28, 29 and 30 April 2021

Through choreography, dance and performance, the artists of this fourth edition of Idiorrhythmias analyse different protocols of repressed behaviour, at the same time as provoking relationships and reactions capable of arousing new forms of political subjectivity, as well as resistance. Idiorrhythmias presents the work of Antonia Baehr, Latifa Laâbissi, Evann Siebens, Idoia Zabaleta and Jaume Ferrete.

This edition of Idiorrhythmias, curated by Ruth Estévez and Pablo Martínez, includes some of the proposals that could not be shown last year, and which take on new meanings in the current context. The edition proposes going one step further, by asking: how can we learn from this experience and construct imaginative new bodies for the changes that are to come? Instead of proposing a head-on struggle against a possible enemy – according to the regressive policies that are flooding our current starved political territory – they are opting for a multiple, decentralised repertoire, even if that means pushing things to their limits and starting again. Interpretations that dissolve rigid forms by expanding and ridiculing the criteria established by the canons. It is not only bodies, but orality and gestures that are key. It matters who speaks, where they stand, and how they raise their voice. Gestures, as ephemeral expressions of being, are fundamental to the construction of difference, and have therefore been erased, in part, from history and bodies in the oppressive desire of those who impose the norms.

The fourth edition of Idiorrhythmias should have taken place in May 2020. In the production of that edition, when the pandemic was still a long way off, the proposals approached different forms of sexuality, and the way in which affective relations have been codified within each space and time in history. Beyond the realms of emotion and psychology, forms of affectivity have been largely determined by economic and social power structures. In a moment of marked empathic abstinence towards that which is diverse, Idiorrhythmias offered to set aside the comforts of narrative, in search of the “obtuse”, in terms of that proposed by Roland Barthes, as a surviving life where meanings could be free, on par with those which are marked or injured. However, last March the plague reached our shores and passed through our lives, endangering the most vulnerable, confining bodies at home, and increasing inequality in a world whose dynamic, more than creating it, is based on social injustice.

This time, our abuse of an overcrowded ecosystem that shows continuous signs of exhaustion, adopted the Trojan horse strategy. The various institutions applied the protocols they deemed necessary to prevent its expansion, perforated the deteriorated privacy of our bodies and limited some of our freedoms. They also interrogated us on the limits of desire (of movement, interrelation or action) in relation to the common good. For a moment, some thought the pandemic was impartial in its global invasive strategy, but nothing could have been further from the truth. Our global state of emergency has done nothing besides increasing inequality, highlighting the way in which different human groups are coded and labelled, exposing the most vulnerable bodies. In this context, necropolitics becomes visible in its most fleshy form: which are the bodies that are to live, and which are to die.

Antonia Baehr and Latifa Laâbissi turn into two large monkeys who, within the role of almost-animals-almost-people, allow themselves to be carried, muscularly and rationally, towards a free state. In their animal state, Baehr and Laâbissi break away from enforced rules, to inhabit the “cyborg world” presented by Dora Haraway as, “a world in which people are not afraid of their joint kinship with animals and machines, not afraid of permanently partial identities and contradictory standpoints.” Evann Siebens proposes a lexicon of gestures to work with, rooted in fragmentation, and introduce gestures and question positions as a way of challenging the framework of legitimation that often delimits the possibility of movement. Choreographer Idoia Zabaleta uses repetition as a form of distorted reflection that allows us to find other linguistic forms, without having to disregard language. Jaume Ferrete touches us with a synthesised voice.

Animal alphabets, disorientating mantras or gestural deviations. A sort of bewildered union joins together all these performers, a sort of “revolutionary, mutual and all-encompassing love that dispenses with labels,” as the Chicano feminist and activist Chela Sandoval once suggested. Now in its fourth edition, Idiorrhythmias suggests that we continue with a vocabulary which helps to create modes of consciousness-coexistence and agency, and above all, that helps us to continue with this balancing act, allowing us to carry on living together.

Programme curated by Ruth Estévez, Amant Foundation New York Director and Sao Paulo Biennal Co-curator, and Pablo Martínez, MACBA’s Head of Programming.

Consul et Meshie - Anja Weber


Evann Siebens, A Lexicon of Gesture - LiveStreamed

Evann Siebens, A Lexicon of Gesture - LiveStreamed

Wednesday, 28th 2021

A Lexicon of Gesture - LiveStreamed is a performance by Canadian artist Evann Siebens. Streaming live from her studio in Vancouver, Siebens has developed a wide alphabet of gestures into photographs, media and live performance. Retrieved from moments in dance, visual and performance art histories, she will reference artists such as Maya Deren, Allan Kaprow, Tehching Hsieh, Gilbert & George and Martha Graham. For this latest iteration, she will integrate Spanish and Catalan performance art histories, creating a new work for MACBA.

Antonia Baher, Abecedarium Bestiarium

Antonia Baehr, A Selection from Abecedarium Bestiarium

Wednesday, 28th 2021

In A Selection from Abecedarium Bestiarium. Portraits of affinities in animal metaphors, the Berlin-based choreographer Antonia Baehr has invited her friends to write short pieces for her, based on an ABC of extinct animals: D is for Dodo, T is for Tasmanian tiger, S is for Steller’s sea cow, etc. The authors choose an extinct animal that they feel strongly about. This brings about heterogenous choreographic miniatures in which they reflect on their respective affinity for the chosen animal, as well as their friendship with Antonia Baehr.

The performance it's in English, French, German and Spanish.

Consul et Meshie - Nadia Lauro

Antonia Baehr, Latifa Laâbissi and Nadia Lauro, Consul and Meshie

Thursday, 29th 2021

Monkeys, and in particular apes, are considered “almost human” animals. This “almost” has made them a surface for projecting that which is considered human by other humans. At the beginning of the 20th century, two chimpanzees named Consul and Meshie lived like humans, with humans, and seemed to think of themselves as human. Antonia Baehr and Latifa Laâbissi have assumed their simian identities, but they are not seeking historical correctness. Furry, promiscuous, impertinent, quite shameless, these two human monkeys occupy Nadia Lauro’s installation which is set in quiet areas of museums and theatres, not on a stage. Starting with two leather car seats whose furry insides are spilled and spread around the space, “Consul Baehr” and “Meshie Laâbissi” interact for a period of five hours during which spectators may enter and exit as they wish.

The performance has a length of 3:30 h. The entrance and exit of the public will be allowed showing the entrance ticket.

Idoia Zabaleta, Mantras

Double programme: Jaume Ferrete and Idoia Zabaleta

Friday, 30th 2021
Jaume Ferrete, Voice is the new touch

“It was just a touch. I touched it. I touch the screen: I touched the screen and it is not a touchscreen. What a strange moment.

I thought that if I touched it, something would happen to me, and nothing happened.

Only compressed flesh, between the finger and the screen, and the fingerprint leaving marks on the glass and nothing else.”

Idoia Zabaleta, I Have Time (from the Top Mantras series)

Mantras are mental instruments for enlightenment.
Mantras are crushing words for prayer.
Mantras are elementary vibrations for creation.

On this occasion, we will instrumentalise the word time, not before having crushed the word man, and we will see what form the crushing takes... Like a verbena poultice that is put on your throat to soothe tonsillitis.

Work in progress.

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The problem becomes clear, crystal clear: the artist’s canvas becomes a mirror.
Michelangelo Pistoletto