On 15 and 16 October If I Can’t Dance and Kunstfort bij Vijfhuizen invited all to a new performance by US artist MPA. A meditation on human violence and the possibility of transformation, ‘Fire for Water’ is conceived specifically for the spaces and peninsula of the Kunstfort, a former military fort on the Defence Line of Amsterdam. Water vessels, armors, fires, and telepathic means are characters in a story that unfolds across different states of consciousness and modes of being. The concrete walls of the fort’s bunker become the membranes of a dream-like space where different visions appear. As if in a perverted fashion show, self-armaments are done and undone, seeking the ability to swim, to be wet, to be with the water. The duality of fire as a force of both connection and destruction is a metaphor that burns throughout the piece, igniting the complicated entanglements between wounds and armaments, protection and oppression, spectacles and wars. After the two evenings, remnants of Fire for Water will stay at the Kunstfort conjuring an afterlife of the dreams awakened in the performance.
A co-production with Kunstfort and Gessnerallee, Zürich ‘Fire for Water’ is curated by Sara Giannini as part of If I Can’t Dance’s 2019–21 Edition VIII – ‘Ritual and Display’. The performance and exhibition at Kunstfort are curated by Sara in dialogue with Frédérique Bergholtz (If I Can’t Dance director) and Zippora Elders (Kunstfort director and head curator).