Claricia Parinussa

31st Jan 2019

1. Hi Claricia, thanks so much for participating - we hope you’re enjoying the coffee! Can you give us an introduction to your practice, interests and experiences?

Hi! Thanks for having me. So…

I never quite get the right words to describe things but, speaking now, I work with movement, performance; I guess with an embodied research process.

Working with image, writing, listening, conversation. I’ve been focusing mostly on an overall project the sky was pink since 2016, which started as a performance. Thinking of the/ my/ a body as an archive – and my sense here is of body, mind, self, flesh, bone, thinking, doing, as an integrated entity constantly in flux. I realised an archive sounds a bit too organised and dead for how I experience my body, and now think more about a diasporic body – schema that could be experienced, as a body of water, a (fluid) ecology of living & sedimented movement languages, embodied experiences, physical memory & trauma. In layers, multiplicities, contradictions & conflicts subject to affects of other beings, objects, landscapes, milieu.

- I am interested in: the ways in which our bodies communicate with us; and the ways in which we communicate with each other through the body.

- In beginning with our own bodies in processes of dismantling and reconfiguring dominant structures

- In collectively re-telling stories, re-presenting images, re-imagining identities and centring marginalised voices.

2. Can you talk to us about your working processes, and how you go about researching ideas?

My studio practice forms the basis of understanding my body and its experiences; being in movement as a state of cultivation, openness producing its own knowledge; looking to articulate that.

I probe into questions, concerns.

Reading-thinking-dialogue. Listening-moving-writing; not necessarily in that order. Performing is a continuation of the research, rather than it ever being an end point or finished ‘product’. Work usually comes into being through its first performance, and again, new each time after.

3. Can you tell us more about In Conversation residency? How did it come about and what have you drawn from the series of workshops that took place?


5. Who, where or what has you excited at the moment? Who, where or what is causing you concern at the moment?

In Conversation residency: How from another conversation/ performed: In 2017 I got the chance to work a little with Storyboard P with Project X at Arika’s Episode 9: Other Worlds Already Exist. I was thinking a lot about the hierarchies around dances of the African diaspora that I’ve noticed; and thinking how these can be transcended without an artist changing who they are. Finding those people to ask these questions with, experiencing the workshop and what we spoke about; performing a conversation together; it was a support & inspiration I still draw from; oftentimes I don’t feel like a ‘dancer’ or ‘artist’ or feel inclined to align with the dominant scene.

I get excited about a lot of people & things! Too many to list here but for now; Story, Project X artists, V/DA; the IC residency guests; Egan Chan, Mark Bleakley, Tommy Sweeney, Boubou Belbak, Lorenzo Vayssière, Steven Fraser, Matty Blakebell in these two instances. Mentors & artists I’m fortunate to work with; Lucy Suggate, Marikiscrycrycry, Thulani Rachia, my ballroom family.

Concerns? also many
I’m concerned about the hierarchies that non-white cultural artforms are placed into, which has become a circular structure of elitism, bias, new spaces created by those pushed out which then are exoticised, fetishised, appropriated & then denied an equal footing.

I’m concerned about the ways in which I see this played out; about some ‘conversations’ online, which I’m not sure would happen in the same way or at all in a physical space; about the blind self-denial of structural racism and white privilege in people I held higher.

I’m interested in where we learn from each other across cultures and forms, through physical dialogues in non-hierarchical spaces. There’s no covering up or faking in a cypher, or if you do it’s obvious - you’re vulnerable from the moment you step in.

It’s been interesting to notice some people’s perceptions of me & my practice change as I’ve become a little more visible, and that’s something I’m trying to use to an advantage that can stretch further. And something about how other artists have helped me/ continue to do so, and about wanting to share resources and help I have access to; time and space with artists I find important because shit stretches far!

I’m concerned about this writing/ speaking somehow being ‘final’ for this purpose because my (some of my) thoughts change so often.

6. How is it currently being Associate Artist with Dance Base, Edinburgh and Project X Dance, Glasgow? How do these spaces influence your practice?

The Dance Base associate artist programme and Project X programme both facilitated me to begin figuring out who I am as an artist, what my practice is and what I’m trying to communicate.

