Volmir Cordeiro was born in 1987 in Brazil. He created the duet Époque with Marcela Santander Corvalán in 2015, and L’œil la bouche et le reste in 2017, which was declined also as an exhibition. He has just published a book based on his phd thesis, Ex-corpo, in Carnets collection. Trottoir, his last piece for 6 performers, was recently created in Festival d’automne (Paris) in December 2019. At Oslo Internasjonale Teaterfestival, he is performing Street – a piece which can be seen as a carnivalesque portrait of everyday life in the street.
What does artistic freedom mean to you?
Artistic freedom can be a principle if we understand principle as a strong rule applicable with trust to any creative situation. I try to think freedom not as a conquest or something that we can achieve after many overcome obstacles. It’s not outside, it’s not far, it’s not over there… The point is more about how freedom reclaims me; how freedom presents itself to me as an address, as a call, as a place for living. The possible answers imply the invention of different sensorial conditions in the formation of the artistic subjectivity – which, to me, is the base of the gesture in the case of dance. Freedom in creation is not just a strategy or a tool, but a permanent field of fight: fighting for the idea that freedom is a social determination that depends on our ability to gather.
Why do you think artistic freedom is important?
People often associate freedom to a kind of economic security or prosperity – or, still, to a suspension of responsibility. I prefer not to think this way. Artistic freedom is to situate or to interrogate the negotiations between the individual processes and the social conditions. As an artist, I am interested to know how the normative life tries to penetrate myself, to disturb me, to destroy my feelings and how I can invent resistance mechanisms through collectiveness, being able to fight for a good form of political organization and for good sorts of feelings in the face of a good kind of freedom. When I decide to cope with these normative interferences, I feel the empowerment of freedom.
How is artistic freedom put at risk? What are the possible actions to protect artistic freedom?
Artistic freedom is put at risk whenever we lose the capacity to choose how we drive our lives. To think about my artistic freedom, I need to conceive what kind of life, creative process, economy and modes of narrative I want to construct. It is the condition in the face of the risk of feeling that I drive my life and the limits of my freedom – and remember that my life and my freedom can also drive me. So, I can know only partially about my artistic freedom – and I need to consider this in the organization of the world powers: it is a project to produce risk, precariousness and vulnerability everywhere, all the time. And it is impossible to think about freedom out of this frame. By asking myself about artistic freedom, I start to negotiate with some different forms of power and their incisions on me.
Top photo: Marc Domage.