KLARA UTKE ACS
Since from myself another self I turned
Klara Utke Acs is an artist working with dance and choreography based in Stockholm. She works with poetics and body politics in the borderlands of choreography, dramaturgy, sound, film, text and visual arts. Klara is dealing with questions regarding choreographic frameworks, the relation between dancer and dancing as well as the dramaturgical knowledge of a performer. She is working with discourse in proximity to her artistic production. In particular, Klara is busy with counter-hegemonic strategies from queer and crip writing and lived experience. Collaborative and collective processes are central in the work and Klara strives to question and challenge authorship and hierarchies in her roles as both a maker and a performer. Throughout the past years, she has created a series of works focusing on affect landscapes and subversive poetics of positioning oneself non-verbally.
Klara holds a BA in Dance Performance from DOCH, Stockholm University of the Arts. She is an active contributor to the dance communities in both Stockholm and Copenhagen, where she is from. She is a board member of Interim Kultur and a member of Insister Space and höjden. She initiated and still organizes the ongoing dance and reading circle POSSE. Her work has been presented in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Germany and the UK. She has performed in works by artists such as Pan Daijing, Pontus Pettersson, Ellen Söderhult, Soho Rezanejad, Young Girl Reading Group, Cassie Augusta Jørgensen, Stina Nyberg and Eleanor Bauer.
arrivals procrastinate *echo*
arrivals procastinate *echo* is a polyphony of choreographies initiated by dancer and performer Klara Utke Acs. It is a practice of social posing as a nonverbal – subtle yet forceful – mode of political positioning. As an eco-system of bodies, subjects and aliens, the performance is in instant dialogue with its surroundings. Melting into the situation where it takes place, it is indistinguishable from its environment. Meanwhile, the question arises: is the position of our bodies negotiable?
arrivals procastinate *echo* has been developed with performers Corinne Mustonen, Hanna Westling and Am Ertl, scenographer Tove Dreiman and composer Soho Rezanejad.
video documentation by Cecilie Jørck and Kamil Dossar Franko from Made in Space
pictures by Tove Dreiman from Norbergfestival
Performed at Norbergfestival 2018 as a part of the Choreomania program curated by Frida Sandström and at Made in Space 2017 by Space10, Copenhagen.
poses asymptote *hanging out*
klara utke acs POSES_beta v.2
poses are positions positions are poses
defined as a a as defined
number of embodied embodied of number
attitudes or positions positions or attitudes
most often studied studied often most
poses are also defined as as defined also are poses
mental or ideological ideological or mental
positions or attitudes attitudes or positions
subjects claim claim subjects
the way a a way the
body poses in in poses body
a given space also is is also space given a
positioning it politically politically it positioning
a pose is affected affected is pose a
by immediate surroundings surroundings immediate by
as well as embodied prescriptions prescriptions embodied as well as
as such poses are are poses such as
never merely claims claims merely never
in landscapes of of landscapes in
affect aliens aliens affect
one poses a a poses one
question – as as – question
I just did did just I
pose a question question a pose
to your pose pose your to
Made with poses asymptote *hanging out* and arrivals procrastinate *echo*
poses asymptote *hanging out* is a solo build on poses and contemporary iconography. It repeats images and projections of feminine figures over and over again as a subversive strategy to dismantle and mold their expressions. Departing from visual realm of contemporary communication it invites the perceiver to alter their perception of the stillness and movements of posing. Through repetitions the choreopgraphy renders the movements as if still, like statues of memory spread in the room.
poses asymptote *hanging out* is choreographed and performed by Klara Utke Acs. The sound is made by DJ HVAD, remixed by Sufie Elmgreen.
