Iiris Elena Rusi
Numb is a multidisciplinary performance that brings together noise artist 111X, choreographer and dance artist Maya Oliva and VJ RÖD MJÖLK. The foggy, loud, immersive 45 minute performance studies phenomena of crisis and escapism through concepts of overload and numbness.
Today we live at the verge of climate catastrophe, economic collapses, chaos, wars and information overload in the era of internet and social media. This state leads easily to both involuntary or desired numbness, aspiration to forget, will to escape mentally and feel less, or just to inability to respond and feel anymore. Humans still have a part of the reptile brain that tells the body through an autonomous nervous system (parasympatika) to pretend dead if the threat is too big. This involuntary paralyzed state is linked to severe depression, addictions, sensations of powerlessness and giving up, and to the birth of trauma.
Numb as a performance goes directly back to “in nihilum”, nothingness, and through it. The experiences of losing affection and empathy, apathy, negligence and unresponsiveness are faced in a room full of fog.
The fog in Numb is medicated or otherwise lost, numb and escaped mind. It is unclear vision, entropy and dispersion, it is sensorial, it is navigating blind in air full of small particles. But is it a way out too? What if the very bodily rituals and experiences together were the answer, and less logic, less information, less order were needed in order to come out and build something new? Momentary blindness, a dance through horror, a jump to the unknown, losing control, just trusting?
Fog is also silence, it is peace of mind. It is serenity, it is clouds or heaven, it is the urge to feel both connected and one, to be not millions, two or one, but zero. Fog is purity, it is spirit, holiness, and it is just smoke after a big burn and explosion, disorder the crisis created. It is a cloud that gently touches the ground.
111X (FI) traverses devastatingly beautiful, dreamlike sonic realms. The sonic atmosphere he creates delves into the temporal and fleeting nature of our corporeality, and how the smallest tremors can ultimately shake you to your very core. 111X has a distinct palette of unwavering noise, somber melodies and staggered drums with brooding guitar drone, adding a newfound depth to the sorrow found throughout his oeuvre.
MAYA OLIVA (IT) is a choreographer and dance artist based in Helsinki. Affected by her migrant background, her work approaches movement through composing constant becomings where the undefined and the ambiguous continuously come to the surface. Embracing an in-between actuality in perpetual morphing by invoking immaterialities to celebrate the abstractions of a body that keeps slipping between different identities and tensions. Maya has performed her projects in Italy, the Czech Republic, India, Belgium, Iceland, and Finland, where she graduated with an MA in Choreography at The Theatre Academy in 2022.
RÖD MJÖLK (FI) is a brainchild of Jassir Kuronen, a Finland-based multidisciplinary artist, VJ, and designer. Associated with the Helsinki club scene and multiple experimental arts festivals such as Aavistus and Baltic Circle, his work focuses on creating new experiences by exploring commonly known ideas and concepts through deconstruction, distortion, and contrast. In his live visuals, he aims to interact with the audience's expectations by building familiar notions from the ground and then taking them apart. These themes can vary from self-concept to everyday environments and objects.