I’m influenced by my mentors, Bush, hugely by Lucy (Suggate), Mele Broomes, Ashanti Harris & Rhea Lewis & being part of Project X really opened up my eyes to lots of things I’d internalised and gave a space for that. Also now becoming part of V/DA, Sabrina Henry who I'm excited to work with more.

Working with Helen McIntosh to co-curate ID.Y Fest I was really given space to do things in the way that’s important to me and the communities I’m part of within a kind of shared vision.

She’s a true ally- and to add to Q2&5- its exciting working with Helen + Heather Marshall! People who speak and make space for other people to speak. Also it's been so exciting working with Claire Hills + Natasha Rowana, both fab artists and people! Ones to watch. Naomi Garriock always supporting. Also. Sequoia Barnes. Period.

4. Congratulations on such tender bodies cannot bear so much pressure! I was fortunate to experience the second within the three part series of cumulative performances for the group exhibition. Can you reflect on the performance as a whole and how do you place each performance in relation to each other?

Thank you! It was a really generous invitation from Siobhan and the committee, a rich process researching in relation to Tako Taal and Lauren Printy Currie’s work.

I really appreciated the space and time given to develop my contributions with my collaborators over the course of the exhibition; through each conversation; with the performance series functioning as a kind of continuation of unfolding with each artist.

- Recall (corpo i-iii) video works with Mark Bleakley, made during the install.
- Soundtracking by William Francis, live, second + final performances.
- Garment designed + made by George Hampton Wale, who joined the final performance/live working.

On the whole it feels very much still in process; or, formed a starting point – as a lot of my work is becoming!

Some writing/ from such tender bodies cannot bear so much pressure
I. Labour (embodied)
To have done a job so long it is a part of you and your body that has been passed down from another body before this

unknowing, latest, until doing, and in the case of a lineage –

the weight of this action once found can only be carried

Ia) Labour (training/physical)

Ib) Labour (of love)
… to keep working and never question the futility of the work invested in another/ to search for the love in the labour is futile

    (fresh blood can reinstate)

II. Grasping (see Glissant)(for Opacity)
… Not grasping at, or for (Western thinking), but reaching towards, giving-on–and–with, a connection to this place and people beyond the function of her. To locate the part inside, that which connects with this place and know, what this would be if awakened.

To find a way other than wor(l)ds to hold this/to uphold the Relation.

Or the question of oneself amidst always trying to catch up to a time when you were already behind.

If this is not your time, where does your time sit, across space, in place.

Is she an outsider or does she too pass gaze.
Does it matter less than inside this thought.

IIa) Machine labour
I hide in the mundane and a shell may form so that I blend into another.

A body of labour in part becomes a machine (and a machine may just be as it is). And in this form I can breathe into the small space.

IIb) Dematerialisation:
If it goes from a material to transference to translation, or just to dissipation… diffusion
Even then where does it go what does it become even if to crumble it would gather the dust which may be moved by the moving air but the air itself is a material, diffuse.

Would this then be changed by the dust, and carry this new form to breathe into another.
And if so then are we all always breathing in our alterations, minute.

III. Frequencies
Who was it that said that once a sound frequency is released, it remains & never disappears?
Do we all absorb these, like vibrations and one by one they are lost when you hear that ringing and you know you’ve lost one and if they are vibrations do they alter us in the same way.

    |the moon too (if you believe so)

And if all our bodies are upheld by frequencies, vibrations in particular tones so that when we are in tune with one another we really are, or we’re really not it’s not our fault.. then how do we play those frequencies, how do we access and attain control over them or is it like Story says to activate them like strings or is it even up to us to control.

Rosemary Lee said recently | space is about freedom, place is about security | and then I knew.

I was five, or six, or five, and I asked my mum if she would sit in the class with me and explain what the teacher was saying and I couldn’t understand why she said no.

Numbers made more sense.
And dancing.

III. The garment.

Conversations with George vn/typing
Fraying (edges, unfinished, upturned, inside out, contents unfurled)
Work (workwear)(function, purpose, uniform, specific)
Travel (transit, crease, fold, track, trace, wrap, unfold) Gathering.

See notes Claricia


Claricia Parinussa is an artist, performer and producer, and can be found at