Performed at The Publication by Galerie at Overgaden, CPH:DOX/Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Minibar and DOCH, 2017-2018
dear John neanderthal letter
I grieve and dare not show my discontent
I love and yet am forced to seem to hate
I do, yet dare not say I ever meant
I seem stark mute but inwardly do prate
I am and not
I freeze and yet am burned
Since from myself another self I turned
(queen elizabeth I)
Neanderthal dear John letter is a dance dealing heartbreak, intimate relations and an idea about the self as an unstable entity. The score for dancing is ghostwritten by Sufie Elmgreen – somewhere in between a letter, a drawing and a poem. It is based on personal conversations on love, illness and art making between Sufie and Klara. Later the score was transcribed and put into play by using it as a dance treasure hunt map, first laid out on a rocky ground and later implemented in a white cube.
score by Sufie Elmgreen, dancing by Klara Utke Acs, performance by the Red Nurse, scenographic elements by Tove Dreiman
Epigenesis was a choreographic installation – a dance performance and a live concert – that explored how a digital displacement of time and space creates an image on its own. Via a live stream it connected movement from Berlin and sound from Copenhagen while being accessible through the Internet for the world wide web. Epigenesis exhibited a scenario where the human expression is inseparable from the technology that surrounds them.
The biological term “epigenesis” describes the differentiating process cells undergo, when the neural plastic potential of the brain is sculpted – a process the subject goes through as a consequence of the encounter with its surroundings. As Warren Neidich states in his essay “Art in the age of cognitive capitalism” the sculpting of the pluri-potential of the brain is the ability to internalize external activity. This does not only change the way human beings navigate in the world but also how we perceive it. In this way the subject is sculpted to become an agent for its culture. When we document experiences through mobile devices, it does not only become a projection of our ideas of aesthetics captured by this media. The interaction with the device also shapes our aesthetic experience of the event. As a consequence, our perception of aesthetics and authenticity is influenced by how we perceive events represented through technologies and contemporary media.
The composition brought the medium of documentation and virtual framing into the act of live performance, creating a physical in-between between the performer and perceiver. Thus the performance consisted of three elements: the body subject, the sound, and the virtual expression. One part was taking place in Berlin – a body moving. Whilst-while a live streaming of the performance was projected at a venue in Copenhagen. In Copenhagen music was created and responded to the movements on the screen and streamed back to Berlin. The feedback created an inter-loop, a delayed dialogue between the two artists. A circular recurring movement from the visual to the sound, from the sound to the visual. From Berlin to Copenhagen and back again. An exploration of the temporal displacement, this delayed dialogue that occurs so often our digitalised world. Epigenesis was an investigation of the digital spaces we create and the mediums we communicate and perceive through. Furthermore it is an investigation of time. Time as a non-linear concept, that recurs and create an effect in the present.
In Berlin the audience members, the sheborgs from Young Girl Reading Group perceived every movement of Klara’s through screens. They agreed upon only watching the performance through a mobile device. This was a dogma of ‘Epigenesis‘. Following the moving body subject through the camera, the subjective experiences are becoming a collective movement not only in-capturing the movement of the performer but also shaping a living scenography. A reversed Panopticon. The audience was guided through specific instructions – a choreographic score – shaping lighting of the installation. In this way the installation took character of a total choreography. With the eyes only on the screen, the participants moved collectively from their different points of view: each subject became a part taker in a larger physical and unconscious motion.
In Copenhagen musician Christian Stadsgaard was situated behind a screen in the Gallery. A patchwork of transparent foam formed the movie screen, so that the projection was visible from both sides. In this way he was only able to speak through the sound of his electronic instruments. The connection was lacking which resulted in only glimpses of the body coming through. The sensation of a bad skype conversation – the expression of a bad internet connection. In the end the online live-stream channel broke down. An alternative connection was established (abandoning the online viewers) and the artistic conversation was re-established and the performance executed. Through the live stream of the two different voices, the virtual expression emerged and became a performative entity on its own.
Video by Egle Kulbokaite
Epigenesis took place at Tanzfabrik Berlin and SixtyEight Art Institute in Copenhagen
It was created in collaboration with curator Anna Weile Kjær, designer Marie Lea Lund and composer Christian Stadsgaard
Mood board contributions from Marie Lea Lund and Anna Weile Kjær
Ai, Agatha manifests in a reality, in which body subjects are merging through technology. Agatha Valkyrie Ice is a virtual character developed by The Young Girl Reading Group, who was part taking in the performance. In Ai, Agatha, Agatha was made perceivable through the meeting between bodies and digital technology.
