With “Stellar Fauna” Kat Válastur continues the series `”The staggered dances` of beauty” in which she reevaluates the production of mythology as tool to process contemporary questions. In this series the kinetic technique of morphing is developed further in correlation with the use of the voice as an integral part of the bodies performativity. Like in the mitotic phase of a cell divided in two, “Stellar Fauna” is divided in two parts, a video installation and a performance. Inside an elliptical room the two female performers enact some sort of contemporary mythological beings. They slowly craft an uncanny world. Cultural signs in morphing, mutated and digital attributes merge with melancholic songs and tear drops slowly creating an untamed ecosystem in grief. The space flourishes with the tension of the two bodies as their private and their social performance is suspended between something cheerfully animated and the meticulous intimation of mourning about something that is about to be lost. “Stellar Fauna“ is the creation of a world made by our world.
Concept/ Script/ Choreography Kat Válastur / Performed by Maria Zimpel, Harumi Terayama / Set design and sculptures: Leon Eixenberger /Artistic consultant: Filippos Kavakas / Sound design: Constantin Engelmann, Tobias Purfürst / Light design and light constructions: Martin Beeretz / Costume concept : Kat Válastur / Costume assistance and realisation: Ottavia Castellotti Suzan Çamlik / Production management HAU Artist Office: Sabine Seifert / Touring & distribution HAU Artist Office: Nicole Schuchardt
Production: Kat Válastur / HAU Hebbel am Ufer, co-production: Fondation d’entreprise Hermès, Théâtre de la Ville (Paris), Theater Freiburg, Fonds Transfabrik – deutsch-französischer Fonds für darstellende Künste.
Funded by: Senate Department for Culture and Europe.
“This work surprisingly rasps your soul with its raw sweetness. There is something aesthetically pleasing about Stellar Fauna, especially in the video. The performance is a raw, elegiac experience of the twilight of the gods. It is indeed “A discourse about bodies in the wilderness of our times” that brings with it an archaic primordial call. Cryptic in its references to the ecosystem breaking down and becoming untamed, it is a veiled critique to our way of living that would upset the ancient gods. We are killing the natural beauty surrounding us, unleashing unknown forces.”
Katja Vaghi ( 2018)
“Through perfect interaction of movement, sound, light and stage design, the performance unfolds a strong craft. Once again it becomes clear: Kat Válastur is a choreographer with her own artistic vision. And certainly one of the most reflective creators of the Berlin dance scene”
Sandra Lucina ( 2018)
We shuffle downstairs, switching places with the other half of the audience, to the ground floor where we recline on high quality bean bags to watch one screen, our bodies passive, our faces and eyes timed together. Here, as placid beings, we watch a documentary about human beings, their features, habits, habitat. They are so like us, only slightly different. A species diverged from us some time in the past. They are so beautiful. The eyelids close so elegantly in the sun, their bodies bob so softly in the water; the shape of their mouths, their nose, their teeth differs in exquisite detail; they like to sit close to other members of their species, look closely, touch closely. Here we see a species with which we are and are not one—here we see ourselves at our future-present moment, on the edge of the unknown.
Sasha Amaya ( 2018)
The focus on embracing the water puts the invocation of the (sin) flood in a different light: ‘the end of us’ becomes liberating when there is a new form of life in front of it, one that can live more in harmony with the ocean and can let go of obsessions. Man and all life returns to the water from which it once came, and which will eventually swallow up all the remains of human “civilization.”
Due to the complementary second part, the first part of Stellar Fauna also becomes more interesting in retrospect, as a techno-dystopian negative of the illuminated post-anthropocene presented in the film. Válastur shows us two possible visions of the future that compete with each other – people will perish, that is for sure, but the question is what will come next.
Marijn Lems ( 2020)
What kind of bodies are we becoming in a dramatically changing world? Through our trajectory in the 21st century we encountered the shift of certain meanings about the way we understand the environment and ourselves. The recognition of the anthropocene, technological progress and digitisation opened up the space for becoming more aware of our complexities and our ecological responsibilities, that has changed our perception of how we see ourselves. But even though a part of us confirms the new wave of commonality the other part still resists and negatively sustains towards a brutal and power oriented position. Wars, crisis and ecological destructions are dominant and present creating a deathly wave of pain and agony that is hard to comprehend. Is our advanced humanity capable of creating a world without destruction or is our barbaric and war driven past our dystopian future destiny?