at a certain distance
by Cécile Kobel
über kurz oder lang
eine feinste Nuancierung
1. Klasse Beinfreiheit
In 2020, the whole society is put at a distance. Barriers are erected, plastic curtains and plexiglass walls are installed, the floor is marked with tape, chalk, and spray paint. One has to follow new guidance systems, make arcs around each other and reposition oneself to internalize the minimum distance of 1.5 meters.
Based on her experience as a graphic designer in consciously placing and arranging images, words and individual characters, aligning them in a field of tension and basically leveling them with each other, with distances, Cécile Kobel sought other approaches to distance, whether calculated, measurable, felt or imagined.
In conversations with a surveyor, a quantum physicist, a cosmologist, a calligrapher, a typographer and a trained typesetter (lead type), an air traffic controller and a blind person, Cécile asked about other distances: In which other scale do distances take place? What is the greatest measurable distance? What manifests itself in this space or through this gap?
Processing the conversations and the current situation, the research condensed word for word into text sequences that carefully approach the distance.
In a 30-minute performative essay, Johanna Schäfer and Cécile Kobel read in dialogue. A third voice from offstage floats above the narrative as supposed instructions or rhythmic enumeration. The performers Tamara Goehring and Lena Laguna Diel take the measure of an invisible space: sometimes running along the edges foot to foot, sometimes subdividing smaller areas with a cubit. In an attempt to create proximity at a distance, the two always move in a dependency on each other.
Live-Cam I Mustafa Emin Büyükcoskun
Live-Cam II Benjamin Breitkopf
Live-Cut Bela Meiers
Sounddesign Jia Liu
Stagedesign Janina Capelle
Performer I Lena Laguna Diel
Performer II Tamara Göhringer
Voice I Johanna Schäfer
Voice II Cécile Kobel
Bodies Exercising Society focuses on material practices either shaped through architectonic or other societal surroundings or, inversed, shape society by means of continuous, maybe repetitive practices. Implicit predicaments of court architecture gain visibility when translated into movement notations, socio-emotional entanglements fly high if a case of sexual violence takes place in one’s own, thought to be reflective and liberal environment. The body is a crystallization point for biopolitical propositions, the thing all too easily neglected and displaced, yet never totally forgettable it has the power to fight back in moments unanticipated.
Based on a research on distances, gaps and spacing, the 30 min. videodocumentation shows the play ’at a certain distance' first performed as part of Cécile Kobel’s diploma.