Arts Centre Melbourne In Association With Melbourne Fringe Present WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO (WAISTD)
Sarah Aiken and Rebecca Jensen of Deep Soulful Sweats are this year's Take Over! commission recipients and will debut their brand new participatory work What Am I Supposed To Do? (WAISTD) as part of Melbourne Fringe from 18 - 22 September at Arts Centre Melbourne's Fairfax Studio.
"Take Over! brings together our history in creating experimental and participatory dance and performance. It is an ambitious and exciting project for us, working at an unprecedented scale, bringing the many modes and methods of working we have developed together across our growing body of work," says Aiken and Jensen.
WAISTD is a dark, hopeful and irreverent cautionary tale that stares into the hypocrisies of trying to be good, or do good, in the face of climate catastrophe. This participatory eco-horror will focus on the tension and stasis when it comes to dealing with the complexities saturating our actions towards climate change.
"In WAISTD, audiences will squeeze into the closing gap between the fantasy of the eco-horror inside the Fairfax Studio and the global eco-horror that is unfolding this very moment. We aren't offering any solutions, rather looking closer at an unnerving stasis. WAISTD creates a space for us to collectively sit with our complicity, hypocrisies and cultural inertia in the face of climate change," says Aiken and Jensen.
While the work is grounded in dance, it is experimental in nature. Blurring the line between set, performer and audience is often at the forefront of Aiken and Jensen's work. WAISTD directs the audience to create scenes together, and by observing from within these scenes, a new perspective is gained. The audience's contribution and participation reflects their position in the face of an unfolding environmental catastrophe.
"In the spirit of Deep Soulful Sweats, WAISTD is an inclusive, immersive work, bringing people together in collective action. Each individual is a vital part of the whole. In WAISTD, we all play our part in an environmental horror. Nobody is a spectator; you will find yourself a part of a conversation that has been earnestly rehearsed and restaged for the last 40 years," continue Aiken and Jensen.
By staring into the cultural inertia and hypocrisies that surround climate crisis, WAISTD explores a non-traditional narrative style through a collage of drama, movement, and heavy symbolism. Drawing inspiration from Australian horror films from the 1970s and 80s, the work forces audiences to question the complexities and complicity of colonial Australia.
Bookings at artscentremelbourne.com.au