Day 93: Empathic Work Out
By Vivien Tauchmann, Eindhoven, the Netherlands, 27 October 2017
“Mimesis is primordial to empathy”* not as a form of copying but as an active form of expression and re-narrating. But our empathic abilities are often disable to refer to events and humans, that are in the invisible distance and outside our known scope. By activating and moving our own bodies to a choreographed storyline, we can experience physical the reality of an “other“ without the assumptions of our visual learned prejudices.
(THE) OTHER WORK OUT I is the first in a series of choreographies and re-embodied scenographies based on gestures and movements of the alienated ‘other’, we normally not relate to or try to avoid. As part of Age of Wonderlands’s program 100 Days of Learning, the “Choreography of the Textile Supply Chain” was activated as an open exercise class, where participants performed body routines of actors along the chain, especially those of textile workers in factories around the globe.
For 45 min. the participants were thrown into the reality of the ‘other’. In the the constricted form, where usual 12h shifts only lasted a few minutes, they experienced an insight into the monotony, pain and exhaustion people are facing everyday.
Through the embodiment, it was my aim to create a momentum of self- reflection about the influence as fashion consumers and citizens of the so-called western society. To be empathic is not only a rational capability, it is also a physical state of mind, through which we can reshape our connection to people around the globe and hopefully improve notions of cooperation and solidarity.
*(Robert Hullot- Kentor)