© Ula Sickle © Béa Borgers © Béa Borgers © Béa Borgers


Text / Press / Video

6 hour performance/installation

Nuit Blanche Brussels, October 6 2018
Wiener Festwochen, May 11 & 13, 2019

A black flag floats in continuous motion. Its movement and the flapping of the fabric become both choreography and sound. Presented as a single continuous action, Relay draws its inspiration from the many recent protests taking place around the globe, among them, the mass marches in Poland, in defence of women’s rights, called “Czarny Protest” (Black Protest). The black flag cannot be linked to one particular battle and hence defies easy interpretation. Implicit references to liberation movements are counteracted by the resurgence of flags that, in our current dictatorship of fear, mainly connote exclusionary identities. The Polish Canadian choreographer Ula Sickle and a diverse group of performers relay one another in a fascinating test of endurance. Their movements pass back and forth between inertia and hope, resistance and powerlessness. They each individually take on the responsibility to keep the flag moving, but it is the collective effort required that makes Relay such a powerful symbol.
How is resistance still possible in a system that has managed to incorporate every form of opposition?

Ula Sickle (Concept, performance, choreography), Yann Leguay (Sound design), Popol Amisi (Performance), Liza Baliasnaja (Performance), Sidney Barnes (Performance), Amanda Barrio Charmelo (Performance),  Mavi Veloso (Performance), Mohamed Toukabri (Performance), Nathan Ooms (Performance, internship), Antoine Neufmars (Dramaturgical assistance), Elise Vermuyten (Production for Caravan Production) with the support of Nuit Blanche 2018 & Kunstenwerkplaats Pianofabriek

Vienna Cast: Amanda Barrio Charmelo, Cherish Menzo, Liza Baliasnaja, Sidney Barnes, Ula Sickle, Wei-Da Chen (DaDa Jv) 

"In light of the heritage of May ’68, the worldwide shift to the right leaves a bitter taste. In 1968 we asked for so much more than we got, but what we got back then is still more than what we have left today, says political theorist Chantal Mouffe. (...) Conservatism and racism are soaring, neoliberalism has depleted the welfare state and climate change is spiralling out of control… Regarding these historical evolutions, Sickle also wants to raise the bigger question of how resistance is still possible in a system that has managed to incorporate every form of opposition. Which individual and collective agency are we left with?"

Charlotte de Somviele