project image
Irina Baldini

first performed on May 30, 2015
Pilotenkueche, East Side, Leipzig, Germany
performed three times in 2015


Dierck Roosen (Dramaturgy)

Amsterdam, NL / London, UK /


What is left when we take everything out from what a live performance is designed to be? Is it still a performance? What if it was and no longer is?

“What it is, is not ‘it’” considers a performance that is not happening but has happened, and asks, what are its options to still exist? It is no longer what it was and will never be ‘it’ again. It will not be nostalgic, it will not be a failed attempt, it will not be a memory, it will not be a representation, it will not be a documentation, it will not be a recreation, it will not be a reproduction, it will not be longing for the past, it will not be there to entertain, it will not be what it is not.

A megaphone screams a pre-recorded computerized voice:

The work exists in the traces of something that will not ‘be.’ Imposing the moment but not its past or its future, missing out on information. The piece strives to open up possibilities for a space that has potential but will never ‘become.’ Only by accident.

A room to which the public has no access. A hole in the brick wall from which loud sounds come out into the space where they are waiting for the performance to begin. It is announced to start on the hour, but there is only the loud sound, accompanying the performance that never will happen. One can look into the hole, but sees nothing but darkness. The performance that has happened already can only now live in the imagination of those listening to the sound of steps, voices and noises overlapping with each other in a score that invites in but does not allow the piece to be completely revealed.

The work will exist in the formation (VS form) of dynamic relationships. The work wants to move towards the ‘improper’ territory of the frame, which does not define it but IS it.

“What it is, is not ‘it’” is a composition of elements that make the whole, each element (space, sound, words, absence) standing on its own, unnecessarily related. Its attempt is not to create an entirety, but rather to avoid it. Each element is ‘it’ and not ‘about’ it. The performance existed and is no longer there. It can only be invented.