Greek Precarious Body: a collaboration with Olga Ntenta

“Tragedy slows things down by confronting us with what we do not know about ourselves: an unknown force that unleashes violent effects on us on a daily, indeed often minute-by-minute basis.” (Critchley, 2019)

“The body is outside itself, in the world of others, in a space and time it does not control, and it not only exists in the vector of these relations, but as this very vector.” (Butler, 2009)

Finding parallels between what the Ancient Greeks called “fate” and what Butler describes as “the world of others”, we explore generic meanings of the myth of Oedipus, in contemporary terms via Butler’s concept. We use the idea of the costume as a metaphor for all those “others” that control the human and that are at the same time affected by it. In practice, we use materials that restrict the body and by moderating experimental scenographic practices, we allow interactions to happen through which we explore the notion of “the precarious”. Greek Precarious Body is a performance designed and directed by scenographer Olga Ntenta on which I worked as a deviser and a performer. The project started 2 years ago, during Olga’s studies at MA Scenography (RCSSD) and was developed further with mine and Fanis's involvement (Fanis also designed the sound). We started devising sessions as a trio in September 2019, and kept developing the piece up until the start of the pandemic. Greek Precarious Body has been shown at the Work In Progress Festival (CSM), at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and was scheduled to be presented at the MISC Fest (CSM), at Brunel University London in June and at 2020 Critical Costume Conference and Exhibition in Oslo in August.