Doris Uhlich, Gootopia. Performance at Tanzquartier Wien, Vienna, 2021. Courtesy of the artist. Photos © Sabine Burger, Ralf Puder, Maria Ziegelböck
Slime is a vital biological substance that causes ambivalent reactions: revulsion and shudders, but also curiosity and a desire to touch. The reason for its appealing and at the same time off-putting effects is that it is something which is hard to grasp in our technologised society defined by the wish for sterility and stability: slime is neither wholly solid nor fluid, neither endogenous nor exogenous, and sometimes it is both. All life begins with moisture, we do not enter this world dry or “clean”. Slime is originally a familiar substance that holds the organism together and forges links. Generally speaking, though, we tend to lose touch with it in the course of our lives: in science fiction it commonly appears in conjunction with aliens, standing for the non-human, the unknown that spreads by flowing; in the current pandemic too it is a substance associated with anxiety.
In Gootopia, the focus is on the performers’ interactions with various slime substances. Slime is both material and performer, it is part of the dancing: on, in and between bodies. People and slime touch, interlink, mingle and form alliances, all the while giving rise to new connections; bodily boundaries become fluid, opening up spaces of association for different, slimy, utopian forms of life. Doris Uhlich is interested in the fact that our bodies are in constant connection and exchange with other bodies and forms of life. This opens up an ambivalent space between horror and fascination, empathy and disgust which enables the audience to immerse themselves in the vitality of material processes.
Gootopia is an installation performance. The audience is invited to choose any position and perspective in the room and to experience a complex, advanced dance practice comprising qualities of sculpture, landscape and installation. It is the first piece of a trilogy of performances by Doris Uhlich that focuses on the interaction of bodies with slime substances. See also:
Gootopia - The Treatment
Goo Goo Mak
Concept in collaboration with
Assistant director and producer
insert Tanz und Performance GmbH
With the kind support
Kulturabteilung der Stadt Wien und das Bundesministerium für Kunst, Kultur, öffentlichen Dienst und Sport.