On Being and Consciousness

Wednesday, June 28, 2023 - 7:00 pm

Still from Experiment in Living (2016), Manon de Boer

Open your ears, steady your gaze, relax your body, and free your mind as Manon de Boer guides us through a meditation on creativity. Four artists—a dancer, a performance artist, a musician, and an actor—ponder extracts from psychoanalyst Marion Milner’s An Experiment in Leisure (1937) and On Not Being Able to Paint (1950). There’s a Norwegian seascape to contemplate, whose soundwaves penetrate the artists’ workspaces, inducing a state of mental flow somewhere between presence and absence. In Grace Ndiritu’s Becoming Plant, six dancers participate in a therapeutic group experiment with psychedelics in a demilitarized industrial complex. Once the infused psilocybin kicks in, clothes shed like pupa and emerging bodies stretch and twist organically into a choreographed exploration of the site, their movements reflecting the themes of psychiatrist Birgit Bundensen’s voiceover: neuroscience, communication, mental health, commodification, capitalism, labour, communitarianism, spirituality, healing, happiness, and alternative ways of being in the world.

An Experiment in Leisure
Belgium 2016
Manon de Boer
36 min. DCP

In Dutch, English, and French with English subtitles

Becoming Plant
United Kingdom/​Norway/​Denmark 2022
Grace Ndiritu
49 min. DCP

Programmed by Michèle Smith