Doris Uhlich: Gootopia
Length: 20 minutes
Slime is a vital biological substance that causes ambivalent reactions. It evokes revulsion and shudders but also curiosity and a desire to touch. The reason for its appealing and at the same time off-putting effects is that it is something which is hard to grasp in our technologized society defined by the desire for sterility and stability – slime is neither wholly solid nor fluid, neither endogenous nor exogenous, and sometimes it is both. All life begins with moisture; we do not enter this world dry or “clean.” Slime is originally a familiar substance that holds the organism together and forges links. Generally speaking, though, we tend to lose touch with it over the course of our lives. In science fiction it commonly appears in conjunction with aliens, standing for the non-human, the unknown that spreads by flowing. In the current pandemic too, it is a substance associated with anxiety.
In Gootopia, the focus is on the performers’ interactions with various slime substances. Slime is both material and performer. It is part of the dance: on, in, and between bodies. People and slime touch, interlink, mingle, and form alliances, all the while giving rise to new connections; bodily boundaries become fluid, opening up spaces of association for different, slimy, utopian forms of life.
Artist: Doris Uhlich