In April of 2005, I read an interview with the French artist Christian Boltanski in which he said: “If we can’t change the world, at least we can change our relationship with our neighbours, fostering our ‘utopias of proximity’. This idea of a “policy of the personal”, imbedded within the little facts and relationships of everyday life was the guiding principle behind this work that I began to develop, which would soon become a trilogy – Real Life in 3 Chapters. One point of departure, three works, three formats. The project was entirely developed through a series of collaborative processes, and gained substance when we began to investigate possible connections and conflicts between reality and fiction. We were faced (once again!) with the question of identity; identity as a daily construction stemming from our relationship with others.
Strategy nº 1: in between is a meeting between two people, a spectator and a performer, whose roles are defined a priori, but whose experiences are managed in the singularity of the moment. Intimacy as a sensitive experience, memory and the perception of the present, reality versus fiction, identity versus Otherness. Individual sessions of about 50 minutes.
This performance was created during a number of artistic residencies by Dani Lima between 2005 and 2006. It participated as a work in progress as part of the Residencies Program during the 4 Days in Motion Festival in Prague (in cooperation with the Theater Institute Prague and Studio Kokovice 4, Czech Republic, in May of 2005). It was also part of the 2005-2006 Encounters project, an Alkantara (Lisbon) and Panorama Rio Dança production, with support form the European Cultural Foundation and the Telemar Institute.
For those who have followed Dani Lima’s work over the years, it is not difficult to perceive the recurrence of certain questions in her work. In Real Life in 3 Chapters, two of her signature characteristics emerge on a larger scale. One as the object of research, and the other as an artist’s posture before the world. Identity as a construction stemming from our relationship with others is drawn from the individual experience of Strategy No. 1: in between and becomes collective in Instruction Manual; while the desire to pose questions in place of offering closed statements continues to place the spectator in an important role in this game. In Real Life in 3 Chapters identity assumes a plural sense, arising from the crossroads of collective and personal narratives, from intimate memories, inherited histories, from the possibilities of action when one already knows that the place to be occupied is not empty.