No one could enter without a mobile device. The device was needed in order to perceive the performance. In order to enter the dark room one had to sign a contract: one would only perceive the performance through the device. Only the performer had no device but was only visible as a consequence of the lights from the surrounding devices. Ai, Agatha was made as a site specific installation in the dark room of a rave party. Music pumping. People sweating.
On the screens the body moved slowly. On the screens muscles and ligaments are covered with skin. On the screens the body pours silver liquid on the skin. Metallic muscle tones shine in the flashing lights. Sensuous bodies relating through devices. The movements of the digitalised body were captivated, crystallized.
During the performance body subjects were dissolving. This is indicated by the use of the non-personal pronoun Ai, the only pronoun pronounced in the context of Agatha. By signing and following the directions of the contract each participator was a co-creator of the performance – rather than a grey mass of passive audience members. The participators put light unto the performance, literally as well as conceptually. Each of these individuals framed the visual experience through a mobile device, and hereby the subject’s perception became inseparable from their interaction with the device. They were merging into contemporary cyborgs.
More about Agatha:
P0$$€ dance and reading is a weekly gathering for people wanting to spend time dancing and reading together. It is an open-ended study circle for practitioners within contemporary dance and other curious ones. We meet up weekly in different constellations to practice reading and dancing together and investigate what this could mean. Each session is hosted by one or several practitioners that propose the materials: text to read, a way to read the text and dances. The text can be written be artistic, essayistic, philosophical, articles, lyrics, poetry, manifestos, scores. The methods can vary from reading in a circle one by one, to braiding hair, to intimate readings, to speaking through robotic voices. The dances can vary in style: contemporary, modern, reggaeton, body work, formalism, expressive dance, dance-rituals, scores, meditations, writing, questioning, healing, dreaming, for example.
POSSE is engaged with critical practices and with generating discourse through doing. POSSE is an institutional parasite, an autonomous entity, based on the idea that nothing is connected to everything, everything is connected to something (Harraway). The host of POSSE is changing from week to week, just like its participants. POSSE is whoever is there. POSSE was initiated by Tamara Alegre, Chloe Chignell, Louise Pousette and Klara Utke Acs, and is now organized by Louise and Klara with Austeja Vilkaityte and Alice MacKenzie. The graphics are made by Ali-eddine Abdelkhalek. POSSE is registered as an ABF-study circle and takes place primarily at c.off from February 2019.
Throughout the years they have collaborated with My Wild Flag, END FEST, c.off (SE), Scene:Bluss (NO), Galerie (Intl.), Ultimate Fantasies/Jennifer Boyd (UK) and Fresh Air Magazine (IT). During the past years sister POSSEs have emerged in Copenhagen and Melbourne.
POSSE has previously been hosted by: Josefina Björk, Reading Edge / Izabella Borzecka, Klara Utke Acs, Lisen Pousette, Ellinor Ljungkvist, Ebba Petrén, Siriol Joyner, Alice MacKenzie, Jennie Bergsli, Ace Georgiev, Amina Bile, Runhild Gammelsæter, Samuel Feldhandler, Sophie Pousette, Oda Brekke, Alica Tserkovnaja, Sara Lindström, Cara Tolmie, Maia Means, Evelina JP, Lydia Östberg Diakité, Lara Oundijan, Ina Dokmo, Olivia Riviere, Alice Heyward, Andreas Haglund, Chloe Chignell, Amanda Billberg, Alexander Talts, Tamara Alegre, Lisen Ellard, Else Turnemyr, Danilo Alexandre, Frida Sandström, Carima Neusser, BamBam Frost, Hana Erdman, Louise Dahl, Austeja Vilkaityte, Benny Olk, Marie Ursin, Peter Mills, Caitlin Dear, Pontus Pettersson, Tiia Kasurinen, Karina Sarkissova, Sonjis Laine, Yari Stilo, Gry Tingskog, Darío Bardam, Ali-eddine Abdelkhalek, Adriano Wilfert Jensen, Frédéric Gies
POSSE interviewed by c.off
POSSE is a dance and reading circle that first started in Stockholm in February 2017. During the last year it has taken place at c.off, hosted by different practitioners from the field of dance and choreography. POSSE is right now organized by Alice MacKenzie, Austeja Vilkaityte, Klara Utke Acs and Lisen Pousette. We asked them what POSSE is and how it will develop.
