Rhona Warwick Paterson and Eve Mutso: Beginning a line is beginning a building: a live archive of transition
After Orta (2019), Cunei Form (2020) and Lean To (2022)
Beginning a line is beginning a building is a collaborative project by artist and poet Rhona Warwick Paterson and dancer and choreographer Eve Mutso that responds to the period of the Fruitmarket’s redevelopment and reopening in word, movement and sound. Working with filmmaker Brian Ross, Warwick Paterson and Mutso made three choreopoems that document the transition of the Fruitmarket as it entered into a new phase and a new set of walls.
The three films address the nature of site, palimpsest and language as an embodied experience. First After Orta, made in the galleries shortly before the Fruitmarket closed its doors for renovation in 2019. Then Cunei Form, a response to the derelict aesthetic of the stripped-out Warehouse days before the builders started their work. And finally Lean To, a celebration of the new Warehouse space.
Over the course of the project, Warwick Paterson compiled a wide-ranging body of research, notes, photographs, sketches and drawings from material sourced from literature, archaeology, choreology, and dance and art history, that are combined with her research into the fabric and the history of the Fruitmarket itself. References to the Fruitmarket’s exhibition history find their way into the films – sometimes literally through traces, remnants and marks in the fabric of the floors and walls, other times conceptually in words, ideas and references. Warwick Paterson’s research combined into a collection of associations that echoed across the project in the repeated gestures and responsive choreography of Mutso’s body encountering, disappearing within, and responding in tension with the architecture. In the final film, close-up footage of Mutso preparing a brand new pair of pointe shoes to be worn for the first time is cut between sequences of dance and movement. As the final stage of the process she puts on the shoe, rubs her pointe in resin, slowly pirouettes in the window of the Warehouse then scrapes a trace of resin across the concrete floor out of the shot. It is a gesture unfinished and full of potential energy, a gesture for a new building and a new space, a gesture which asks – what next?