Lay Me Low looks at the terror of standing still and standing up for yourself or others when physical and emotional balance is a struggle. The performance also ponders on why taking a break, resting and cutting oneself some slack is such a pain today. Hence it looks at the techniques, as well as joys and fears of going down and feeling horizontal.
From the aristocratic comforts of the chaise longue to the fascination with the torturous bed of nails, the performance struggles with the ableist discomfort of not being able to stand, act and gain. It also wonders why leisure is a luxury achievable only for some. Tricia Hersey writes in Rest Is Resistance: “Resistance is laying down when you have been told to keep going.” This work attempts to create conditions for the temporary release of the fear of laziness and the anxiety to perform to imagine what else this life could be. For those whose health conditions make them bedridden and horizontal for most of the time, the work will attempt to honour the act of being, as opposed to performing, no matter what.
ANIA NOWAK’s choreographic practice approaches vulnerability and desire as ways towards reimagining what bodies and language can and cannot do. She develops formats such as live and video performance, installation and text. In her practice Nowak engages with bodies in their nonlinear feeling and thinking capacity to tackle the difficulties of companionship and care in times of a perpetual crisis. Nowak’s work attempts to reimagine the notions of disorder, pleasure, disease, intimacy, pain, sexuality, class and accessibility as sites of binary free living. She collaborates with alternative educational programs in Eastern Europe, such as Kem School in Warsaw and the School of Kindness in Sofia. Her works were presented at HAU Hebbel am Ufer, Berlinische Galerie, Akademie der Künste and Sophiensæle in Berlin; Nowy Teatr Warsaw, La Casa Encendida Madrid, the Baltic Triennial at CAC Vilnius, Q21 Vienna and M HKA Antwerp a.o. Nowak lives and works in Berlin.
TEXT, CHOREOGRAPHY, PERFORMANCE Ania Nowak SOUND Justyna Stasiowska COSTUME Grzegorz Matląg PRODUCTION MANAGEMENT Micaela Kuhna Jara Outside eye Julia Plawgo
A production by Ania Nowak in co-production with SOPHIENSÆLE within the frame of Leisure & Pleasure, supported by the Capital Cultural Fund. Supported by Fonds Darstellende Künste with funds from the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media. Media partners: Arts of the Working Class, Berlin Art Link, Kulturplakatierung, Missy Magazine, Rausgegangen, tip Berlin, taz.die tageszeitung.