I was here (2008, conference-performance)

About the piece

“Between both solos, João Fiadeiro will present the lecture-performance I was here, that revisits the piece I am here created in 2003 and which, in turn, visits the universe of the fine artist Helena Almeida. This “habit” of re-visiting, re-inhabiting, living the same thing but from another point of view, from another perspective, always accompanied João Fiadeiro modus operandi. The device of the “lecture-performance”, hybrid place between presentation and representation, between performance and document, amplifies further more this way of operating, making possible the simultaneous experience of being “present-absent”, so valued to João Fiadeiro way of thinking.

I am here, work that premiered at Centre George Pompidou in 2003 and was presented twice at Centro Cultural de Belém in Lisbon, first at Helena Almeida’s retrospective (2004) and afterwards at Festival Alkantara (2005), it’s a work that, in a way, synthetizes all off his trajectory because it assembles most of his thoughts and restlessness as an artist. Therefor, the lecture-performance I was here will be an excellent opportunity to share not only the process that originated the piece but also the premises and principles that guide João Fiadeiro in the creation of his works.

In concrete, I was here will expose – through the presentation of films, photos, texts, models, small presentations, etc. – the way how the encounter with Helena Almeida’s work happened; the encounter with Helena Almeida herself; the way how, on its different levels, the displacement between the original affection, the formulation laid down and the work manifestation developed; and the way how the relationship between the several collaborators went through, specially with the visual artist and architect Walter Lauterer, author of the scenography-sculpture that hosts João Fiadeiro body in the play I am here.”

(taken from the program notes of the SOLOS | ENACTMENTS performance series 2014, translation Vito Evola)

Our research

“In carrying out our case study on João Fiadeiro’s solo work, it was the Practice-as-Research (PaR) context (namely, the artistic collaboration with Fiadeiro) that informed performance theory and has allowed us to develop a different approach to performance documentation. In other words, the artistic collaboration as research produced a transmedial score for I was here, which allowed to annotate the video documentation of the work; and the annotation data were visualized infographically, so that two essential aspects of Fiadeiro’s choreographic modus operandi could become visible.

These two aspects would not be accessible without close involvement with the artist and his creative process: 1. Fiadeiro’s techniques for the modulation of affective spacetimes, and 2. the inner workings of the re-enactment process, designated as “accumulative writing” by Fiadeiro, which we were able to visualize and compare from version to version of his work. This knowledge produced about the choreographic modus operandi in João Fiadeiro’s solo work constitutes our second kind of research outcomes.”

The text above is an excerpt from our forthcoming article “Choreographic practice-as-research: Jürgens, S., and Fernandes, C. (2017) Choreographic practice-as-research: A Case Study on Researching and Visualizing Conceptual Structures in Contemporary Dance, book chapter in edited book, Routledge.

Infographic film about I was here


Video excerpts (stage performance) of I was here at 17'35''-30'21''