the piece include the world’s largest-known live organism, a 10-square-kilometre fungus living under the Blue Mountains of Oregon, each of its filaments being a clone of the original spore. Within such multiplicity still lies a single identity, she explains.

Joining Sasano and the MZD team at Dc3 will be Ben Gorodetsky as master of ceremonies, filmmaker Kyle Armstrong, sculpturist Tiffany Adair, an interactive media piece by Raimundo Gonzalez titled I Accept My Cage and a “camera-less animation” piece by Tim Rechner and Patrick Arès-Pilon. Performances will include a dance/spoken-word duet with Jen Mesch and Ben Freeland, dancer Molly McDermott in a Mascall Dance solo titled “Graft” (which features a jacket of spines resembling a skeletal dinosaur), and VJK with Nicole Nigro in Body/Tent, inspired by the installation work of Tracy Emin.

Fri, Feb 20 & Sat, Feb 21 (8 pm)
Dc3 Art Projects, $15 – $20

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