In his 1977 lectures at Collége de France in Paris entitled Comment Vivre Ensembler (How to Live Together) literary theorist, philosopher, critic, and semiotician Roland Barthes shared a fantasy: to pursue a non-contradictory way of living alone together. He called this an ‘iddiorhythmic’ community and theorized 6 conditions that describe the ideal situation for this community:
to share a common goal,
to be a minimum of three people,
to know the limits,
to be able to lose and integrate members at any time,
to have no sub groups,
finally, to ensure that all members feel free and important.
Assuming that these conditions are already naturally fulfilled in the theatre was the point of departure for ‘SO WHAT’, a performance co-created by Zoë Poluch and Valentina Desideri that transformed the theatre into a place for study: a site to study how to co-exist in an ‘iddiorhythmic’ way.
The first incarnation of ‘SO WHAT’ took place in Spring 2011, with two presentations in St-Erme, France and at MDT, Stockholm, Sweden. In continued to be performed in spring 2012 in Madrid, Spain at the Impresentables Festival and in the autumn at the House of Dance in Oslo, Norway. Valentina performs/leads by facilitating a situation in the theatre with the goal to find a co-determined, multi-directional ‘rule’. We were interested in ways of activating the individual and non-written rules (resembling an ethics) inherent in co-existence and to valorize these resulting, divergent curiosities in this group that is called the audience. We fostered a collective determination of ideas, thoughts, fantasies, forces, desires, but in a totally ‘iddiorhythmic’ mode. The performance that emerged was an experience where one could find, impose and preserve lines of thought and action at their own pace, according to their own desires, inside of a group.