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ZugZwang
 

“Who tries to interpret the world as an enigma is moved by a serious, iron, deep and violent instinct, by the feeling that at the bottom of things there is a common thread which - once discovered - will allow us to outline a way out of the labyrinth; and he is moved also by a playful, light-hearted instinct, eager for all that is unexpected, that is, by the feeling of exaltation given by the slow and accurate act of unveiling what is unknown”   Giorgio Colli - Philosophy of Expression

In the game of chess Zugzwang refers to the moment when the player is compelled to make a move, although he may feel it is impossible, since he knows that any move would make him lose something, if not everything. What to move, then? And how?
To what extent, is movement a vital impulse and when does it turn to be an escape or a stalemate? In order to avoid such a stalemate, we have to renounce something, but, in order to renounce something, we have to know the value of what is renounced .
The worth of each piece is linked to the pieces we have already lost as well as to those still left, to their number and type. We shall then turn to memory, for it is within memory that the single elements acquire their current value and the game becomes real. In this sense, memory is not merely a faculty of our own, but it is rather the weave of the reality in which we move. It determines who we are, what we have got, where we are and where we can move to. Memory is what constitutes reality.
“Who tries to interpret the world as an enigma is moved by a serious, iron, deep and violent instinct, by the feeling that at the bottom of things there is a common thread which - once discovered - will allow us to outline a way out of the labyrinth; and he is moved also by a playful, light-hearted instinct, eager for all that is unexpected, that is, by the feeling of exaltation given by the slow and accurate act of unveiling what is unknown”. What used to look like a shadow is now a branch, this particular branch. I can say it is a branch, because it recalls that other branch I happened to see once, and nothing else. This is why I can say that this shadow is something, because something similar existed before it. It is not alone and therefore it can be understood.
Chess pieces are never alone. As single pieces they have no worth. They acquire meaning through the weave of their relations and this allows them to move. The same is true for us. Even when we think that we do not do so, we do believe that we are something complete inhabiting precisely here, inside us, on this side of our eyes and skin; we believe that our “I” is a unalterable focal point around which our actions intertwine. But, it is within the game that we become players, not before nor after. Outside the weave of the game there would not be any playing and therefore any player. Turning back to this weave means to rethink our world as a set of relations, by which we have always been determined in what we are and do, and without which no movement would be possible. In this sense what we call relation is not a mere juxtaposition of things or beings: it rather looks like an act of pouring than of facing.
This body of ours is not an object, but a direction. This skin and these eyes which we considered as a shelter or a border, as a sentry post from which we could scan the world around, are actually intersections or crossroads of tactile perceptions and visual impressions: forms of touch and porosity, openings and gleams. We dwell on these meeting points, at our fingertips and gaze, constantly leaning over towards something else. We probably consider it as a loss to accept the fact that we do not belong exclusively to ourselves. And yet, this is our only possibility to be not alone.
The waves in the sea encounter and know each other by pouring and penetrating one into the other: their encounter is not an occasional contact in the air, as they emerge from the surface. They have always been joining each other within the depths of the sea. Still, we call them waves and not sea, and of each of them we say that the one is not the other.
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Two beings, brother and sister, try to experience a ‘sea-journey’. To really know what we have always known represents a labyrinth of steps, rich in obstacles and with little relief. Yet, the horizon has the colour of the morning.

Concept : Elisabetta Lauro and Gennaro Andrea Lauro

by and with Elisabetta Lauro and Gennaro Lauro

Technical assistance: Tea Primiterra

Music:  Amedeo Monda

Production: Cuenca/Lauro, Cie Meta Co production: Sosta Palmizi

With the support of: Ménagerie de Verre Paris, CND Pantin, Ass.ne Invito alla Danza