As a dance artist living with a chronic illness, increasingly Aniela Piasecka creates to understand their reality, to process and articulate experiences of ill health.
Aniela is invested in using their body to enter a space of feeling, or affect; a space that medical environments actively try to inhibit, prioritising instead the functional, the diagnostical, the pragmatic. Their solo research acts as an antithesis to these environments, enabling them to unlearn the minimising of feeling and sensation that takes places within these settings, where creative expression is lacking, and where empathy and human connection can be hindered by the sterile approach required to treat the body without further endangering it.
Over the last two years, Aniela has been pursuing a variety of different research strands over different projects: alternative forms of dance notation, biomedical understandings of connective tissue and fascia, collaborative methodology, somatic movement. With this research residency, Aniela intends to bring these disparate strands together into one project: elaborating a sound work that serves as both notation and performance, bringing together medical research, choreographic instructions and personal anecdotes. It will aim to reconsider what we consider live performance and create a model for their performing body that does not solely rely on their physical capacity to perform in order to bring their expressive potential to an audience.
Two days of the research residency were spent in conversation with artist and clothes-maker Paloma Proudfoot to consider a series of clothes-sculptures that could be installed in a space in which the sound work is playing, acting as visual anchors to the audio.