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Mimicreatures

Video-Work
Digital Premiere VVIP- Festival 28th of June 2020
Further development into a live-performance is planned in 2020/2021

Concept, Masks, Video: Lisa Horvath
Music: Sara Trawöger
Dancers: Kai Er Eng, Ana Clara Montenegro, Marina Grün

Mimesis is not mere representation; it is an adaptive skill. It makes us interact with the world via acculturation, affinity and reciprocity. It creates things, sensorially and emotionally. But its way of creation presents an alternative to the genius, who creates from scratch and still it does not merely copy. It creates new worlds by drawing from the old ones – by approximating the other, in recognition through imitation.

MIMICREATURES uses this idea as basis for its development:
A feeling is reflected in a text,
The text is reflected in a mask
The mask is reflected in a dance
The dance is reflected in a song.
This process is based on a silent imitation of the other, on an adjustment to the counterpart that doesn’t reduce a thing to its meaning but tries to capture its essence in a game of Chinese Whispers.

Masks are the symbol for imitation through disguise, they mix wo*man and beast, god and inanimate object. They protect the self in a physiological and in a psychological sense, by creating a barrier between ourselves and a potentially dangerous outside or inside world. They shut away what might harm us.
My masks do the opposite. In a time when the individual is isolated and distanced from social contact, I want to turn the inner state of feelings and affections outside. I want to look at them like through a magnifying glass. I want to translate them in forms and material and then again engage them in a dialogue with the body. Like that, they are translated into beings themselves. These creatures of the inside become our companions. By letting them out and giving them material existence, they lead us inside where it’s safe and warm. They are the other that is myself.





The idea for the project “Mimicreatures” arose in the time of strict social distancing measures. Out of the desire to work practically and collaboratively instead of staring at the computer screen all alone, I started to play with ideas dealing with a topic I was already interested in for quite some time and which now became unexpectedly relevant: masks.
As contactless sports such as tennis or ping-pong were allowed again, I had an idea. Why not play with the physical isolation by finding ways to communicate artistically over distance. So I asked Kai, Ana and Marina, three dancers, to send me a short text, dealing with their current feelings and thoughts. I used these as starting points to build three individual masks. As a next step, it was on them to create a dance engaging with their mask. l captured these three dances on video and sent them to Sara, a musician, who I asked to create a song in response.