Jenny Hval's The Practice Of Love
Curated by Jenny Hval
Whether it’s a stage, a computer screen or a page from a book: Jenny Hval’s multi-disciplinary work aims to break beyond these confining zones to form a deeper connection with her audiences. The coy, conceptual LP ‘Blood Bitch’, the utopian meditations of 2018’s ‘The Long Sleep’ and the hyperrealist novel ‘Paradise Rot’ are just a few examples of the playful ways this Norwegian artist circumvents our expectations, notions, and habits. It’s an artistic pursuit Le Guess Who? wholeheartedly admires and endorses, so Hval’s turn to curate her own line-up feels long overdue.
Jenny Hval’s ‘The Practice of Love’, which she’ll perform at Le Guess Who?, will explore sonic, visual and choreographic ideas while transforming voices, sounds and even bodies into texts, in a process that Hval herself describes as a form of magic. With a multi-national ensemble including experimental musicians, vocalists, dancers and video artists, this new project extends Hval’s work into new and even more challenging territory.
The piece investigates the connection between life and art in a specific way - an umbilical magic, which brings together the possibility of creating art, creating life, and relating to other people, looking for empathy and a common language through speaking, singing, writing together. It also looks at the relationship between voice / presence / life and written word / absence / death: The voice comes from a living body, it is how we first relate to other humans, hearing our mothers' voice and responding to it ... Whereas the dead body can no longer say "I", and the written words are the remains that are chiseled into our tombstones. Is being drawn to words a death drive?
Using sound, text and image manipulation, The Practice of Love is both a magical seance and an inquiry into the nature of creativity.
The Practice of Love is co-produced by Black Box teater and Ultima Oslo Contemporary Music Festival. Premiere: 20 September 2019, Black Box teater/Ultima Festival.