Doris Uhlich - Gootopia - The Treatment, 2022. Photos 1 + 2 & Video: Performance at Schauspiel Leipzig Residenz, Leipzig, 2022. Courtesy of the artist. Photo © Juliette Collas
Gootopia - The Treatment
Gootopia – The Treatment is a project by Doris Uhlich that follows the performance Gootopia that premiered in Vienna at Tanzquartier Wien 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. In addition, the performers work on their own with slime, acting as "guides" to wards set up 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, which enables 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 inspires me deeply concerning the emerging relationship with the slime substances." (Doris Uhlich)
The experiences of the coronavirus crisis are inscribed into our bodies, every single one. 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 in 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 body continues 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