Blue Skies Forever by María Montero Sierra

 

Performance, theatre, musical and installation compose the work Blue Skies Forever (2018) by the Belgium collective buren. Inspired by the famous video Ever Is Over All (1997) by Pipilotti Rist, buren reappropriates the two female characters of the video, the carefree woman smashing car windows, distinguished by her reminiscent of Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz, and the police officer nodding.

Buren’s nuclear research on the conventions generated between female identities and their outfits features the redundancy of the blue dress worn by female characters. While the light blue from Rist’s video, Cinderella, and Alice in Wonderland’s characters eludes to the feminine, fragile and almost innocent female figure, the dark blue connects with the authority, such as a police or a politician, like Margaret Thatcher. Blue Skies Forever uncovers these representational clichés.

 

As performers undress, dress, shape and reshape their characters, the audience’s gaze is exposed to their own fantasies. Alongside props and customs, buren teases the continued reading of the women’s image and her voice. Songs, mumbles, and murmurs, from now and then, point into women’s refrain tendency to modulate not only their image but also their voice as a way to distinguish from factional representations.

In the context of Playground festival, buren will also perform Have you rearranged the flowers? (2014). Another occasion to discover buren’ s aestheticised scenes, powerful visual tableaux that pause as perfect frames of a film highlighting the colours and apparently un-useless objects. Whether in a fantasized house or park in Have you rearranged the flowers? or in the publicness figures in Blue Skies Forever, the thorough gestures, props and scenography undertake a performative role intentionally expressing the media structures (I don’t feel we expose or express media structures. We couldn’t think of another way to name it, but we create more of a dream-like fantasized world in which the viewer can associatively find meaning) to unify the female image. buren responds to this normativity with irony, a science-fiction leaving the audience un- indifferent to the previously accepted standard reading of these scenes.

 

buren is a collaboration by Melissa Mabesoone and Oshin Albrecht. Their practice consists of performances, videos, photos and installations. In 2013, the duo made their first performance together during a research residency in the frame of Les Laboréales, buren by buren, and in 2017 they graduated at HISK. They have performed at Buda, S.M.A.K, Les Ateliers Claus as well as presented their work in the solo show, The room in the middle is a garden, Galerie Am Polylog in Wörgl (AT) and recently at Cwart in Knokke. For their last project, Dearly Dialogues, Melissa and Oshin enter in a correspondence of texts, pictures and events informing their central subjects matter: feminism, aesthetics and politics collapsing their temporal bases, New York and Bekegem. The artist book “Confusion of Tongues” was published in 2017 by Posture Editions. Blue Skies Forever received the honorable mention Young Theater Price at Theater Aan Zee. `

 

Credits

by and with buren (Melissa Mabesoone & Oshin Albrecht) | third eye Charlotte Vanden Eynde | voice coach Jakob Ampe | music & sound buren & Benjamin Dousselaere & Ferre Marnef | set buren & Dominiek Colpaert | light Frouke Van Gheluwe & Ezra Veldhuis | with the support of The Flemish Community, STUK, Vooruit, de Brakke Grond, wp Zimmer and CC Scharpoord