How would you describe POSSE and how is it organized?
– POSSE is a gathering for dancing and reading that takes place on a regular basis. It is an open-ended study circle and each session is hosted by a different practitioner within dance, choreography, visual arts, mime, philosophy and other fields. We like to think of it as a gathering point: you know someone will be there, but never exactly who.
How did you come up with the idea and what were the needs that led up to it?
– Initially, the wish to create a space for gathering around text and dance came from a proposal by Tamara Alegre. This was in 2017 when Tamara, Klara Utke Acs and Lisen Pousette were studying at DOCH and Chloe Chignell was living in Stockholm. What then came to be POSSE emerged from a collective wish for an informal context where you could share ideas, materials and spontaneous inputs related to both reading and dancing. We felt that there were other contexts where you could share practices, by which we mean: something you as an artist have spent a lot of time and work on, with others or by yourself. Due to this, we felt there were few or no contexts where you could share text- and dance related ideas that were not expected to be highly articulated and/or have a certain degree of academic/professional weight. This does not mean we wanted a less serious form of gathering – rather a space to gather where we could seriously approach the un-articulated together.
We felt a need for a space where it was possible to share everything from an abstract idea to something you’ve tried once or a 10-year practice, with an emphasis on the doing-together with the people that are there.
POSSE started out as an extracurricular activity and a way to parasite on DOCH’s space. Several dance studios were often left empty in the evenings, but impossible to access if you’re not a part of the institution. Later on, we decided to initiate the collaboration with c.off and ABF, to make it more accessible for people who weren’t necessarily studying at DOCH and to see what POSSE could become in a different context.
POSSE evolves around both text and dance/choreography as a point of departure for each session. What methods do you work with to engage with the material and in what ways can the textual and choreographic elements overlap and intertwine?
– Yes, text and dance is really the basis — it’s what we gather around. We think that POSSE is as much about reading and dancing together — to explore what that could be — as it is about the choices of materials. Since each session is hosted by a different person the kinds of materials and approaches change. As organizers, we have set up the time frame and the idea of a dance and reading group and the hosts define for themselves what this could be. The host makes a proposal in terms of the material and a method to engage with it. Examples of readings could be to read an article on hair and magic whilst braiding each other’s hair, to listen to a text through feeling the vibrations of another body, who is reading it out loud, or simply, to sit in a circle and read a paragraph out loud one at the time. The method of approaching the dance material also varies just as the kind of dance material itself varies. Whether it is a dance phrase, a score, a meditation, lip-syncing, growling or doing drag, the idea is that the host proposes and then we all figure out how to deal with that proposal together.
Have you discovered any expected or unexpected synergies (connections, co-operation, liaisons) over time when pursuing this type of practice with a repetitive format.
– During the time of organizing POSSE we have been building an archive of the texts and dances that have been proposed. This was not a clear intention in the beginning, but has happened through time and it is something that we have really come to appreciate. In contrast to the simple nature of the format that POSSE proposes, the text and dance archive that is continuously unfolding offers an incredible richness. This would have been impossible to plan or imagine before starting. In addition to being a record of texts versus dances, the collection has become an overarching POSSE archive, where themes connect, threads intertwine and interests overlap. Rather than deciding on the kind of content in advance, POSSE has been building a discourse through doing and according to the interests, curiosities and desires of the ones that have taken part and proposed. None of us has participated in every single POSSE, however everyone that has participated in POSSE — to whatever extent — has their own references according to the sessions they have been part of. It is like an open-ended web of knowledge.
Do you have any specific ways of dealing with the selection process for the content of each session?
– It varies between us asking people to host and people proposing themselves. The idea is that the host has attended a POSSE before. Even if they decide to host the POSSE in a very different way, it is nice to have a reference to how someone else has done it and to sense the vibe of POSSE. It creates a discontinuous cohesion to the sessions. Either people that have participated in a previous POSSE have an idea and propose to host a POSSE on a particular date, or we encourage and ask colleagues to host. It can be a good excuse to read that text that you never get to read on your own or to learn a dance from your favorite music video. Sometimes, we also ask people that are passing through Stockholm but are not based here, even if they haven’t participated in a POSSE before, but are familiar with the format.
