Doris Uhlich - Gootopia - The Treatment, 2022. Photos © Rolf Arnold, Lukas Beck
Gootopia - The Treatment
"Gootopia – The Treatment" is a project by Doris Uhlich that follows the performance "Gootopia," which premiered at Tanzquartier Wien in Vienna in 2021. In addition to key themes such as exploring connections (between people and between people and non-human agents), shifting body boundaries, and plunging into slime, audience participation now also plays a role. Visitors have the opportunity to come into physical contact with various slime substances. Furthermore, the performers work independently with slime, acting as "guides" toward setups around the space where audience treatments occur.
Slime is both material and performer; it is part of the performance: on, in, and between bodies. People and slime touch, interlink, mingle, and form alliances, all the while creating 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 constantly connect and exchange with other bodies and forms of life. This opens up an ambivalent space between horror and fascination, empathy and disgust, enabling the audience to immerse themselves in the vitality of material processes.
"Gootopia – The Treatment" connects people in a wet and slimy manner, not within the bounds of their sterility. Donna Haraway writes that we can relate to biologically unrelated objects, life forms, and other people. This approach deeply inspires me concerning the emerging relationship with the slime substances." (Doris Uhlich)
The experiences of the coronavirus crisis are inscribed in our bodies, each and every one of us. In addition to personal restrictions, we collectively experience how the individual body is isolated from others. Yet, isolation is an act of solidarity to protect the community from infection. In this paradox lies the body's physical experience during the pandemic – with far-reaching consequences for understanding interpersonal relationships.
The circumstances of the coronavirus crisis reveal how ambivalent, alienated, and anxiety-laden the relationship to our own and other bodies can become. Body fluids have become the most significant source of danger for public life. Yet, simultaneously, the yearning and the need for physical contact grow stronger. We have learned to protect ourselves and others, but our bodies continue to pulsate and vibrate beneath all the precautions.
"The human organism is neither wholly human, as a person, nor just an organism. It is an abstract machine, radically immanent, which captures, transforms, and produces interconnections." (Rosi Braidotti)
Stage set up and Lighting Support Marco Tölzer
Schauspiel Leipzig Residenz
insert Tanz und Performance GmbH
Cultural Department of the City of Vienna