Heli Meklin

 

I was asked to write a text concerning my work for the anniversary program of Moving in November. My notes from the phone conversation are as follows:

 

what is the interest   artist

where             are you going

what is the interest     towards

 

My connection to the festival is that I have been one of its invited choreographers. My work Bruce and more, premiered at the festival in 2008, had its origin as part of the Belgian artist Michael Laub’s Portrait Series Berlin, which took place at Tanz im August the previous year. I wanted to create a full work out of this segment, and it ended up being coproduced by Moving in November and Zodiak – Center for New Dance. In this work, I used by personal history to shine light on the formulation of identities, and I moved somewhere between dance and stand up comedy. I still like the work a lot.

 

So to the question, what is the interest   artist ?

My long term working project is defined by three rules. The first one is interest and following it. Commitment to follow the interest, to practice the skill of recognizing it, and to comply taking the direction where it points. For me, the following of interest and intrigue is related to integrity and responsibility. It takes me into directions of the new, but it also requires letting go.

 

where            are you going ?

About two years ago, I decided not to be an artist anymore. The decision revealed itself to me clearly one day. I had to admit that art seemed meaningless to me. As I was shutting down upcoming projects and grants, I had no idea what would come in their place. I did not share this thought with anyone, except for those directly related to the projects. During this decision, I was in the middle of a performance season. This gave me the opportunity to hold a secret ”gala performance” to celebrate the end of my career. I didn’t tell anyone.

After a few months, I started to take continuing education courses in another field. After six months, I took part in a group residency concerning an art project that I had been unable to cancel. During this time, with some distance, I started to recognize the sublimity of art. The problem wasn’t in the meaninglessness of art, but rather in the narrow identity that I had when viewing art or being an artist.

 

” (…) Rushing is not the thing to do. As we see in the tale, sitting and rocking is the thing to do. Patience, peace, and rocking renew ideas. Just holding the idea and the patience to rock it are what some women might call luxury. Wild Woman says it is a necessity. This is something the wolves know all about. When an intruder appears, wolves may growl, bark, or even bite the interloper, but also they may, from a good distance, draw back into their group and sit together as a family would. They just sort of sit there and breathe together, Rib cages go in and out, up and down. They’re focusing themselves, regrounding themselves, returning to the center of themselves and deciding what is critical, what to do next. They’re deciding they’re ’not going to do anything right now, just going to sit here and breathe, just gonna rock together.’ (…)”.

(Clarissa Pinkola Estés: Women who run with the wolves

 

what is the interest            towards ?

What is most magnificent about dance is the verbally-not-fully-communicable area that takes form somewhere in-between. That begins somewhere, and if it is nurtured and given space, it evolves into something that is recognizable by others as well. It is delightful, intelligent, unexpected, new, wise and absolutely important. It requires ability that is offsided in much of our Western civilization.

Interesting and enchanting to me are beauty, abundance and wildness. Interesting are the moments, spaces, bodies and structures where these can flourish, in varying scales. It is interesting to comprehend, recognize, and distinguish structures in society and in the mind, as well as norms and conventions that shape action.

In what forms and in which fields these interests take place for me remains to be seen.

 

Wishing a Happy 30th Anniversary to Moving in November,

Heli Meklin

 


Bruce and more by Heli Meklin and Michael Laub had its premiere at Moving in November festival 2008.


 

 

Moving in November festival has coproduced new works by Finnish dance artists for over ten years, To celebrate its 30th anniversary, the festival has invited artists 2007–2016 to write and discuss their artistic practice. These texts are published in the festival catalogue. On the Birthday Brunch on Oct. 5, 2016, the artists will discuss the texts together with the audience.

 > Read all artist texts