It was a complete downer when I came 10 minutes too late for the world premiere of TANZ. It happened at the 25th anniversary of the City of Women Festival at Kinošiška, in October 2019. Even though the 10 min delay was announced to organizers ahead, noone could help me when big guys at the door didn’t let me in. So drinking a couple of gin’n’tonics and enjoying revisiting old friendships while waiting for the enigmatic dance show to be over – seemed the only way out of the nasty self-mind-fuck. But than it happened, the dooor opened and we were all invited for the artist’s talk. Only about 10 minutes after the show, I was honoured to sit down in front of the author – Austrian contemporary dancer, performer, and choreographer Florentina Holzinger.
Just a bit before artist’s talk I have managed to enter cleared out movie hall which was turned into fabulous magic like 3D movie set. I was astonished by the scenery. The main drape was a grandiose, and veristic painting of nature. So psychedelic, it was still alive. No, it was not a movie set, it was a contemporary dance playset. One naked and beautiful actress was still moving around in the mist and picking up something before finally leaving the stage. I could sense something very special happened inside and even such a tiny glimpse of it gave the sense to life and the universe. As only a masterpiece can.
Let’s move on with 6 things why you will love or hate Florentina Holzinger.
- SHE IS SUPER SMART, BLUNT AND BLONDE.
Her appearance on at the discussion and her attitude reminded me of Uma Thurman in the one and only Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction. Rebooted in the present, with amazing presence. For her no enemy is less than an enemy, either a winner or a loser, everyone is both. Of course, Florentina Holzinger is, like me, a great Tarantino’s admirer.
- SHE BELIEVES IN SELF. SHE IS AN UNBEATABLE OPTIMIST.
No matter how much blood or nakedness is in the show, Florentina Holzinger is an optimist. She believes in the power of oneself. There is self, its mind and its body. No matter how controlled, conquered, colonised or contaminated are our minds and our bodies, the body and the mind come first and stay last. They are power suckers, but also immense power sources of and for the self. The body and the mind as the first and the last frontier. Nothing is too much, or too far, self stays. Through body, its movement, and its positions, everything is possible so even though each meadow ends and even though everything has its brink into the abyss, there is always a chance – to fly.
- SHE BELIEVES IN FAIRIES.
…and if you love fairies it’s hard not believe in them. I am not so sure about her, but I do. Once I read that the fairies are messengers of the air, elves of the wood, sirens of the sea, as plant and root teachers are messengers of the soul and spirit evolution. Florentina said that fairies don’t have a soul, meaning they are immortal, so for them the time is timeless and the space is limitless. Now you are saying – isn’t that somehow bearing a resemblance with our soul and the spirit? Finally, on Wikipedia it sais fairy is a form of the spirit. Couldn’t agree more.
- SHE COMPARES PORNOGRAPHY WITH BALLET AND FREAK SHOWS WITH PERFORMANCE ART.
Maybe we could say that these are basically TANZ starting points. She asks herself what is to be done with classical ballet? Does such control and aggression over the body for artistic purposes (still) make sense? To put it more precise, the question is not if but what kind of sense? It definitely reminds me of the times when I was asking myself analogical questions related to the function and value of a painting, dawning etc. in the context of contemporary art. Or the function and value of vocals in the mid-nineties rave music when I couldn’t hear or rather I was disgusted if vocals echoed on the dancefloor. I will leave you with that, and conclude with my thought “Everything always is, has been, and will be. There is nothing really new only the morphology of things is changing.” What happens if we ask ourselves how much a ballet use of the body differs from the pornographic body. Controlling bodies by dance and having sex as a public act? Both acts are controversial since dance is somehow made more for freedom, and the sex for intimacy. While in ballet, and in pornography this is turned upside down.
- SHE PROMOTES PATRONAGE AS A SUSTAINABLE ECONOMY SOLUTION.
Florentine basically called for a comeback of patrons. Yes, the legendary patrons as the Medici, Italian banking family in the 16th century. Even-though Medici were not the only rich family of the 15th century, they stood out for their support of the art production. I know that contemporary art market as an investment market is booming and that there are few online platforms where a form of patronage is encouraged and enabled but still – let’s envision a service/system/platform where wealthy individuals invest money, not only in art objects but even more so in art production, supporting artist daily expenses.
I think it could be an online platform bearing similarities with a dating application. The patron – artist hook up should not be built upon objective super quality categorisation instead, it should be an intimate, romantic, super individualised process. From optionally anonymous support to possibly becoming a family.
- SHE THINKS LAZY IS COOL
Or I think lazy is cool. Even though she is a super workaholic, I sensed she is laid back as well. Let me comment with my own words: the last thing our abundant overstuffed world need is productiveness. We should all work as little as possible. We can close down all the factories for production of the new since we have already produced everything we might need for the next century and more. It is time for reduction. All our effective work can only exist as caring services, repairing and recycling. No more new things. Nada. Work can’t be praised as a moral or material value. It is the greatest pollutant and oblivion trigger. We all should work just about enough to stay sane. In the world of abundance and in the age of AI automatisation works becomes an emotional category. Something not to be valued per se, but something to keep us sane, to make us feel good.