Departing from the encounter with the personal archive of a deceased person, Carmen Passols, the research explores presence and absence and its translation to dance. Together with the musician Andrés Ortega, we will reappropriate some of the most known tracks of the Opera, Carmen, that have made it to the collective subconscious. Through processes of distortion and delay of the sound, ghosts are invited to manifest and the alive are invited to step into the non-existent. Reinterpretations of spiritual practices, imagination processes, and movement patterns that provoke transitional states, will build an archive of tools to pass through presence and absence. In opposition to the Opera that ends with the brutal murder of Carmen by his ex-lover, Idk Carmen departs from the memory of an absent Carmen and traces a thread towards life. Idk Carmen produces dances for absent bodies and bodies that do not belong to their materiality.
Residency blog posts
I am Marcos Nacar, I spent August 2023 in Lake studios. I am writing some time after the residency, I thought I would have time for this and many other things during my stay at lake, but time flyes in there. I spent the whole August 2023 working in Lake. I also managed to go to the lake sometimes, cook nice food and have some visits. But mostly it was studio time, reading, and figuring out how to continue.
During my time in Lake studios I deepened into my WIP performance I don’t know Carmen and into my long-term research of presence and absence, together with the exploration of dance and performance as a documentary media. I don’t know Carmen investigates states of presence and absence and their translation to dance and, relates in an informal way to the Opera Carmen, from Bizet. Through a modification and a reappropriation of some of the most known tracks from the Opera, that have made it to the collective subconscious, the performance explores the states that separate the existent from the non-existent.
The month had many ups and downs, I was revisiting the material after one year. Some of it felt completely different. I dedicated the first two weeks to re-open the research, trying to be open to any line of work that would feel interesting. The work is never finished, with any change of context, the feelings between me and the thing change. I found some nice bibliography in the library of Lake (check it out) that opened me some doors. I had visits twice a week from Andrés, the musician I was working together with. We made some bodywork together, and then he would get into his music machine, and we tried to figure out together how to destroy an Opera.
The topic of presence and absence felt very heavy almost a year later of my last time in the studio with this work. It took me big efforts to immerse myself again in certain practices that I would use as a creative departure point. Including trying to disappear, making things or people in the room disappear, or dancing endlessly to looped piano compositions. Instead a wildness started to emerge. I found a character that possessed me during some studio sessions and wanted to touch uncomfortable spots.
I also spent a lot of my time trying to learn how to sing and play on the piano the song “Ghosts of my life”. I enjoyed it very much, every time I was lost in the creative process I would try to learn the song while blaming myself for not doing something useful.
We had to communicate quite a lot with Andrés to balance the presence of the sounds and the need for silence. As much as I wanted him to feel free and explore the sound possibilities, we were failing to find the equivalent of absence of sound other than silence. Which we resolved with a session of recording asmr sounds in an improvised recording studio in my room.
The third week came, and it started to feel like we had to concretize a bit. I tried to put some stuff together for the dramaturg, Diego. He made us a visit and I panicked for a couple of days. Not his fault, it just felt like we hadn’t gotten anywhere. After a couple of days of panick, we started to get things together, the last week was quite a lot of work. I managed to take some perspective from the weeks behind and the materials and to build a 20 minutes structure for Unfinished fridays.
The material was quite compressed into a 20-minute structure, and in the showing, I was a bit nervous and rushed the material quite a lot, which at the end maybe was even something to consider as it gave an interesting hectic character to the piece, that was matching with some of the choices done in terms of movement and music.
I left Lake Studios with a bit of an emotional hangover and also a bit of a real one, having to go somewhere else the morning after the evening in UF. As always, delighted to have passed by. I had four hours on a train to digest the month, there was something that felt solid, the material and my relation to it felt strong, it felt like we had a piece.