The economy of loss

A project for three dance artists who sought democracy in process: Paea Leach, Jo Pollitt, Sam Fox. 

Driven by Paea Leach but built equally, the process included power tools, cardboard houses, old unused costumes, three pink rolling chairs, yellow cellophane and thousands of forks. 

WRITING at the same time on the same page became a feature of the process. Below is the MANIFESTO for the work that wanted to address ideas of loss as economic, political and personal - 'obvious' loss and that which has no words. 

Presented at CIA Studios - Perth, W.A January 2011. 

MANIFESTO FOR     The economy of loss (a showing)

Stand very still and hear me

The only rule – Not Knowing- a bit like survivor. (Later) Sam says I always thought you were about survival of the fittest

We realised how different we are

We wondered if we could share a journal

We wrote at the same time in different colours and on the same page

We began to collect things

We thought working together could be interesting, if it was democratic

We made lists of things we should do, must address, felt responsible toward, would die for (etc) and a catalogue of

A) who has suffered the most B) who has sacrificed the most and C) who considers themself to be the most privileged

To address the parts of our stories that seem to have no words

To find a particular tone and way forward – together

To do work and see that that is way to consider what we value, what we believe in and what we need to do and see in performance in work in life in performance

Paea says – I do not have a political agenda, I don’t know enough, Sam says – loosely, I disagree

We considered looking at our worlds through pinholes – as though experience could be pushed out through small tack holes on a map. It is a map with girth -  imagine it (‘how big is a five year old sky’). The map is not just land mass. It is also marked with people and story and love and loss and trains to Paris and new - born babies and buses to detention centres and letters in Swedish arriving in the Australian desert.

We choose pinholes as these glimpses are all we can muster

As we have worked people have fought and won a revolution

We asked – Do we have concrete? We gave each other directions – no dancing on the inside, only 20% of that please, interrupt and do not respond, work hard, work harder, do less to do more, put it in your arms only, be affected more than you think socially acceptable, find a reason that is not form, find one that is, be clear ‘where do I go if I am not moving’ she says, try to think like me

Go go go go go

Sam says – I don’t know where we are going as a trio Paea says – I think the dancing is just an excuse

There is anarchy and politics and poetry and life at break neck pace, because they have no time

It is not just about us

We have all lost so much time and so many things

So we did a dance – an anti – waltz for lost time

Jo says – we have a history of conversation

This IS our responsibility, rest assured we are working hard

It’s not like a sermon or a demand , It’s like a road trip

Small paragraphs of private lives, There is lots of shit gathering speed

People wait in the desert, indeterminate time.


Photography by Sarah Rowbottam.