Mairéad Figate

Solo

 

It’s my first time and I don’t know if everyone feels this way but I have found the process of making a solo for myself to be a painfully existential exercise. After years of making, suddenly I don't know what I’m doing or why. It can be crippling.

Other times I find pure joy in the freedom of moving to music, in only the ways I want to move. This past year I was given the immense gift of a long-term residency in Montreal at Myriam Allard and Hedi Graja’s Pleamar Studio. The generosity of this gift and its freedom from expectations helped me find that joy again.

With the approach of a show, doubt inevitably creeps in and so I have been relying on John Cage’s instructions for making, especially:

“The only rule is work. If you work it will lead to something.”

“Do not try to create and analyze at the same time. They are different processes.”

“Be happy whenever you can manage it. Enjoy yourself. It is lighter than you think.”

Seemingly simple but oh, how I need to be reminded.

I’m chipping away at a solo that contains layers of meaning and embodied history that move far beyond me. It is also, very simply, myself moving joyfully to the music.

This clip: a nod to Trisha Brown’s Water Motor (filmed by Babette Mongolte) – an artist and work that have greatly inspired this process. Everything is more beautiful in slow motion.