Colin Self (US)
Residency period: September-November 2024
Born in Portland in 1987 and now based in Berlin, Colin Self is a composer, artist, choreographer, and director who creates environments that transcend consciousness and gender, while calling for dialogue and for closer ties between communities. At the crossroads of performances and futuristic operas, Self’s work also questions the relationship between humans and their technologies and imagines new queer futures.
Self regularly collaborates with numerous artists, including American musician Holly Herndon, American artist Martine Syms, English musician Planningtorock and American performer Geo Wyex. Resident at Callie’s in Berlin, where they presented the piece Paraphrase of a Shadow (2023), Self recently composed the piece The World to Come for the Berlin Rundfunkchor and Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester (2020) and the opera Tip the Ivy, which was presented at the Halle fur Kunst Steiermark in Graz and at the Performance Space in New York (2022). Self’s work has been shown at the Whitney Museum of American Art and MoMA PS1 in New York, the KW Institute of Contemporary Art, Hebbel am Ufer and Martin Gropius Bau in Berlin, and the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, among others.
During their residency at La Becque, Self will develop their performative research project entitled Lemniscate, which addresses the relationships that we build with lost beings and their shadows. Considering loss as one of the foundations of the human condition today, this work will bring together three principles: voice, puppetry, and tulpamancy, or the ability to communicate with imaginary creatures, whether human or supernatural. From its origins in Tibetan Buddhism to its Western adaptations in the 20th century, tulpamancy for Colin Self is rooted in the power and particularity of puppets, which act as surrogates in moments of both lightness and clarity. By weaving a link between these moments through the human voice, communication with a shadow becomes a liberating and emancipating experience. A meeting place and a crossroads of timelines, Self’s Lemniscate project will initiate the second phase of research for their performance series entitled Shadow, which they initiated in 2020.
Colin Self, photo Agustin Faris