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Books: Damaged Goods / Meg Stuart – Are we here yet?

Since choreographer Meg Stuart presented her debut Disfigure Study at the Klapstuk festival (Leuven) in 1991 and founded her company Damaged Goods in Brussels in 1994, she has been a regular guest in theatres all over Europe and became a key figure in contemporary dance. According to Stuart, writing in December 2007, “all movement expresses desire, not simply the physical or erotic or material desire of wanting, owning, or inhabiting something, but the desire to make contact, to expose oneself to the viewer and the other on stage. Ultimately, movement also expresses and incorporates the missing, the failed communication, the censored, and all conditions real or projected that block any action from taking place. Perhaps al the reasons one is not able to cope within a given situation.”

Are we here yet?

Though Damaged Goods’ work has yielded a lot of critical response, many questions remain unanswered when it comes to Stuart’s views, issues, methods and collaborations that underpin her performance work. How does choreographer Meg Stuart create work? In the book Are we here yet?, Stuart reflects on her own practice in dialogue with Jeroen Peeters and several (former) Damaged Goods collaborators. Mapping out genealogies and collaborations, Are we here yet? revisits meaningful moments in Stuart’s artistic trajectory, drawing different lines through the work from Disfigure Study (1991) to Maybe Forever (2007). It contains observations on making and performing, discussions about improvisation and dramaturgy, essays and visual contributions, a manual with Stuart’s exercises, and a selection of documents and performance texts. Are we here yet? is a container brimming with memories, projections, reflections and images close to Stuart’s choreographic practice, a heterogeneity of materials that have a certain gravity of their own and won’t cease to resonate and stir up new questions.

Contributors: Simone Aughterlony, Francisco Camacho, Varinia Canto Vila, Doris Dziersk, Tim Etchells, Davis Freeman, Philipp Gehmacher, David Hernandez, Katharine Jones, Tina Kloempken, Benoît Lachambre, Jorge León, André Lepecki, David Linton, Anna MacRae, Jan Maertens, Lawrence Malstaf, Vincent Malstaf, Vera Mantero, Bettina Masuch, Andreas Müller, Jeroen Peeters, Stefan Pucher, Vania Rovisco, Hahn Rowe, Yukiko Shinozaki, Meg Stuart, Tine Van Aerschot, Maarten Vanden Abeele, Bart Van den Eynde, Myriam Van Imschoot and Anna Viebrock. The graphic design is Kim Beirnaert’s.

Read the introduction on the book by Jeroen Peeters

The book is for sale at the Damaged Goods presentations, via and we will post the Amazon link as soon as its available.

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Caden Manson is a director, media artist, and teacher. He is co-founder of the media ensemble and network, blog, and publisher, He has co-created, directed, video- and set designed 18 Big Art Group productions. Manson has shown video installations in Austria, Germany, NYC, and Portland; performed PAIN KILLER in Berlin, Singapore and Vietnam; Taught in Berlin, Rome, Paris, Montreal, NYC, and Bern; the ensemble has been co-produced by the Vienna Festival, Festival d’Automne a Paris, Hebbel Am Ufer, Rome’s La Vie de Festival, PS122, and Wexner Center for The Arts. Caden is a 2001 Foundation For Contemporary Art Fellow, is a 2002 Pew Fellow and a 2011 MacDowell Fellow. Writing has been published in PAJ, Theater Magazine, and Theater der Zeit. Caden is currently an associate professor and graduate directing option coordinator of The John Wells Directing Program at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Drama.

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