Mette Ingvartsen‘s bold, brilliant and exhaustive study of human sexuality has been a years-long undertaking with a host of collaborators. In to come (extended), she continues the work of to come, which premiered in 2005 shortly after she graduated from the the performing arts school P.A.R.T.S., in Brussels. The work is part of her extended series, The Red Pieces, which also includes 69 positions7 Pleasures (NYU Skirball, 2017) and the performative conference series The Permeable Stage, which has so far had 3 iterations.

In a performance that literally disrupts erotic orders, a group of 15 performers questions the notion of individual sexual freedom by working on orgiastic relations. The bodies of the performers merge into a collective group formation by making their surfaces indistinguishable from one another. Working directly on how bodies can physically connect, mechanisms of desire are rethought by experimenting with sexual, orgasmic and social expressions. The performance challenges the use of climactic and orgasmic structures in theater by proposing extended states of pleasures in which excitement is both excessively slowed down and energetically sped up. The enjoyment of abstract colors and shapes mix with a sensation of rhythmic pulsing produced by sensual figures, while social structures come undone.

Read the Indefinite Article by Hentyle Yapp, and join us for the NYU Skirball Book Club on Friday, October 25, 2019. We’re reading Andrea Lawlor’s Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl.

Office Hours

Office Hours: Mette Ingvartsen and Richard Move on "to come (extended)"
Mette Ingvartsen and Richard Move on "to come (extended)"

Get Into It

Mette Ingvartsen | to come (extended)
Excerpt: "to come (extended)"
To Come (2005) by Mette Ingvartsen (Denmark)
"to come" (2005)
Mette Ingvartsen | The Red Pieces
Mette Ingvartsen on The Red Pieces

Get Thee to the LIbrary

Recommended readings to accompany the Indefinite Article by Hentyle Yapp.

Judith Butler, Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. Routledge Classics, 2006.

Jill Dolan, Theatre & Sexuality. Macmillan Palgrave, 2010.

Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality, Volume 1: An Introduction. Vintage, 1990.

André Lepecki, Singularities: Dance in the Age of Performance. Routledge, 2016.

Gayle Rubin, Deviations: A Gayle Rubin Reader. Duke University Press Books, 2011.

Flashback

NYU Skirball first welcomed Mette Ingvartsen in 2017, and her 7 Pleasures was a New York Times pick that heralded NYU Skirball’s bold new ethos.

It’s long been a cultural stereotype that Americans are prudes. So what better way to confront our discomfort with sex and nudity than to fill a theater with naked dancers simulating sex? In “7 Pleasures,” the Danish choreographer Mette Ingvartsen presents 12 dancers in what has been called a “choreographic orgy.”

Check out André Lepecki’s Indefinite Article for 7 Pleasures, and our Reading List for the show (it’s a proto-Prep School).

Read All About It

Tom Engels | 2018

to come (extended) Interview with Mette Ingvartsen

“How has freedom been co-opted by capitalism? There’s a very strong current in society that proclaims the idea of self-liberation. One frees the mind and the rest will follow. I beg to differ. It’s a meticulous labor to work oneself out of the inhibitions of living in an over-capitalised environment.”

Tom Engels | 2017

21 pornographies & to come (extended) Interview with Mette Ingvartsen

“As sexuality is also a place for experimentation and joyful existence, we try to think of it as a way to transform power relations and to construct ourselves out of oppressive ones. I consider joy as a feminist strategy to resist oppressing structures of power.”

Extra Credit

On Oct 8, 2019 – two weeks before to come (extended) hits the stage at NYU Skirball – the US Supreme Court will hear cases questioning whether federal anti-discrimination laws should apply to sexual orientation and gender identity. Specifically, does Title VII protect LGBTQ people in the workplace? Get the details on NPR, the New York Times, the Economist, and New York Magazine:

With the U.S. Supreme Court having already established a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, you’d think the less controversial issue of protecting LGBTQ employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation would have long been resolved as well. But that issue, which involves statutory interpretation of civil-rights laws, is actually still in a legal limbo. That could soon change now that SCOTUS has agreed to review three cases in this area, two involving discrimination against gay people and a third assessing discrimination against transgender people.

Plus, the queer podcast Nancy covers some of the same ground and digs into Title VII in this 2017 episode: “Does Your Boss Know You’re Gay?” (Transcript available at the link!)