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Pop Culture

Audience Speed Dating with festival artist Frédéric Gies after Andrade by Michiel Vandevelde, 15.07.2019

Fred, a thought comes to my mind after having seen Michael Laubs’s Rolling last night and Michiel Vandevelde’s Andrade just now. I want to address it to you as an artist who is working in the field. So: I am thinking about pop culture (which is not the same as what Andy Warhol defined as “pop art”). In the post war decades in Europe there was an attitude of distinction between pop culture and so called high or elite art. It was only in the 90s that pop culture became part of the dance discourse. In the last period it was a given fact. Now it seems to me that dance art might go through another process of deconstruction and become aware of the invasion of pop culture into our bodies, souls and mind sets. Do you think, this kind of deconstruction process could be important in order to find another kind of future, to create a future body? You are working with techno music and modes of preparing the body for the encounter with it. How do you receive my question?

In Andrade we see a body that is constructed by pop references, but at the same time totally becomes another kind of body. Pop culture seems to have created ghosts inhabiting this body. Yes, this is very different to what I have seen in the 90s or early 2000s. Back then it was more an acknowledgment of the references and later on a play with the recognition of it. Indeed within the last two years I saw a different relationship: Pop culture references really seem to be embodied – like a basic component; not a play any more. In this sense Andrade is a quite dark piece. It’s about invasion and the acceptance of it. This way it creates quite a strong feeling of despair. In my practise I was always treating the dance forms of pop culture the same way as the ones from so called high arts, but I also agree, that it is interesting how it can swallow us. As for techno, which like many things started as a subculture, I will anyway stay with it. I am too much of a techno lover, too much addicted!



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