Angry Women 2021
Video of the first performance and the Q&A where we talk about this dance of energy, the political togetherness, listening, the danger of and shame around expressing anger and its relation to fear and care.
A .pdf with the chattext for the Q&A and reactions by email from the performers.
The performances were announced as multilingual performative improvisations on anger (female anger?) as well as exercises in being WITH others at a distance mediated by machines. Individual ideas, actions, expressions on and of anger were woven in a collective unified sound fabric. At the same time the performers created a composite gridded collage of caged individuals. Alone, but not lonely we hope.
With: Alice Lenay, Amaranta Osorio, Anja Borowicz, Christine Develotte, Colette Tron, Emmanuelle Gibello, Eugenia Cano, Joanne Morrison, Karla Ptacek, Mansi Thapliyal, monica de ioanni, Sarah Hart, Shelly Quick, Susie Lamb, Sylvie Roques ...
… Kind of like sticking a sliver under the audience’s skin, giving them something to worry at for some time to come…
On Love 11 04 2013 8.00 pm
After five performances with only women, one with only men and two mixed fe-male in this series, we had in January 2013 two private webcam meetings (one in French, one in English) where we tried to analyze what was happening and what these performances did with us. One of the things we discussed was if and how the subject of Anger did influence the groupdynamics. So for this performance in the frame of the Remote Encounters conference in Cardiff I choose to change the subject.
30 01 2013 FR and 28 01 2013 ENG
With / Avec Derek Piotr, Ursula Endlicher, Bérénice Belpaire, Laurie Bellanca, Gretta Louw, Antye Greie, Martina Ruhsam, Sébastien Zaegel, Christophe Alix, Pascale Barret, Julie Châteauvert, Ienke Kastelein, Simona Polvani, Suzon Fuks, Gaetan Rusquet, Annie Abrahams and Igor Stromajer.
"La colère, si elle est prétexte au départ, ne s'est pas sentie, directement, mais plutôt qu'une réaction primaire elle semble plutôt donner naissance à une expression profondément singulière, peut être une manière de "déjouer" l'adversaire en lui proposant une forme non pas qui l'écrase ou le domine, mais qui pourrait peut être, un court moment lui faire perdre les pédales, ou les manettes: "I don't want to be manipulated". A l'heure ou n'importe quelle information s'échange, se télécharge, se pirate, se récupère, se contrôle, où on pourrait remplacer le mot "information" par le mot "vie", ta proposition condense un temps absolument autre et absolument vrai à la fois, qui, si on reparle de l'adversaire, pourrait bien lui échapper... enfin! Extrait de la Réaction par mail de Jean-Marc Demay.
With / Avec : Annie Abrahams, Bérénice Belpaire, Ienke Kastelein, Inès Kchaou, Julie Châteauvert, KRN, Laurie Bellanca, Pascale Barret, Paula Roush and Simona Polvani.
12 Minutes long 9 women in front of their webcams, connected via a common interface to internet, will express their anger, their irritations. In contrast with the four previous performances in the Angry Women series, this time, the women will be able to act on their presence in the interface – this way they will try to get as close as possible to their anger.
Pendant 12 minutes 9 femmes devant leurs webcams, connectées via internet à une interface commune vont exprimer leur colère, leurs énervements. A l'encontre des 4 performances antérieures les femmes vont cette fois-ci pouvoir agir sur leur présence dans l'interface - elles vont ainsi essayer d'être au plus près de leurs colères.
"C'était difficile et courageux, nous avançons :) - très intéressant et tumultueux.
After two performances where 24 women of different nationalities, using their mother tongue, said their anger in front of their webcams at home until there was none left, the next step in the Angry Women research project is a series of two sessions of exactly 12 minutes. The limited time, the experience of the first performance and the fact that this time the ladies will use a single language per performance (One performance will be in English, the other in French), will make this a completely different experiment concerned female anger and networked collaboration and group dynamics.
