de Miriam Simun

March 8 - 9

© Miguel Gaspar, 2019

American artist Miriam Simun, in an artist's residency at Carpintarias de São Lázaro, supported by a grant from Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, will exhibit her performance as the final presentation of her work, on the 8th and 9th of March. The starting point for this residence was Simun's desire to continue a training program for social and techno-sociological change (already started at her residence at MIT Media Lab, 2017-18): how can human beings increase their resistance and resilience to survive in a world where cities are constantly growing, with regard to population, density and multiculturalism; where new technologies increasingly regulate more communication between human beings; and in which we are experiencing an ecological crisis, with all sorts of natural disasters.

Reflecting on all of this, the artist began to question how human beings should evolve to connect better with each other, as well as with our environment, with what surrounds us. The performance titled “HOW CAN I BELIEVE WHAT YOU SAY WHEN I CAN FEEL WHAT YOU DO? ” is related to a famous quote of the African-American novelist James Baldwin (1924–1987) “I can’t believe what you say when I can see what you do.”

This work and final presentation is about meeting people, trust, negotiation, commitment and consensus; about the act of performance and being; it's about feeling something true. A work that tries to answer the question “What can we do together, what is not possible to do alone? ” and how to keep on in moments of continuous failure; we have to get fully involved and dance from there. Performance created with and presented by Lucília Raimundo, Mauro Pires and Joana Silva. Directed by Miriam Simun.

    © Miguel Gaspar, 2019

Director: Miriam Simun
Dancers: Joana Silva, Lucília Raimundo, Mauro Pires a.k.a. Maurrice, Miriam Simun.

© Miguel Gaspar, 2019

© Miguel Gaspar, 2019

Miriam Simun found this quote (attributed to Baldwin) in the book “My Grandmother’s Hands” by Resmaa Menakem. In this book Menakem advocates physical exercise to overcome and heal historical and social traumas that are rooted in our body. Some of these Menakem exercises served as a starting point for the work developed by Miriam and the 3 dancers. Later, the artist realized that this quote from Baldwin is so famous that is found not only all over the internet, but also printed in T-Shirts. When researching a little more, the artist found the original source: “A Report from Occupied Territory ”(first published in The Nation, July 11, 1966), where Baldwin finally quotes Tina and Ike Turner's song, “I Can’t Believe What You Say (When I can feel what you do). ” This information turned out to be an interesting point, creating a new angle and the possibility of appropriating, believing or not believing, represent and transmute or simply be.

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