From time to time, we have discussed whether we should make a more clear outline and direction in terms of the content. We tend to read feminist, intersectional and critical texts whether they are articles, song lyrics, stories or poems. However, we want to insist that how we read the texts and engage with them is as important within POSSE. So if we read a text that has problematic aspects we deal with it in an explicitly critical way.
What are your plan and vision for POSSE in the future?
– For now we will see how the current format and way of organizing ourselves is working. We recently changed from meeting every Tuesday to meeting two Tuesdays per month, and now we are testing to see how that works and if it creates the kind of cohesion and consistency that we would like POSSE to have. We are also discussing the format in terms of sustainability and relevance. The weekly POSSEs are driven entirely voluntary by both us as organizers and by the hosts. We need the format of POSSE to serve us rather than us serving the format. Spelling P0$$€ with a zero, dollar signs and euro like we did initially was a wink at the fact that we are voluntarily organized, were not paying for space and free to attend.
A number of POSSEs have been started in other cities by people who spent some time in the Stockholm version. It is very exciting to see how the POSSEs in Copenhagen and Melbourne unfold and what questions and aspects that will arise in these contexts. At the moment there is also a discussion about starting one in Montreal!
photo by Fryd Frydendahl
2019 choreographer, dancer and writer, pas de Morbus performed with Ellen Söderhult (SE), Lisa Schåman (FI), Aurore D’Audiffret (FR) and Jennie Bergsli (NO), sound by Danial Iinatti (SE), part of BA Degree Project supervised by Anne Juren (FR/AT), Bronwyn Baileys Charteris (AUS/SE) and Josefine Wikström (SE)
2017-18 choreographer and performer, arrivals procrastinate *echo* performed with AM Ertl (DE) and Corinne Mustonen (FI), sound by Soho Rezanejad (DK/IR), scenography by Tove Dreiman (SE), presented at Norbergfestival 2018, Choreomania curated by Frida Sandström (SE), and at Made in Space 2017 by Space10 in Copenhagen
2018 concept and dance, Neanderthal dear John letter, a dance solo ghostwritten by artist Sufie Elmgreen (DK), performed at the exhibition “Loungen” at Konstnärshuset in Stockholm
2018 performer and maker, Compost Performance Lecturer, supervised by Eleanor Bauer (US/SE) and Zoë Poluch (CA/SE), DOCH
2016-17 choreographer and performer, poses asymptote *hanging out* solo presented at The Publication by Galerie at Overgaden, CPH:DOX/Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Minibar (SE) and DOCH
2016 choreographer and performer, Eight is Enough at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, Bête à Bon Dieu (UK) and Loona Nights at Dansehallerne (DK)
2015 choreographer and dancer, Epigenesis, live stream installation with musician Christian Stadsgaard (DK) and curator Anna Weile Kjaer (DK). Presented at / mediated between Tanzfabrik Berlin and SixtyEight Art Institute (Cph)
2014 choreographer, Ai, Agatha with Agatha Valkyrie Ice at a rave in Copenhagen
2017- initiator of the open-ended dance and reading circle P0$$€ collectively organized with Chloe Chignell (BE/AUS), Tamara Alegre (SE/ES) and Louise Pousette (SE), separate events and labs in collaboration with Scene:bluss (NO) , ENDFEST (SE), My Wild Flag (SE), Köttinspektionen (SE) and others
2019 choreographer and performer, Crow Without Mouth by Soho Rezanejad (DK) at Berlin Atonal
2018 outside eye, FIEBRE by Tamara Alegre (ES/CH)
