The live video performance from here to there is the first outcome of a wider theoretical and performative investigation called Exceptio-nal bodies.The research stems from Giorgio Agamben’s concept of bare life and homo sacer (1995) with a specific interest for the highly visible manifestation of bio-political prescriptions onto the bodies of refugees and migrants. Through the figure of the migrant I am interested in drawing attention onto the ways in which contemporary power structures directly affect citizens’ bodies prescribing social behaviours as well as private aspirations.
Much of the material used for the performance was collected during a research stay in Eritrea, where local restrictions on filming and on interviewing strongly affected the methods I had to use to resource information. These took the shape of journals, written and visual, which I then elaborated in Europe keeping in mind the intimate nature of the material that I had collected and filtered through my responses to the encounter I had in that country. This made me think of the discrepancy between the collective imagery and understanding of the phenomenon of migration and the actual personal motives behind any journey. Consequentially I decided to create a piece that would position itself on the subtle boundary separating socio-political contingencies and personal aspirations. I realised how the concept of journey that I was working with had a lot in common with that of bildungsroman. The language of the private and that of the public became the two axes of the performance, constantly converging in the space of the body, which became the vanishing point of every image, directly asking questions about ideas of invisibility and exposure.
The performance is a succession of four chapters made of four visual, physical and written scores, each with their own vertical narratives exposing different angles of the relation between collective imageries and personal responses. The fragmented body is gradually revealed across the horizontal narrative that holds the four moments together.