La première étape du projet Angry Women fut un dispositif qui montrait vingt-quatre femmes, de différentes nationalités, exprimant leur colère dans leur langue maternelle. Chaque femme était à la maison devant sa webcam et la performance se déroulait jusqu’à ce qu’il n’y ait plus de colère. Pour la seconde étape, la performance consistera en deux sessions de douze minutes exactement. Le temps limité, l’expérience de la performance antérieure, et le fait que cette fois les femmes utiliseront une seule langue par session (une performance en anglais et une en français) en feront une expérience tout-à-fait différente sur les dynamiques de groupe, la collaboration en réseau et bien sûr la colère des femmes.
"I decided to put the videos of Take 3 and 4 online as they are. I really didn't make any sense to cut into them, that would take away a very essential part: the process of dealing with this situation of No Exit, of voluntarily being trapped in a grid with 7 other ladies that one hardly knew. In the beginning I had difficulties accepting these videoarchives because I saw how much they depended on our hazardous trying to interact, to be present in this universe of alone togetherness. Besides I didn't like my own presence. As in other webperformances I felt trapped and revealed myself not as I would have liked to be revealed. But now I begin to accept this (again) as its qualities and I do like the very different dynamics in the two versions. These performances raise many questions as for instance possible language and cultural differences, that I would like to explore further but for now I would first like to organise an Angry Men performance and I will try to improve the performance interface." Annie Abrahams email 3/01/2012.
"...Quant à la colère, notre contenance m'étonne toujours....Quant au choeur cependant:
un million de choses à dire...
"...I enjoyed the multiple frames and all the heterogenous ways of how to deal with this situation. What I like a lot is the contingency that the performance implies and exposes. It is obvious that it is not really clear or determined for us what is going to happen. That makes it very interesting to watch. I love the silent presence of the woman in pink in the middle of the picture in take 1. I also love the big scream that you did together and the fists and the silence afterwards. I realised that understanding the language is somehow important because before we tried I thought that it´s nice that noone is really understandable and that it´s more about creating a kind of sound-carpet. But for me it was quite hard now to watch the take in French in which I almost couldn´t understand anything. So, I realised, that for me (from a spectator´s view) the content of what we are saying is not irrelevant and that understanding some bits and fragments of our talking is important..." Extract from an email by Martina Ruhsam 14/01/2012.
A pdf (8 pages) with more reactions & analyses (acting versus performing / on gender / conducting and directing / pro and cons of the mirror situation / performance strategies / scripting and improvising / recording or not recording) by Annie Abrahams, Ienke Kastelein, Julie Châteauvert, Martina Ruhsam, Helen Varley Jamieson, Antye Greie, Paula Roush and Lucille Calmel.
Angry Women Take 1 & 2
Le cri de la victoire. 1.06 min of joy after more than 40 min on Anger in the Angry Women Take1 performance. 7 07 2011
Waiting 15 min of waiting, adjusting before the 27 min on Anger in the Angry Women Take2 performance. 7 09 2011.
Extrait Take 1 6:23 min out of 43 min.https://vimeo.com/31323390
If the video doesn't show up, please watch Testing streaming interface capacity on vimeo.These are the first 10 minutes of our second test that evening. The server seems to start crashing when handling around 140 to 150 streams.18 05 2011.
12 ladies preparing 27 last seconds of the technical test of 07 06 2011. It works! 12 ladies streaming = 156 streams.
An artistic research project:
At the start with:
Contact : Annie Abrahams
Videos of Take 1 & 2 in two video projection on two perpendicular walls in Training for a Better World Annie Abrahams's solo exhibition at the CRAC Sète (28/10/2011 - 01/01/2012).
Waiting included in Super Art Modern Museum December 2011.
