Alva Willemark & Sybrig Dokter: CAPABLE OF RETURNING HOME
14–30 January 2022
CAPABLE OF RETURNING HOME is a two-week exhibition activated by the physical presence of artist Alva Willemark and choreographer Sybrig Dokter. Artist and choreographer share time and space at Index with one desire—to test the idea of home. What is a home? How do we feel at home? Who has the right to be at home? The current situation has rendered a world with closed borders, thus ‘home’—and ‘homing’—becomes a multilayered question. Willemark and Dokter write that they understand homing as “a symbol of rapprochement, homing as a method of affidamento (meaning entrustment), entrustment as relational basis for examining a material, a material of memory, home, walking and existing. Leading and following. Working next to, offering and receiving support, propelling each-other forward.”
Willemark and Dokter share a long-term dialogue with recurring lapses of intensity. Their dialogue is carried out through performative situations, videos and texts, contacts and thoughts without a strictly preconceived plan. Whether it is walking or standing next to each other or floating horizontally in the sea, different modes of sensorial perception emerge from the growing and diminishing gaps between their hands and legs but also from their relationship of support, sometimes coming from afar and, at other times, up close. With CAPABLE OF RETURNING HOME, the duo engages in one of these moments of intensity. If their work together started as a series of meetings and questions related to memories, feelings and places, at Index they discover new protocols for sharing, working, thinking and dialoguing in present time. They use Index as a place to build a home, a place to swim or fly from, a place to escape in.
The exhibitional time for CAPABLE OF RETURNING HOME is very short; two weeks for an exhibition that doubles as an episode in an artistic practice. Two weeks for a situated exploration into the idea of home and homing. How does one create a home? With furniture? Through conversation? By walking together? Could home be a series of gestures, helping us to understand a limited space and time? In Homer’s Odyssey, Ulysses is searching for home in Ithaca after many years away from the island. The artist Zilla Leutenegger stated that, for her, home is language. Frontex—The European Border and Coast Guard Agency—fight to prevent desperate migrants from building a home in a desired idea of Europe. In the novel Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the characters struggle to find home in a past and a place that has ceased to exist.
Before spending time together at Index, Alva Willemark and Sybrig Dokter took two trips. The first one was to the northern part of Sweden where they performed Walking a Home, a memory journey pulsating in the snow. The second was a walk through southern Sweden towards Dokter’s homeland, to her mother and the point where the land dips into the sea. Index is the physical space where the third trip happens. In this case, a static trip understood as a time to share experiences, to recognize movement, feelings, thoughts and ideas. This trip is shared in present time with visitors and the dialogue is opened carefully to additional voices transforming remembered homes and roads, moments of intimacy and gappiness leaking into a new constellation of experiences.
Alva Willemark (1988) investigates intimacy, trust and control exploring the body through performance, installation, text and video. Her work has been exhibited at the Cairo Biennale (Egypt); Weld (Stockholm, Sweden); SKF/Konstfrämjandet (Stockholm, Sweden); and Krupa Gallery (Wroclaw, Poland). Sybrig Dokter (1955) is a choreographer and performer that works with the layering of physical practices to do with synchronicity, mirror-neurons and proximity. Dokter’s work has been presented in Hungary, Ukraine, Belarus and Sweden. Alva Willemark and Sybrig Dokter met through the project Flickor leker två och två.