No Man’s Land was derived from my previous performance work Tío Jose, which I created in collaboration with Spanish sound artist Carlos Suárez in March 2019, at Centro Negra, in Blanca, Spain. Imagining to be a medium, neither here or there, neither living or dead, I danced for the spirit of Tío Jose, who died during the Spanish civil war.
By definition, ‘no man’s land’ sits between opposing armies and is perhaps the only location where enemy troops can meet without hostility. But it can also be a terrifying place, one that holds great danger for combatants.
I interpret the phrase ‘no man’s land’ in a metaphorical, rather than literal, sense. I use the title No Man’s Land as a generic term for a sanctuary for the nameless men that are sacrificed to the ideologies of governing elites. I imagine this ownerless space as a place where we can find true humanity, outside the conflicts created by ideologies, where survivors who refuse to fight can care for one another, no matter what side they used to belong to. It is a place where men stand in their purest existence, as animals striving to survive, neither evil nor angelic.
In order to articulate these thoughts, I create series of site-specific performance, merging dance and sound art. For the first segment of No Man’s Land, I focused on sound because it was created for the Üle Heli Sound Art Festival in Estonia. However, for the future work, I intend to emphasize movement as much as the sound.