The reborn; Szeri/Muskovics/Páll: Phoenix review

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Viktor Szeri review, Phoenix

[A Tamás Páll, Gyula Muskovics & Viktor Szeri
review by Zsuzsanna Komjáthy]


‘A dark room is always a place for becoming that cultivates an internally differentiated sameness. It is a gateway into the infinite variation of being. Beyond representation.’

Beyond representation – for me, that is the substance environment of Phoenix, the so-called ongoing performance by the triumvirate of choreographer/dancer Viktor Szeri, media artist Tamás Páll & theorist Gyula Muskovics. As Szeri puts it: ‘it’s not an ordinary performance, it’s a kind of >>being<<.’

Viktor Szeri performing Phoenix, photo by Tibor Nagy, Viktor Szeri review
Viktor Szeri performing Phoenix, photo by Tibor Nagy

This ‘being’ however is a tricky Moebius strip, always-already stuck in the looped process of transformation. It has neither a defined beginning, nor an ending point; it can be considered as a manifold of self-mirroring fragments.

But once you have entered the building* and stepped on the Moebius, the manifold starts circling around you, and bit by bit reminding you of the most “terrible and necessary cruelty which things can exercise against us. We are not free. And the sky can still fall on our heads.” [Artaud]

Muskovics Gyula performing Phoenix, photo by Tibor Nagy, Viktor Szeri review
Muskovics Gyula performing Phoenix, photo by Tibor Nagy

To achieve that reminder, the performance proposes multiple possible stories, or rather pictures, which you, wandering in the space, can peek, supplement and/or modify, if you wish. The pictures feed upon both the milieu of sex caves & techno clubs, and the atmosphere of gay bars, religious groups, cruising & role-playing.

Besides, there is also a virtual-actual play present by interjecting the layer of MMORPGs and the network platforms, what constantly shifts and deconstructs the happenings. It’s a quite interesting meta-choreography forming, which follows the way how the body (Szeri) is exposed to the dispersed disciplinary regimes of today (Muskovics/Páll).

What can the body do to break the minatory minotaur hegemony? Phoenix doesn’t answer that question. Albeit, on the level of performance, it suggests a possible exit.

Tamás Páll and Phoenix, photo by Tibor Nagy, Viktor Szeri review
Tamás Páll and Phoenix, photo by Tibor Nagy

On one hand, with the self-mirroring structure, it evokes the theoretical discourse of mirror, that, as a known threshold, can be considered as a gateway to the khôra.

On the other hand, with the looping technique, it also startles out of linearity and a kind of cyclicality is developing. As cyclicality is a (basic) female characteristic, it also opens up the dimension of heterogeneity, where neither distinction, nor hierarchy prevail.

Likely, that’s why you feel that you’re not a spectator of the performance. Because all the solid borders are melting by the heat of fire, in which Phoenix is burning away, just to rebirth from the ashes once again. And again. And again.


*A desolate ex-grocery shop next to Trafó House.



Concept & performers: Viktor Szeri, Gyula Muskovics, Tamás Páll. Music: András Molnár, Tamás Marquetant. Trafó House of Contemporary Art, Research into the Unknown by Workshop Foundation [in the frame of NKA-IZP], 22/09/2018.

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