As a maker, I refuse to trade in the currency of cerebral, linguistic intelligence that shames emotional intelligence. This performance is a remedy for self-hate in a sea of ego. This is a space where words like belief, fear, shame, heart, courage, failure, song and joy are not tropes and clichés. They are present if you want them to be.
This is a 15-minute Ritual for us to try on a new way of experiencing us, just you and me.
Rituals are vessels for carrying us from a place of "before": traveling through a place of struggle and resistance and launching into a clearer perspective of identity on the other side. Rituals are as ancient as human beings and are believed to solve wars, give purpose, end famine and clarify sexuality.
In this piece, let's try on costumes of belief and states of feeling. Consider for a moment that if we opened this exact Berlin community to the reality of our experiences, and valued these experiences as highly as "concept", then openings might not quite so closely resemble country club cocktail hours. I know that world; I left that world for this one, and I cannot tolerate a continuation of it with artistic minds. It is destructive and emotionally violent. What a waste.
Right now, as the popularity of "performance" merges, mingles and mutates with other mediums, let's bring back the value of the individual’s experience and remember why a live performance (even in an art fair) necessitates an entire body's experience—your heart, your soul, your sex and your tears.
—Michael Burditt Norton
MICHAEL BURDITT NORTON
born 1985, Chicago, IL / lives and works in Berlin
Michael Burditt Norton is a theater and performance maker. By both celebrating and scrutinizing his upbringing as a midwestern American raised by a Conscious Community, his work invites viewers into a moment of intimacy by laying himself before the audience in a game of exposure. By presenting a setting of privacy created by personalized audio experiences and direct contact, his work struggles to re-value the purely interpersonal and intrapersonal as valid forms of pedestrian and artistic expression.
Previous works include High Maintenance (The Sophiensaele, Berlin, with the CALVIN KLEIN group), I Will Still be Here (TRAFO Center for Contemporary Art, Szczecin), The Rapture Will be Televised I-V (Tanztage Berlin, Rockelmann & gallery, 100grad Berlin, with the CALVIN KLEIN GROUP), Now! Now! Neverland! (Berlin), Hedwig and the Angry Inch (Michigan, USA) and JOAN (Berlin). In addition to his solo practice, Michael is a founding member of the CALVIN KLEIN group. He has also worked as a collaborative performer on projects with Dafna Maimon, Melanie Jame Wolf, Orion Maxted, Sanya Kantarovsky and Liz Magic Laser, and Ana Wild. Michael received his BA in Theater and Performance from Emerson College, and will be entering into his MFA in Performance Practice as Research from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London in the Fall.
A Ritual for Survival and hopefully Courage
Jul. 24–Aug. 6, 2016