Oilinity is a choreographic treatise on the dependence of western societies on mineral oil. Kat Válastur places three dancers into an adventurous game called Oilinity, letting them wander through a landscape animated by petroleum and full of surreal obstacles. Its core is the “spinning melancholy,” a cylindrical object that has nothing more in mind than the preservation of the revealing system. With forceful movements, special kinetic codes and black humour, the performers try to break the mechanisms of this system little by little, and to distil something new from its fuel. Oilinity confronts the audience with a dance work that reveals both the hidden traits of humans as well as those of petroleum, finding a vocabulary of movement in which forces and speeds culminate in the crude beauty of dripping oil.
Soldiery and more specifically camouflage was a central area of research for Oilinity. The effect of hiding and becoming one with the background also interested me as an illustration of our postmodern society. How can we define ourselves in a democratic society, in an economic system that is characterised by serial mass production and standardisation? Functionality is top of the list for both military uniforms and sportswear. Technology, functionality, performance enhancement and team building are terms that are used in both the army and in sport.
Even though the costumes were to convey a standardized mass product, we produced them ourselves in the studio,
made-to-measure for the dancers. The print motif of the fabrics (mainly recycled polyester and eco-cotton) was developed through various steps and was trialled through simulation again and again both in the performance space and on the bodies of the dancers.
Concept & choreography
Sound & sculptures
& sound performance
Artistic production management
Laila Rosarot Lüke
björn & björn
Production: Kat Válastur. Coproduction: HAU Hebbel am Ufer, Théâtre de Nîmes. Supported by the Senatsverwaltung für Kultur und Europa and Fonds Darstellende Künste e.V.. The retrospective is supported within the framework of the Alliance of International Production Houses by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media. Presented in the context of [DNA] Departures and Arrivals with support of the EU cultural programme.