Photo credit: Emily Gastineau


PROJECT // If everything is [an object] then I am too

What a mess. The smell of dust, burnt plastic, a slight rot. The room is thick with symbols and sentiment. Everything is rubbing up on everything else. I want this, I need this, this exact thing, it’s irreplaceable, oh god, I’m so embarrassed. Ring! Someone is calling on the banana phone. Hello?! Every prop tells you how to pick it up. Wallet, phone, keys, a match. The generic is something so pervasive that we become unable to see it. A concept is cheap. Break the bookshelf, chew on the splinters, spit it out. How will we know whose garbage to take home? You wrote me a love letter but you said it wasn’t personal. I don’t remember getting a script but I keep talking. Dance means it’s stolen. Dance means it’s right now. Recycling means it will be used. Recycling means it will come back around. We want to start over and start over and start over but there is no getting out.  

If everything is [an object] then I am too is a contemporary dance work that examines affective economies through the lens of the generic and the personal. The piece explores how feelings circulate, how value is produced through proximity, and how normativity is constructed through repetition.

BIO // Emily Gastineau is a choreographer, performer, and writer based in Minneapolis. Her work has been presented at Frascati (Amsterdam), On the Boards (Seattle), Garage29 (Brussels), Walker Art Center, Red Eye Theater, and Southern Theater (Minneapolis), among others. Her work with Billy Mullaney (US/NL) as part of the performance duo Fire Drill has been shown in Amsterdam, Minneapolis, St. Paul, New York, San Francisco, Portland, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Chicago. She has developed collaborative works with Vilma Pitrinaite (LT/BE) and Samantha Johns (US). She has held residencies at workspacebrussels, SE.S.TA (Prague), Weisman Art Museum, and the Soap Factory (Minneapolis), and completed a master’s at DAS Choreography, Amsterdam University of the Arts in 2019. Emily is the editor of Mn Artists, an interdisciplinary arts writing publication of the Walker Art Center. She is one of seven artistic directors of Red Eye Theater, which is building out a new performance space in South Minneapolis using a collaborative leadership model.

Collaborators: Valerie Oliveiro, Anna Marie Shogren, Judith Holo Shuǐ Xiān
Support: Red Eye Theater, Minnesota State Arts Board, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Franconia Sculpture Park, Studio 303, The Luminary, MOVO, Fresh Oysters Performance Research

Photo credit: Nellie de Boer

Photo credit: Megan Mayer