Online residentie • MOHA

Theatercollectief MOHA heeft zich de afgelopen jaren gespecialiseerd in voorstellingen die je onderdompelen in de dagelijkse routine van een bepaalde omgeving. De focus op ‘care’, op zorg dragen, stond centraal in het onderzoeksproject ‘Who Cares’ dat MOHA, tijdens de online residentie van 30 maart t/m 26 april bij ons, deed.

Het werk van MOHA
Theatercollectief MOHA (Alice Pons en Olivia Reschofsky) heeft zich de afgelopen jaren gespecialiseerd in voorstellingen die je onderdompelen in de dagelijkse routine van een bepaalde omgeving. Het is een aanpak die veel zorgvuldigheid en zorg vereist: om het vertrouwen te winnen van de mensen wiens wereld in het project centraal staat en om recht te doen aan hun routines en hun waardigheid.

Als bezoeker word je gedurende een of twee uur onderdeel van een woonwijk, een afvalteam, een studentenhotel of een begraafplaats, ontmoet je de medewerkers of bewoners en voer je de handelingen uit die hun leven bepalen. Het is een praktijk die verschillende werelden bij elkaar brengt, die van kunst en maatschappij maar ook die van fysieke arbeid, zorgarbeid en kantoorwerk.

Online
In de afgelopen weken hebben MOHA en Het Huis een online residentie opgezet om het geplande onderzoek onder de huidige omstandigheden toch door te kunnen laten gaan, waarbij Alice en Olivia literatuuronderzoek deden, interviews afnamen en regelmatig Skypegesprekken voerden met huisdramaturg Marijn Lems en artistiek coördinator Milone Reigman. Het voorlopige resultaat vind je hieronder – een kort verslag, de drie interviews en een uitnodiging om zelf correspondent van Alice en Olivia te worden als het thema je aanspreekt.

Our dear friends and colleagues,

Many years ago, in an event that many probably forgot (but not us), one of us was offered the mic. Despite the difficulties (the event was in dutch and there was no one we knew there) we stood up and dared to speak what was yet to become our truth. The sentence was, as far as we can recall:

“Choose a side job* that doesn’t kill your soul.
A job that you learn to care for.”

* side job is a big subject, but let’s just say for now, sometimes you just don’t have a choice.

Here is the proof.

To be truthful to this statement we have tried many things. Olivia worked as a post deliverer for two years and on a farm where she had to bike 37 km at 5am in the morning to be at the location by 7am. Her soul was dying…..

Alice almost got herself involved into some experimental erotic business but after experiencing a glimpse of internet fame due ‘to her early art work going viral’ (if you are curious click here. This is not the Alice you know but definitely a part of her), she chose not to pursue a career in this direction….

Olivia and the 100s of letters she had to deliver. 

          

Alice’s casting photo.

But so, what is it? What is this side job that doesn’t kill your soul?

Unfortunately there is no manual for this. It is different for everyone. It is linked to your skills, what you feel comfortable doing and learning. What can adapt to your life. What makes you happy. It is not something you can find in a month (some might be lucky enough to do so). You need patience. You need few failed attempts. And you need to keep trying.

but tralalalalaaa

.
.

We found the one!

So here is a tribute to our side job.

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Dear Side Job,

Thanks for being here when I need you. Thanks for stepping back when I don’t need you. It’s been now how long? 6 years that we know each other? There were times, I really could not stand you. I had to do 24 hours shifts, waking up several times in the nights and getting into situations I had no idea what I should do. Like when I first had to give an injection, or when there was an accident and my brain just froze and I still had to act fast to make sure that he is alright. But on the other hand I learned that I can deal with blood, shit, pee and puke. Even at the same time. I learned everything about dutch TV. I learned to cook salmon, makreel, and that I can roast almost everything in the microwave and it will feel like it was done in a real oven. I learned to drive a big mercedes van. I learned that I can carry a person down the staircase when the elevator is broken. I learned that even when I am tired, with you my brain wakes up right away and I can just do the work days and nights. I learned that I can argue even with a crack dealer if it is necessary because you also gave me friendships and people to care for. Thanks for teaching me so much. And at last but not least, thanks for being here now in this difficult, strange and uncertain time. I can feel even more than ever how important you are.

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photo by Marc Henri Quere

So for the last 6 years we have been working as care workers on the side.
But now, in the last 6 weeks, we have been artists on the side.
There is clearly something going on between these two. 
Art? Work? Care? Work? Artcare? Careart? Workwork?

It has been long in our mind, and now with all that happening around, we decided to be stubborn and to spend the next 2,5 years on this:

“The question, then, is not ‘how can we care more?’ but instead to ask what happens to our work when we pay attention to moments where the question of ‘how to care?’ is insistent but not easily answerable.”
(Matters of Care by Maria Puig de la Belacasa)

Who Cares?’ is a tribute to our side job. Our new baby, a research, integrating ourselves into the world of farmers, nurses, social workers, cleaners, gardeners, and maintenance workers. Together we will be looking at the place of care in our society. To start with, in our confined homes, we already took a month to read and orientate ourselves a little. This quote above is one of the darling we found. This is just the beginning. Our goal is not to solve everything, nor to find clear answers yet. But what we already know is that if we go beyond the most obvious way to relate to care (emotions, love, moral, ethics, good, nice), we can approach it as a tool to organise ourselves: our exchanges, our routines, (and even, who knows?) our economy. Care for us is ongoing, something hands on, something that wants to repair. Something working along the broken world, where even the small, the unnoticed, the unspectacular and the ugly can thrive.

If by chance reading this brings butterflies in your stomach then there is a way you can hear more about it. You can become one of our correspondents. Respond to this journal by sending an e-mail with the subject line “correspondent power” to info@mohaproject.com and we will tell you more.

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THE  BONUS

In this month we also had the chance to talk with 3 different experts (Economist Goncalo Lima, Artist/curator Anne Breure, Artist/curator/ex nurse Milone Reigman) about their relation to care, personally but also through their jobs. Click here if you want to listen/read the interviews. Three interesting views that complement each other.

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Thanks to Het Huis Utrecht for facilitating our online residency. Thanks to Milone and Marijn for the ongoing discussions. Thanks to Elmer, Mor, S , Natasha, Biljana, and Ed for teaching us how to be good care workers.

And until the next time we meet….
Take care and stay strong. 🙂

We hope you are all healthy and also the people around you.
Alice and Olivia