Michele Rizzo "Higher xtn.". Performance
Inauguration of "Project X"
Zachęta – National Gallery of Art
HIGHER xtn., an adaptation of Michele Rizzo’s 2015 performance for the black-box HIGHER, explores the power of dance by focusing on the nightclub as a site of community building and radical self-expression. The artist draws inspiration from theorist Julia Kristeva’s writings on dance, and particularly her belief in its ability to accelerate the process of transhumanization—the technologically-aided enhancement of human beings beyond their current physical and intellectual limitations.
The artist calls attention to the fact that clubgoers often refer to the club as church, and consider it a safe environment where they can fully express themselves without fear of judgment. The dance of HIGHER xtn. highlights the cathartic and transformative power of techno music, whose repetitive rhythms can temporarily detach the dancers from their sense of self by inducing a state of trance. Rizzo believes this allows them to experience their identity as a “moldable sculpture.”
The artist believes that club culture fosters public intimacy by encouraging collectivity, while also allowing individuals of different backgrounds the space to explore their own identities. In the nightclub, dancers express themselves on an individual level while also becoming part of a multitude of people in motion. Each dancer is both object and subject, simultaneously seeing and being seen by others and continuously negotiate the boundaries between the self and the collective.
concept and choreography: Michele Rizzo
original soundtrack: Lorenzo Senni
dancers: Michele Rizzo, Max Göran, Charlie Laban Trier, Antonia Steffens, Arad Inbar
with thanks to: Stedelijk Museum/SNDO / ICK / Mondriaan Fonds / Prins Bernhard Cultuur Fonds