Transience is a site-specific living installation choreographed by Maciej Kuźmiński in collaboration with dramaturg Paul Bargetto and produced by Šeiko Dance Company based on the performance “i”. In the piece, a group of faceless visitors occupy a part of the local urban landscape as a form of living sculpture. Their intervention in contemporary reality creates a dissonance and invites the public to engage in a situation where the familiar is suddenly made strange and open to reinterpretation and contemplation.
Conceived as trans human beings from the future or from another world, the “visitors” operate on several levels of meaning in the contemporary urban environment. The most important idea is the concept of transience. We live in very uncertain times, and the idea that everything can change profoundly and quickly without warning is one of the central features of our current zeitgeist. We constantly evolve, increasingly upgrading ourselves with the latest achievements of technology, adapting to the social and ethical norms that shift accordingly, gradually becoming the orphans of the contemporary world.
This living installation is durational, spread over many hours, allowing the beings to become living sculptures, to fully inhabit a location and provide the public time to contemplate. Their intervention in contemporary reality creates a dissonance and invites the public to engage in a situation where the familiar is suddenly made strange and open to reinterpretation. An important goal is to make visible to the public and encourage them to contemplate the essence of our time – the habits, routines, social norms, behavioral patterns, and, finally, the almost invisible objects that inhabit urban space, like trees or signs.
In the current pandemic environment, where mask wearing and social distancing are mandated policies, the beings also present the possibility of a worse, apocalyptic situation, where helmets and full body suits become necessary for survival.
On the performative level the visitors represent a maximum otherness. Their motivations, and the meanings of their movements are purposefully inscrutable and hidden, and they make no or little attempt to communicate with or directly interact with the public. They are simply present. On this level, the performance brings the public into a confrontation with their own attitudes towards strangers and their tolerance for otherness.