Take 1 and 2 presented in Being Social, the opening exhibition at Furtherfield Gallery in Finsbury Park in North London. (25/02/2012 - 25/04/2012)
Take 3 & 4 presented in Connection protocols by Constant as part of the Artefact Festival organised around the theme of The Social Contract in t Stuk Leuven (Be) . (14/02 – 23/02 2012)
Waiting exposition Spamm, Galleries Brussels, festival Transcultures. (03/05/2012 - 20/05/2012)
Take 3 presented in an alternative documenta (…what a 21st century documenta could look like ) by Christian Lutz. 06/06/2012
Take 1 & 2 shown in Subversive Systeme. Poetische Transfiguration des Digitalen, Stadtgalerie Mannheim, Germany. Curator: Benedikt Stegmayer. (24/10 - 30/11 2014)
Angry Women take 4 included in ArtFem.tv.
Video of Take 2 in Stranger Collaborations, London Art Fair. Curation Pryle Behrman. (18 - 22 January 2017)
Video of Take 2 in Women Art and Technology, an exhibition curated by Arterial for Zone and The Waterfront Club, London. (July 6, 2017)
Video of Take 1 and 2 presented at the Creative Commons Global Summit in Lisbon. (9-11/05 2019)
Video de Take 1 présenté dans l’exposition Hadaly & Sowana, Cyborgs et Sorcières à l’espace Gantner, Bourogne. 12/10 2019 - 25/01 2020. Commissaire Cécile Babiole.
Trapped to Reveal – On webcam mediated communication and collaboration An exposition concerning my collaborative webcam performance projects, focussing on / trying to determine the special aspects of machine mediated communication and collaboration has been published in the Journal for Artistic Research, an online, peer-reviewed journal for the publication and discussion of artistic research.
Michael Szpakowski on Angry Women in his article Annie Abrahams - Training for a Better World http://dvblog.org/?p=9025 (English & français) : "The jewel in the crown of the show is the video installation ‘Angry Women’, created by Abrahams and 22 other women of many nationalities (3 more , in fact, in total, 2 “backstage” assistants, and a performer who opted for silence throughout) speaking about, acting out, demonstrating, reflecting upon, their anger and its causes and triggers, on webcams at their different individual locations and in their native tongues, with the images being sent to a 3X4 grid, in a format that Abrahams has made her own. Because of the limits of even current streaming technology it was necessary to conduct two distinct performances, separated, in fact, by an interval of two months. The length of each was determined by a protocol where a minute’s silence by all participants signalled the end. This resulted in pieces of differing lengths the lack of synchronisation of which adds another layer of fragile grace to the final projections, projected large on adjacent walls around their common corner, with sound from the left image grid fed to the right speaker and vice versa.
The piece occupies most of a large rectangular space at the CRAC (with the video ‘Double Blind (love)’, a collaboration with Curt Cloninger we’ve savoured here before, in its performance incarnation, in the opposite corner and in its full and majestic 264 minute duration).
The impact is visceral – we face what feels like a wave of humanity, not so much in numbers, although 23 women is impressive, at least to this man, but in the infinite malleability of face and hand, of gesture and expression and of how these things might occupy a frame. Sometimes that frame will resemble a Giacometti portrait, with the subject appearing to recede into what seems to be endlessly deep space. At others red lips or an open mouth, sensual and terrifying by turns, occupy the whole of the space – and furthermore each cell is constantly in flux (because these are living, breathing, unpredictable, human beings). There’s something both of portraiture and of the dance at work here, and a kind of found poetry too (which the moving image work has in common with the collaborative texts at the other end of the exhibition). The combination of iron control, planning, foresight (the grid, the protocols) with the letting go and trust evident elsewhere – the phased lengths, the blank space for the person who didn’t turn up, the open performative structure – makes for something of great richness."
Acting versus performing / on gender / conducting and directing / pro and cons of the mirror situation / performance strategies / scripting and improvising / recording or not recording. Raw reactions & analyses pdf (8 pages)
Judy Nylon on the Angry Women project, the impossibility of the naturalistic pose, a possible mastering of the narcistic gaze, the basic bones of the Universal English spoken as a second language and her expectations for future of webperformance (among other). .pdf communication 07 02 2013