At the beginning of the 1970s, the American philosopher John Rawls developed a theory of justice in which he dealt with basic principles on which a just state should be built. Within his theories, there is a thought experiment on a form of primordial state of the foundation of the state. In this, just principles are found through a “veil of ignorance.” This means that those who decide on the principles of the state to be created do not know what role they will have within it. Thus, one does not know what one’s financial means, gender, skin color, etc. are. One would therefore also not know whether one is a mother (or in the broader sense has to do with care work). In principle, this thought experiment opens up quite wonderful considerations and questions. On closer inspection, however, the question arises whether the “veil of ignorance” should not be underpinned with knowledge about the individual roles and figures and the realities of life that go hand in hand with them. Yes, it seems almost necessary to do this before one can really enter the experiment in a well-founded way. Especially when it comes to roles/figures whose realities of life have been looked at (and heard) with fundamentally little passion so far.

One is not seen, thought or heard as a mother (in the Free Performing Arts of the global West), let alone appreciated or even considered as a pool of knowledge. This creates not only discrimination, but also a tacit agreement to let the knowledge found in these people be lost. But can the world afford to ignore ways of seeing and acting together? Can art allow itself in the long run to continue to emphasize, unspokenly but with great vehemence, the individual artist far from any reality of life (or especially far from a reality that also involves things like changing diapers)? And can we people and artists of the West continue to persist in our attitude of being better (posed) when it comes to life and (art) creation? Perhaps it is finally time to take a look at mothers and to do justice to what is behind this word. People who have a lot in common beyond their differences and who are hungry to (finally) exchange ideas about this and to achieve visibility.

Knowledge is based on attention or at least goes along with it. If this often means turning to concerns of the head, in the following it is about that knowledge which arises in, through and with the body. Knowledge in the form of people, their practices and works (the term broadly thought).

At the beginning of the laboratory there was the intention to explore the international aspect of the topic of parenthood in the arts (and in particular in the field of dance). What is there? What is missing? And thus: Who is there and who is missing? Pretty quickly it became clear that this Lab, an exchange across national borders, can work in some ways if one is not intimidated by the big issues like society, power structures, political systems, feminism. If you allow diversity within the confines of a five-hour zoom meeting (with time differences) in a limitedness without getting frustrated. By starting with questions and having in mind from the beginning that you will also end with questions. By not losing sight of the fact that turning is always about listening and being listened to. If one enters with the will to be at eye level and sees this will as a force/drive and not as something forcing. If one gives room for “I have no idea.” is given.

Invited Artists:

          • Susie Burpee (Canada)
          • Kimberley de Jong (Canada)
          • Julie Lebel (Canada)
          • Ana Maria Hedman (Sweden)
          • Renata Piotrowska-Affret (Polen)
          • Macarena Campbell (Chile)
          • Krõõt Juurak (Austria)
          • Aranyani Bhargav (India)
          • Faye Lim (Singapore)
          • Lucy McCrudden (England)

Participating Artists from Ag Dance and Parenthood:

          • Jenny Haack
          • Jasna Layes Vinovrški
          • Anja Kolmanics
          • Raisa Kröger
          • Heike Kuhlmann
          • Saskia Oidtmann
          • Steffi Sembdner-Erfurt
          • Maira Walser