Liv Strand on BOATS & On Air

It is a small black box. The high windows in the back of the stage show a stunning after noon sun over the subway stop of Kärrtorp. A man enters. He’s there to change the stage, he pulls the curtains over the windows. Day turns to night. Does he want another reality? He wears make up and a fancy fringed t-shirt, but he’s a working body, a body for sale preparing the space without any sign of care or extra attention. The only factor acted is that he’s not noticing the audience. He leaves the stage. Over and over again. There is a door on right hand side. It’s squeaking every time he goes of returns. The sound show the same lack of attention, there is seldom time for giving care over for this things that slowly get a bit rusty. Every time he enters the room he’s got some balloons, first a bunch with helium in them, later bag after plastic bag of ordinary air filled balloons. He drops this plastic bags around in the space. Seemingly not caring about where. Then he decide to spread the over the floor. Rubber balloons in plastic bags. They are all electric and stick weirdly to the floor, as if there could be any other option for an ordinary-air filled balloon. The man in strong blue make up eyes carelessly bangs off two confetti bombs. Now the room is an image of a club? He dances, but it is not that he wants to dance with us. Hell no. He have his own music in earplugs, and us in the audience gets some other music. His is obviously more vivid. He knows how to rule a club dance floor. But is solemnly alone.

The music stops. He dances in this half energetic style, more showing that he most probably can dance like hell, just not tonight. As there is no tonight, it is still the early evening. We’re lost together. He stare at us. He’s been doing that before. As if he would like to establish some contact, even if we’re all alone. I can’t even look back because when he’s at my side of the audience his eyes are in complete shadow. Our gazes will never form a bond. Then he wave a kind of traffic cop hand to one woman on the front row. She can’t avoid him, stumbling over her big bag she is there on the brim of the stage. He hands a letter. She read. We look. Time passes. She says no. We continue to be out there, where ever that can be. We’re all out there. I’m starting to be prepared to watch all of us in the audience, one by one be called to the brim of the stage and individually get to know what that letter says. It is not that big an audience, even if all seats are taken. But the man doesn’t go with my idea. He gets another lady up on stage, but this one is far more willing so she reads the continuing five pages out loud to us. Zeus is there in the text, and the ass of that man. He has taken off his shorts and has been dancing around in skin color briefs. The willing woman is far more pleasing to the audience, she even have her kid hanging on her back and gently rock so the kid should stay willing during her entire reading. I would say she’s far too caring for this piece.

It’s over. There’s a break. We drink low alcohol beer or soft drinks.

Next show starts. It’s in a bigger black box, a black ocean. It’s cold. I’m cold and put on some more cloths. Here it’s a radio show. A broadcast. But it’s not a broadcast for real, because we’re in the same space as the talk show participants. Or no. We’re not in the same room as they have chosen to have a climate chamber. They like a room of their own. But the climate chamber is transparent so they also like us to peep. The thing we share is the air that is being blown into their chamber and then seep out through holes and folds to the whole big stripped room, even to us: the audience. There is a sound system and in this case it is linking the conversation from within to the speakers in the room. There is music, there is a intermediate conversation drowning in that music. The mood is pumped up. There is four women, friends presumably as they are having friend like conversations. It is about high and low. It goes from death, passes the possible encounter of a fox and end up in the vagina. Lets call it intimate. It is an intimate conversation. But hell now, we’re all listening, so there is only things and subjects on display. It is signs of an intimate conversation. I rarely listen to radio talk shows, but once in a while it happens. And this is a perfect version of how one of these radio talk shows can be both distracted and full of loose ends and at the same time I’m sort of invited to join a group of friends in their intimate conversations. I smile, I record the social hierarchies fluctuating, I float away in my own thoughts. I wish I could do my dishes at the same time. I’m at home. But I’m not. And suddenly they decide to visit the outside of the climate chamber. They have just put on one more song. And they break out. Then the climate chamber hesitate on how it can go on with out these four souls inside, is stumble, it shrink. They’re out and close the zipper. The chamber slowly stabilize and suck more air. The four start to wrestle, two and two and take turn when someone has defeated the other. It is joyful and it is energy. They are like spring calves, full of energy. It is an inverted climate chamberness, as being out here in the dull ocean black space is a release compared to the intimate tea-sipping conversations. I guess we’re all would be better off if we were wrestling a bit more often. At least this friendly wrestling type of wrestling.

Then they all come together in a big heap. And then the heap consisting of four women start to investigate how they can move or shove around themselves, as a heap. It is wonderful. I want to not ever wrestle but to be part of such a human heap. Hopping and slithering together. It is like a primeval slime. For me this is an interesting thing coming out of the climate chamber. I guess talking about secretion got them there. Then all of a sudden they’re done with the investigation, I guess they are full of bruisers by now. Skipping together seams as a challenge. They seep back into the climate chamber, I’m more convinced this time that they will make it. They have a costume change. Now nude. And then the radio show has elevated to another strata. It is a futuristic garden theatre. Or an idealistic pep talk for sow women. Abstraction for several hopes, the one for deep roots, for no one on the hierarchical top. I’m not prepared. Even if I have cultivated some plants for this summer I definitely not ready. I guess I’m tit distracted. The good part in this future-idealistic theatre play part is that they are doing all sound effects. The digging in the soil (gravel), birds, steps, fire and wood on fire cracking. I’m total in tune to that.

Liv Strand