BEGINNING WITH THE ABECEDARIUM BESTIARIUM, Bologna

Two Salons with Antonia Baehr:

April 28, D is for Dog. If a Human has a Dog, a Dog has a Human.

April 29, The ABC of Extinct Animals, Part 1

 

“A Bestiary of agencies, kinds of relatings, and scores of time trump the imaginings of even the most
baroque cosmologists. For me, that is what ‘companion species’ signifies.”

–Donna Haraway, The Companion Species Manifesto: Dogs, People, and Significant Otherness

Context:
D is for Dog is the first project in a new series of solos by Antonia Baehr, a performed “ABC of Animality.” Baehr’s new field of research concerns animality, animal drag, and the relation between humans and animals, critiquing anthropocentrism and the straightness of nature/culture binarism. She will work with threesomes of affinity, conjoining an animal’s name with a friend/parent and with herself as the host and solo-interpreter.

 

1. D is for Dog:
Mixing the genres of vocal concert, record spinning, the format of the ethnographical conference, and the antique technology of overhead projection drawing, D is for Dog will invite the spectator into the intimacy and complexity of a companion species relationship. Tocki von Arnim and Bettina von Arnim have lived together in the same house for nearly four years. They do not speak the same language; they are hardly alike and yet they have assembled. In D is for Dog Antonia Baehr will sketch a subjective acoustic portrait of the affinity between her mother and her dog: Can the house they share be read as the music/dance score for stories of canine-human cohabitation? What kind of language emerges from this long duet of everyday comings and goings, of these choreographies of affinities?

 

With special thanks to Bettina von Arnim, Tocki von Arnim, Angela Anderson, Donna J. Haraway, François Noudelmann, and Gertrude Stein.

 

 

photo: Antonia Baehr (D is for Dog)

 

2. Beginning with The ABC of Extinct Animals:
A is for Atlas Bear
B is for Barbary Lion
C is for Catarina Pupfish...
Every child knows this game in some shape or form. And this game constitutes the beginning of Antonia Baehr's project.15 extinct animal species from A to Z will be seeked out and researched with the aid of writings, images and reports. Historical peopleʼs relationships with these species will also be meticulously perused. 15 artist friends associate with one extinct animal each. They will undertake this association with the same method and manner by which Antonia Baehr was associated with the bear: something between telepathy, chance and tenderness. Baehr will commission each of these artists to write a solo performance score, related to the animal they selected for themselves, that she can perform on stage alone. Here, the term “score” is broadly defined. It can, for example, contain a musical or choreographic composition, but also a formulation of directives for a test set-up, or a video-letter, or other.

 

Bologna will host the beginning of this research and Abecedarium. Antonia Baehr will perform, in non alphabetic order:

 

"T for Thylacine" by Steffi Weismann
"H for Hawaiian Honeycreeper" by Stefan Pente
"W for Wondiwoi Tree Kanguru" by William Wheeler
and "S for Stella's Sea Cow" by Sabine Ercklentz

 

image: Giambattista della Porta


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