Stop waiting and start walking

Stop waiting and start walking (a practise of movement in life and writing), Henry Alles, May 2019


The research at Duncan Center starts in between the iron bars of the front gate at Methonis 75. How to walk from Methonis 75 in Exarchia to Duncan Centre in Vyronas? Lift your right leg up quit high and put your foot in between two bars of iron of the front gate and lean to the left with your left hand stretching all the way to the white switch that, sitting just besides the front door that you just opened all the way, electronically controls the latch of the gate. Push the switch and pull the gate with your right foot. Step out onto the street and go to the right.

The sun will be not to bright in the morning and it will take until at least Benaki museum to loose the shades of the buildings and get too much bright sunlight. This heating up of the body through walking and sunlight really start asking attention around the Stadium Kalimarmaro but let’s not forget you just filled a bottle with water from the tap outside the guard station in the National Garden, across of the embassy of Ireland.


While walking I wonder what is the difference between a garden and a park? I have studied some Dutch parks and think maybe it is that a garden has a subtle openness towards the surrounding city that is different from a park like the one above Leof Alexandras, a park in which you clearly are away from the city when in being in it. I am not sure if this is the difference and I might study this some more in Brussels when I visit A.pass and their current project “Troubled Gardens”, curated by Nicolas Galeazzi.


At the Stadium Kalimarmaro I jump over a dog making her companion apologize, a little later, on the left corner of the stadium, I was stalled by them again and said in a friendly and smiling manner that this shouldn’t happen a third time maybe, the companion of the dog promised she would prevent this as I turn to the right and go up the stairs. ‘Pass the shapes and the angles. Up, there I go, into a tent within a tent. You know how to find me and join in. Touching is allowed, curiosity is needed, and knowledge is shared. If it is blue than do.’ (Henry Alles, In the light of the work, 2019).


Describing the route as a series of walking events have now turned so clearly in being part of the working at Duncan Centre and Aparamillon. What did we do at the Duncan centre? A question so easily asked, points towards possible feelings of taking responsibility and doing as a counteract to being invited. But who invited whom? I think we invited the Duncan centre to invite us and entered this cooperation with wanting to share my cli-fi (climate fiction) writing that I have been doing lately and see if in an organic way this could become part of our practice during the residence. I made coffee and smiled to myself when I took some cold water from the leaking tap that is so much as ‘on cold metal plates, drop down into the yet again growing sea’ (Henry Alles, In the light of the work, 2019).


In the first week I said we should not commodify ourselves in this research, even strongly try to prevent any commodification and focus on the becoming as I have learned it to be possible in the texts by Erin Manning. And in the beginning of the second week I shared with the group my feeling of working on material without going into the world or being with the world is making me feel down. From the moment I explained this we went out more open and stepped into the world, onto the dance floor, met with others, saw a play, share a thought and shared food and drinks in a different way then the first week. I think I felt very acknowledged by the conversation we had with Penelope.


These research times are the times to ask questions. And perform the archaeology of performance. Eat new scores in many different ways, produce, reproduce, valuate and think of the three ecologies as describe by Guattari; social, mental and environmental.


Stop waiting and start walking (a practise of movement in life and writing), Henry Alles, May 2019


I am sitting on a bench on a stage that I just entered seconds before, through a way backstage that makes me feel I might be several floors down in the basement. Some faces in front of me are becoming more familiar to me, some are new, and some feel like becoming old friends. It seems the rehearsal of the play I am in is trying to discuss a current political problem in Athens being the capitalist aggression of renting out private houses as temporary residencies for people that can afford to travel beyond their own social network. I am happy to see that the subject points out the extreme importance of the connection between global and local in the current world economy. But in trying to not travel to much into my own lateral way of thinking I only look at the subject through the question of what would we learn when we would project this problem onto our residence at Aparamillon? A place that strongly demands that the residence is intended for research only and is not available as an easy stage to be able to perform in Athens as part of the ever growing list of public performances available in Athens. This season Athens has about 1500 performances on all kinds of scales and many of them will never see a decent amount of audience.


What we did we do at Aparamillon? We, the group doing this residence, created the circumstance to be invite by Aparamillon because Paula, Katie and I were in the same audition for a masters program as was Giorgos Kritharas, currently an actor for the National Greek Theatre and one of the ‘some feel like becoming old friends’. Our desires clearly created the circumstances. At that time we wanted to do research and now we are still continuing it and by doing so are growing a network of equalities and hospitalities. And as I have a history of taking care of residencies these acts of exchange are familiar to me. During our stay in Athens I stay with friends that were able to buy a small basement apartment in the neighbourhood of Exarchia, very specifically sold to them by someone who tried explicitelly to prevent that people turn places into Air BnB apartments. Furthermore we, the group before even arriving to Athens, discussed the use of algorithms to support and deal with money when doing residencies together, (This use of algorithms isn’t that easy at all to understand although everybody is now convinced they use them in their work, just as we think we create networks, just as we think we oppose corporate identities by choosing brand names for collaborative workingproces, just as we think we are platforms, just as we think we are doing it DIY but if needed we will buy a banana to relieve us from the first problem we run into.) and we decided to support some of the structures that we have made use of during our residence in Athens.


Since this is not intended to become a long essay I stick to the later point of the location of our residence. I want to emphasize on what we did learn about the earlier mentioned capitalst aggression; we did a residence in Athens, being the location, through the support of a social network in which we did not make use of Air BnB, tried as much as possible to share food and work communally. And I feel very grateful that both the Duncan Centre and Aparamillon provide us with what we could not bring: site, location, local history, community, new friends and contacts, drinks, performances and love. I get up from the bench as I am invite to dance.


I get up from the bench as walk out and again walk the streets of Athens between Exarchia, Duncan Centre and Aparamillon and I know it is a great exchange in which I feel very safe. Will anybody get drunk at any time? The research in Athens brought me to write at text called Stop wining start doing (as an answer to how to be in the world as the artist I am) and a poem called Kings of bitter oranges.