2017 co-curator with film and media-scholar Cecilie Jørck (DK), Autopsia a series of audio/visual performances with contributions from Gisèle Vienne, Societas Raffaello Sanzio, Margret Sara Gudjonsdottir, Juli Apponen, Noa Eshkol, Stina Nyberg, Contemporary Cruising, Icelandic Dance Company, Pan Daijing, Astrid Sonne, Xenia Xamanek, Alex Zhang Hungtai, Haj300 and more www.autopsia.media
2014 co-director, Five Apartments, with Madeleine Kate McGowan (DK). Received INDGRB’s award “Den Gyldne Mursten” for artistic projects realized outside institutions in DK
performer / dancer
2019 performer, Tissues and The Absent Hours by Pan Daijing (CN/DE) at Tate Modern
2019 performer, Ägget, katten och dikten – Där ytan river sår by Pontus Pettersson (SE) at Konsthall C
2016-18 dancer, How to do Things with Romance – a prologue by Ellen Söderhult (SE) at Scenekonstmässsan (SE) and at Black Box Teater (NO) and on tour as double bill Rudy performed at MDT (SE), Dansehallerne (DK), Riksteatern (SE) and at the Åland Islands
2018 performer, Scene:Bluss the Hellmouth Edition by Marie Nikazm and Friedrich Floen (NO)
2018 dancer, Bodies of Water by Pontus Pettersson (SE) in Dora García’s (ES) installation Red Love at Tensta Kunsthal
2018 dancer, Splendour by Stina Nyberg (SE) at DOCH
2018 performer, Borrowed Landscape by Heine Avdal and Yukiko Shinozaki (NO/JA/BE), site specific
2017 performer, The Booth by Galerie Intl. at Untitled Artfair, Miami
2017 dancer, Ouraboracular by Eleanor Bauer (US/SE), DOCH
2015 performer, Agatha 18.104.22.168 by Young Girl Reading Group / Dorota Gaweda and Egle Kulbokaite
2014 dancer, T by Cassie Augusta Jørgensen (DK)
2014 performer, Exorcism #1 by Sarah Armstrong (DK) at Berlin Soup Festival
2011-13 performer, Fiction Pimps (DK), installation Velvet State at Roskilde Festival in collaboration with Collective Unconscious (UK) and Shjworks (DK) and the largescale intervention 13.12.11 in public spaces of Copenhagen
2007-11 company dancer, Juniorkompagniet at Dansescene/Dansehallerne performed in works by Alessandro Sousa Perreira, Martin Forsberg, Oded Graf, Bo Madvig and more. Won the talent price for the 10 years anniversary of the company in 2009.
2020 Professional training at Dansehallerne, Copenhagen
2019 AT ISSUE morning classes at höjden
2018 AT ISSUE:PRACTISING at Danscentrum Stockholm
2016-19 BA Dance performance, DOCH, Stockholm University of the Arts
2014-15 Dance Intensive at Tanzfabrik Berlin
2010-11 Artist 2, AFUK, Akademiet for Utæmmet Kreativitet, Copenhagen
contribution to discourse / texts
2019 guest in the second episode of the podcast Navegante hosted by Karina Sarkissova discussing the topic: “Who is the contemporary dancer?” for Dutch Art Institute. https://soundcloud.com/navegantepodcast
2018 “POSSE – Copenhagen Session” published as a part of the immaterial publication “The Publication” edited and published by Galerie at Overgaden
2018 Editor of P0$$€ BL0G T4K3 0V3R in collaboration with Chloe Chignell and Louise Pousette by ENDFEST (SE). Also I contributed with the text “POSES_beta”
2017 “Når Dokumentationen Vækkes til Live” co-written with Cecilie Jørck about documentation of performance art and on the work with Autopsia, published by I DO ART (DK)
2016 “They beach” co-written with Kai Merke under the moniker Danish Dance Theater (Company) published in This Container Magazine (Intl.) by Chloe Chignell, Ellen Söderhult and Maia Means
2016 Part-taker in and contributor to Nobody’s Dance in Copenhagen initiated by Ellen Söderhult (SE) and Eleanor Bauer (BE/US) at DDSKS (DK)
2015 “body mediated” published in Shared Risk by RISK (DK)
community and board work
2019- member of höjden and co-initiator of the queer social art gatherings fake daughter
2017- member of Insister Space
2018- Board member, Interim Kultur
2017-19 Board member, Stockholm University of the Arts