Emotions and Friendship
The themes of emotion and friendship run through your project Ballade. Why did you choose this?
maria mercedes: Friendship likes to spent time together. Friendship has a base of trust towards each other. Friendship shares many memories and experiences. Friendship goes through ups and downs. Our time in the studio departs from this base and starts from a trust in each others choices. Emotions came with a book that we read. Sarah Ahmeds "The cultural politics of emotions". The topic found different forms and evolved along the way but still stayed as a companion, also as a companion of friendship and of collaboration.
In the announcement text you talk about multiple presences being present with and through you on stage. What exactly do you mean by that?
maria mercedes: I remember we were attracted to the phrase "multiple presences are borne“. We often work with expressive gestures, but we displace their presumed position slightly. We bring a suggestion into the room with a particular gesture, but play with its presence in terms of how it can be read. There is a theme going through the work and it has a lot to do with carrying. To carry and to be carried in different executions and interpretations.
You will not be alone on stage in Ballade, but in interaction with a sound artist and another performer. How can we imagine the collaboration?
maria mercedes: maria mercedes is a group that can take on different configurations. when we invite guests, we want to give everyone as much space as possible to participate on an equal basis. A fluctuant setting is given. Of course, there is already a certain character or style to the group, but this opens up exciting interpretations through other people. In this case, Hanna Todt and Yoh Morishita joined the process. With both we share a friendship and a past of collaborations in different constellations. We know each other and this allowed a very open structure of who takes care of what and how those roles can possibly shift or be distributed.
You have now been able to work on your project for a year as part of HUGGY BEARS. How was this year in the mentoring program for you?
maria mercedes: Like a collage. Bits and pieces coming together as one or as many things. We worked in phases for Ballade. We also worked on other things. We spent time together and alone. We made use of the studio. The way to go there became a routine, but the missing cycle lanes in the 10th district not. I got comfortable in the space, I wish to continue and in the same time I wish to have a change. But especially during this last year, it was very important. So valuable to have a place to go to, a studio space and a meeting point.