Are we here yet?

Editors: Jeroen Peeters and Meg Stuart
Publisher: Les presses du réel, Damaged Goods (2nd print 2014)

Paperback: 256 pages
Language: English
ISBN: 978-2-84066-354-6

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An artist’s book in which American choreographer reflects on her own practice in dialogue with several (former) Damaged Goods collaborators. Including essays by Myriam Van Imschoot and André Lepecki as well as image contributions by Doris Dziersk, Tina Kloempken, Jorge León, Anna Viebrock, among others.

Since choreographer Meg Stuart presented her debut Disfigure study at the Klapstuk festival (Louvain) in 1991 and founded her company Damaged Goods in Brussels in 1994, she has been a regular guest in theatres all over Europe and became a key figure in contemporary dance. According to Stuart, “all movement expresses desire, not simply the physical or erotic or material desire of wanting, owning, or inhabiting something, but the desire to make contact, to expose oneself to the viewer and the other on stage. Ultimately, movement also expresses and incorporates the missing, the failed communication, the censored, and all conditions real or projected that block any action from taking place. Perhaps al the reasons one is not able to cope within a given situation.”

Though Damaged Goods’ work has yielded a lot of critical response, many questions remain unanswered when it comes to Stuart’s views, issues, methods and collaborations that underpin her performance work. In the artist’s book Are we here yet?, Stuart reflects on her own practice in dialogue with Jeroen Peeters and several (former) Damaged Goods collaborators. It furthermore includes essays by Myriam Van Imschoot and André Lepecki, and visual contributions by Doris Dziersk, Tina Kloempken, Jorge Leon and Anna Viebrock, among others. The graphic design is Kim Beirnaert’s.

Mapping out genealogies and collaborations of the past, Are we here yet? revisits meaningful moments in Stuart’s artistic trajectory, drawing different lines through the work from Disfigure study (1991) to Blessed (2007). It contains a manual with Stuart’s exercises and performance strategies, discussions of dance improvisation and dramaturgy, reflections upon collaboration and life in the studio, and a selection of documents and performance texts. Are we here yet? is an extension of the work, a container brimming with memories, projections, reflections and images close to Stuart’s choreographic practice, a heterogeneity of materials that have a certain gravity of their own and won’t cease to resonate and stir up new questions for future work.

Contributions by Simone Aughterlony, Francisco Camacho, Varinia Canto Vila, Doris Dziersk, Tim Etchells, Davis Freeman, Philipp Gehmacher, David Hernandez, Katharine Jones, Tina Kloempken, Benoît Lachambre, Jorge León, André Lepecki, David Linton, Anna MacRae, Jan Maertens, Lawrence Malstaf, Vincent Malstaf, Vera Mantero, Bettina Masuch, Andreas Müller, Jeroen Peeters, Stefan Pucher, Vania Rovisco, Hahn Rowe, Yukiko Shinozaki, Meg Stuart, Tine Van Aerschot, Maarten Vanden Abeele, Bart Van den Eynde, Myriam Van Imschoot, Anna Viebrock.