For Burning Ice the Brussel-based New Zealander Kate McIntsish and Berliner Eva Meyer-Keller joined forces to create De-placed, a video installation that investigates the principle of action and recation in small-scale operations. The relationship between culture and nature is at the heart of the work. “I strongly believe that art can influence the recipient.”
Mcintosh and Meyer-Keller got to know each other in Berlin, during Mcintosh's Flash Point project, a series of actions in which she sought out artists she didn't know, but whose work greatly appealed to her. Mcintosh recalls: "Over two weeks we explored connections between our practices. Among other things, I saw Eva's performances Good Hands and Death is Certain, in which she ritually ’kills‘ candles in a variety of ways, as well as works on video. What interested me was her way of treating objects and how that gave rise to a stoiy In my work, too, small-scale actions are often central."
It was in Berlin that the idea emerged for De-Placed, a work in progress of which a video can be seen in the Kaaitheaterstudios during Burning' Ice. “We shared experiences and showed 'work by ourselves and by artists who have influenced us. At a given moment we abandoned talk for action,” says Mcintosh. "That was like a game: we came up with little actions, installations and performances actually, that we set up and carried out all over Berlin. The basic rule involved was to put objects in the wrong place. That led not only to amusing and funny situations, but also to a constructive dialogue between the two of us and a better understanding of each other's working methods."
De-Placed, which came about in such an easy-going way, is a growing catalogue of “little smashings, decorations, and repairs”. Mcintosh explains: “During Burning Ice we are exhibiting a part of the work, a moment in time of past actions captured in a video. The little actions that we undertake are all about action and reaction: experiments about pressure, for example, such as a balloon squeezed by a window, half-in and half-out. In another image we placed a Christmas bauble under the seat of a toilet. The viewer always wonders what is going to happen, how the situation is going to end up. De-Placed also includes statements about the environment. For example, we slide a glass over the leaves of a tree; a way of manipulating and restricting nature, as well as of showing it.”
Mcintosh is very much at home in the context of Burning Ice: her research and her works deal, among other things, with the development of the tension between culture and nature. The choreographer, performer and artist feels a particularly strong bond with the unspoilt nature of her homeland, New Zealand. “I intend to follow the Burning Ice programme conscientiously,” she told us, “and I will be taking part in the debates too. Recently I attended TippingPoint, an international symposium in Potsdam on the same subject, and in particular on the relationship between art and science. The scientists taking part put a great deal of pressure on the artists to talk about it in their work. I strongly believe that art can affect the way the recipient thinks.” Besides further developing the “"catalogue” of De-Placed with Meyer-Keller, Mcintosh is also currently working on a new performance, Dark Matter (a working title), which will be premiered at the Kaaitheater in November. In addition, she told us, “We are exploring how to develop De-Placed into a performance. My new solo work looks at problems in philosophy: I try to test some wellknown ideas in practice, a poetic exercise, presented in a performance with a glamorous atmosphere. It will be a sort of late-night cabaret about thinking.”