In the run up to Moot Moot coming to MAC Birmingham on the 23rd of January, we caught up with renowned artist Rosana Cade on the process of creating this ‘dark mirror for our current existence’.
How was the concept for Moot Moot formed?
In 2017 I was commissioned by Fierce Festival and The Marlborough Theatre in Brighton to create a new work. At that time, I was keen to develop my collaborative practice with my partner, artist Ivor MacAskill. Up until this point we had mainly collaborated in a more DIY fashion via our band Double Pussy Clit Fuck.
We entered a process that began as a queer exploration of ‘good’ and ‘evil’, questioning the ways in which these concepts are used by the media and those in power to control and divide communities, in a time of increasing political polarisation.
- Do you have a mission statement for Moot Moot?
There isn’t a mission statement. This isn’t a work that is trying to solve something. It acts more as a dark mirror for our current existence, and is read in many different ways. This is something we like to encourage.
- On your website, you talk about liveness as a potent site for connection. How does Moot Moot explore the connection between audiences and performers?
Whilst a lot of my work actively engages with connection and intimacy in its form – often involving interactions and participation, this work talks about connection from beginning to end and yet the performers never connect directly with the audience. As an audience member you are looking in on two people in their own void or bubble, a witness or a voyeur. There is almost a fourth wall between the performers and the audience, which is a departure in style for me as an artist. In this way it deals with the difference between talking about connection and really connecting; it sits with loneliness, desperation, the hypocrisy of the gesture over the real action, the emptiness of someone looking right through you.
- Do you believe the performance would be as effective without Yas Clarke’s sonic soundscape?
The performance wouldn’t exist without Yas Clarke’s sonic world. He came on board as a collaborator about halfway through the process and this is where we really started to build the show together.
- What appeals to you about collaborative art?
Learning to collaborate means learning how to share, learning how to exercise your boundaries and how to respect other people’s, considering your own needs alongside other people’s need.
Also, I much prefer doing things with other people, I find it a lot more fun! I think ideas can progress faster with different input, and can be taken in unexpected ways that never would have occurred without multiple people in the room.
I think art making can be quite a vulnerable process, particularly performance where you literally put yourself in front of people in presenting your work. I find it so strengthening to feel like I am part of a team, especially when touring around quite a lot.
- What appealed to you about taking on the characters of radio talk-show hosts in particular?
In some ways the act of embodying this older straight male character was an attempt to place ourselves in their shoes, and to begin to understand their vulnerability. It is something more complex than othering them and blaming them.
- What are your plans for Moot Moot in the future?
We have some more tour dates which will be announced soon, and we might be bringing the show to the Edinburgh Fringe.