“…in a non-wimpy way”
by Bojana Cvejić and Lennart Laberenz
To study fighting is something we can’t be afraid to do.
Before it came to be criticized as a New Age shuffleboard, “a post-hippie suburb of the soul,” Contact Improvisation was an art-sport that emerged from Steve Paxton’s training in aikido and athletics just a few years after Paxton’s explicit action-pieces against the Vietnam War (e.g. Collaboration with Wintersoldier). What aikido––the martial art that distinguishes itself by redirecting attack and blending with the attacker––did for Contact Improvisation in relation to war and engagement in a physical struggle hasn’t been an issue of political interest.
At the Mad Brook Farm in Vermont, from an idyllic place where he has been cultivating his “pessimism” during forty years in which Contact Improvisation spread worldwide and an “empire declined”, Paxton revisits Contact Improvisation with regard to physicality, violence and protection. What did it mean to be responsible for one’s own “falling well” both literally and metaphorically?
video; wall projection; 19′
featuring excerpts from the videos by Contact Collaborations Inc.
Courtesy of Conctact Collaborations, Lisa Nelson, Steve Paxton