Over the past decade or so, in her solo and collaborative work in live performance and film, Jane Mason has explored ways in which the movements of bodies and objects can create ‘image worlds’ of great affective resonance and tenderness. These dynamic architectures of memory, loss, and longing combine dance, text, song and music in patterns of images that slowly align and unfold to suggest passage ways through felt times and spaces of a rhythmed intimacy and intensity. Usually triggered by some aspect of her own lived experience, these ‘worlds’ invite a quiet attention to detail, and an active slowing down into present process. Over the years, many of Jane’s images have lingered with me and etched themselves into my imagination – for in their exquisite precision and mystery, paradoxically they seem to invite and activate something of the life forces within our own memories and associational fields.
With its initial trigger in some boxes of photographic slides taken by her father some years ago, Life Forces develops this work of mining, uncovering, transposing and inviting, and opens up new landscapes of be/longing. Developed in close collaboration with a film maker, a writer-performer, a visual artist and a dramaturg, Life Forces offers a meditation on memory’s place in the face of uncertain futures, on place and home and their resilient fragilities, on the utopian impulse to ‘build’ together and to let (it) go, on the arcing electricity of connection and the drift of dispersal, and on transformation and change as the core ground of being, the ‘life force’ that links everything and everyone.
Short text written in the wake of various collaborations in recent years with the wonderful Jane Mason, and in response to her new performance piece Life Forces, prior to a showing of work-in-progress at Siobhan Davies Studios, London, in early July. With Jane Mason (choreographer/performer/writer), Phil Smith (performer/writer), Magali Charrier (film maker/animator), Sophia Clist (sculptor/designer), and David Williams (dramaturg). Tour from autumn 2014