Stefa Govaart

The Third Room

_Collaborative performance and research project by Liza Baliasnaja, Christine De Smedt, and Theo Livesey, centered around the notion of Low Intensity Violence_

*

The notion of Low Intensity Violence points at violence(s) that are not immediately felt or visible, but permeate our everyday life: violence(s) that do not instantly cause obvious physical or psychological damage but through time, repetition and erosion have a damaging impact. Our work unfolds from the ethical stance that each human being is intimately familiar with violence by the sheer fact of being alive, living in a society. We find it important to deal with violence as something close to us, something we produce as well as something we are prone to (in various ways depending on context and historical backgrounds) and we hold responsibility towards it.

The Third Room chooses to narrow the focus and look at Low Intensity Violence perpetuated within and through language. It wants to look at structures, shapes, temporalities through which violence announces its presence in our communication, on an interpersonal level and through the various social, cultural and political (power) structures we deal with. Whilst remaining within the field of choreography, the work is strongly shaped by working with language in its various forms, in spoken form as well as through images, gestures and sound. 

The main question of the ongoing work is, how can we think and speak about Low Intensity Violence together? Therefore, in The Third Room, Christine De Smedt, Liza Baliasnaja and Theo Livesey use dialogue/conversation as a shared thinking space in which certain knowledge, or understanding, is generated collectively. They develop conversation formats as well as formal language procedures which deal with writing, rewriting, editing and desubjectification of the speaker.

At this stage of the production process, they imagine the work as a series of conversations, between three performers through physical, everyday and formal language. The conversations are anchored upon three specific directions- Low Intensity Violence of everyday communication, Low Intensity Violence of memory (and history), and Low intensity Violence of naming.