This project is a performative co-research with the community in Kumasi about how to make a home for an alien. The research explores how we meet an alien, a creature who is rootless, does not look like other beings, who does not have a language nor a nationality. How do we welcome such a creature and do we want to welcome it?
The project was developed when I was an artist-in-residency at pIAR 2020 at crazinisT artisT studiO. I chose the alien as my subject because the alien to me represents the other, the stranger, the refugee. My research questions how we meet the other and what negotiations, conflicts and demands emerge when a stranger knocks on your door. In this complex world of differences, I find it urgent to reflect on how we can live together.
I stayed at pIAR for a month and during my stay, I had a presentation about my artistic practice, I organized two performative research workshops with the community, performed for the event Love fEAST and performed my final piece on the football square in Aprade, Kumasi. In the video, you can follow my work-in-progress.
Workshops: How to create a home for an alien
In the workshops, I wanted to explore the differences between human and alien, how to embody the alien, how to embody the human. What does it mean to be human and what does it mean to be alien? Through bodily exercises, I played with the idea of the collective body, resonating in each other, embodiment of the alien which I believe lies within every one of us. There was a lot of preparation because in order to get to the state of embodying something/someone else than you are in your everyday life, you have to dive deep into your subconsciousness and find ways of unlocking in this case the alien within you. So, I structured my program in the way that there were a lot of exercises of getting into your subconsciousness, using methods from butoh and my own methods, before I got to the main experiment itself: How to understand an alien and how to create a home for an alien.
With the participants from the workshops, we created how-to-manuals for the human and alien.
I used the materials – movement and discussions – from the workshops in my final performance.
About my final performance, curator Va-Bene Elikem Fiatsi says:
Linh’s final piece was presented on February the 2nd along with other international artists in residence as a public intervention and to engage the community in artistic dialogues. Linh’s research seeks to allow the audience to contemplate on relationships between “aliens and humans.” Through sounds, gestures, dance and installation, Linh created a metaphorical figure of “being”, safe spaces and hybrids to investigate the conditions of immigrants, refugees, asylum seekers, non citizens and homeless families.
I wish to develop the installation and make it more interactive. My idea is to design a spiral opening it up to the audience to visit the alien in the center of the spiral.
Front page photo: Elolo Bosoka
Choreographer and performer: Linh Le – Speaker: Lilly Pfalzer – Music: Linh Le & Priscilla Fiatsi – Design: Martin Toloku & Mawuenya Amudzi – Costume: Cando Fashion – Documentation: Onsoh Studio & Adams Yakini & Va-Bene Valikem Fiatsi
Workshop participants: Gabriel Grela Mesa, Sharon Kamassah, Sam Amegavi, Martin Toloku, Lilly Pfalzer, Dachil Sado, Francis Anim Sakyi, Leslie Glover, Halimatu Iddrisu, Asante Nathan, Kwabena Asarari Darko, Percy Ni Noi, Felicia.
Thanks to all the people for helping me realizing my dreams: Gabriel Grela Mesa, Lilly Pfalzer, Martin Toloku, Mawuenya Amudzi, Edward Onsoh, Priscilla Fiatsi, Adams Yakini, Precious Debrah, Percy Ni Noi, Dachil Sado, Captain, Marcella Naa Nuerkie Akuetteh.
Special thanks to Va-Bene Valikem Fiatsi for love and the space and time to develop the project at pIAR 2020 – perforcraze International Artist Residency and crazinisT artisT studiO.