RECESS by Michael Helland

RECESS: the Ritual Experience Concept Event Spa Show
An installation and situation for performance by Michael Helland

RECESS Overview:

RECESS is a site-responsive installation and situation for performance, offering a restorative and contemplative time away from the outside world. Physiological comforts and curiosities are indulged in an otherwise austere environment as the RECESS host welcomes and engages visitors with a variety of wellness technologies and ideologies. Immersive spectacles emerge in relation to the public body as the performance hosts modulate amongst a co-curation of aestheticized ceremonial events and ritualistic experiences. Visitors may simply enjoy the ambiance from around the edges of this hybrid spa-theater-exhibition space, or might find their way into the center of an intense sensual experience or thought experiment. Through its reconstitution of wellness clichés with an aim to foster extra-luxurious states of embodiment and esoteric mindscapes, RECESS brings us closer to our own bodily centers of perception to help recalibrate the senses and make greater sense of the world around us.

RECESS is an ongoing research-in-action led by Michael Helland, please continue to check back for project updates and engagement opportunities. RECESS was awarded with a 2017 Research Grant from the Flemish Authorities of Belgium and supported by residencies at the ZSenne art lab, wpZimmer, the Villa Empain, and Summer Studios. Special thanks to Manon Santkin, Kennis Hawkins, Justin Francis Kennedy, Anne Pajunen, Élisa Yvelin, Jackie Elder, Hugo Mega, Meri Pajunpää, Nelle Hens, Colin Wolf, and Thomas Proksch for their continued creative support and participation.

2017 RECESS ZSenne Salon poster

View the RECESS: ZSenne Salon Photo Archive

RECESS: ZSenne Salon
12-23 September 2017 at the ZSenne art lab (Brussels)
Open Tuesday through Saturday 13h-21h, last entrance at 19h
Each evening features a special ceremonial event at 19h

Hosted by Michael Helland with Hugo Mega, Jackie Elder, Kennis Hawkins, Meri Pajunpää, and Nelle Hens
With s
pecial guests Colin Wolf and Thomas Proksch

RECESS is a pop-up urban sanctuary, a place to explore the edge between contemporary performance and the healing arts. The hybrid-spa-theater-exhibition space is open to visitors throughout the day, those who may wish to come play, converse and enjoy a variety of impromptu rituals and experiences – from a fresh squeezed lemon juice detox and a meditative acupressure treatment, to a fireside aromatherapy infused chat, and beyond. This is a space to share bodily attention, anchored by a passion for self care and well being. Drop by anytime with an open mind and body for a duration of your own choice.

RECESS also features a special curation of ceremonial events and workshops led by a handful of local practitioners. Dance artists who nourish an active practice adjacent to their creative work are invited to share a twisted version of this specialty – from yoga, shiatsu, herbology, autohypnosis, and beyond. This is an opportunity to explore the healing arts beyond the frame of individual consumerism and classical expertise, in favor of creating unique group experiences within a creative commons. To participate in the workshop experience simply make sure to arrive before 19h, as the gallery doors will close to newcomers thereafter.

12.09 Opening Vibrations, sound bath with Colin Wolf
13.09 Somatic Dream Dance, workshop with Hugo Mega
14.09 Entering Alpha, workshop with Michael Helland
15.09 Ont-moeten/Meeting, workshop with Nelle Hens
16.09 Becoming Crystalline, workshop with Michael Helland

19.09 Listening Hands, shiatsu-inspired workshop with Meri Pajunpää
20.09 New Moon in Virgo, ritual event with Kennis Hawkins
21.09 Juicing the Juice, cold pressed juice tasting with Jackie Elder
22.09 Intro to Herb Infused Oil, workshop with Kennis Hawkins
23.09 Closing Vibrations, DJ ritual with Thomas Proksch

RECESS is performed by light of day in a semi-public setting located on the ground floor of a highly visible exhibition space. As such, RECESS endeavors to become a dynamic demonstration of ongoing embodied investigation, a living document to activate and enchant the world around it. Be welcome.

More RECESS History:

RECESS: The Ritual Experience Concept Event Spa Show
Bauer Hour at Kaaistudios, performance, April 21, 2015 (Brussels)
Summer Studios, residency, July 27-August 14, 2015 (Brussels)
Movement Research at Judson Church, performance, February 22, 2016 (New York)
NDA Performance Mix Festival at Abrons Arts Center, performance, June-6-7, 2016 (New York)
Villa Empain, residency, October 17-20, 2016 (Brussels)
wpZimmer, residency, November 14-27, 2016 (Antwerp)
Villa Empain, residency, March 1-5, 2017 (Brussels)
ZSenne art lab, residency, September 11-24, 2017 (Brussels)

Michael Helland MR 2-22-16 low -9985 credit DAVID GONSIER

Photo by David Gonsier

RECESS: Dance of Light, NDA Performance Mix Festival at Abrons Arts Center, June 6-7, 2016 (New York)

The RECESS: Dance of Light ceremonial hour is centered upon a minimalist serpentine dance, a live sculpture where mind and body meet in a feat of mutual concentration, seeking to help sharpen and re-enchant our centers of perception.

RECESS photo by Michael Helland

Photo by Michael Helland

RECESS was catalyzed in part by an invitation from Eleanor Bauer to collaborate on a new episode for the Spring 2015 season of Bauer Hour.

Bauer Hour: RECESS, Kaaistudios, April 21, 2015

It’s RECESS Time! Spring is Here! Have you done your seasonal liver cleanse/detox/juice fast? Has domestic Spring cleaning begun? Are your 2014 tax returns finished? Have you raged through Spring Break like it’s 1999 MTV Beach House and still feel trashed? Have you been working since January without pause? Are you contemplating, resisting, ignoring, or running with the Speed of Contemporary Life? Do you need a day at the spa but have 100 reasons why you don’t have one? If you’ve answered ‘Yes,’ ‘No,’ or ‘Who’s asking?’ to any of the above, RECESS is for you! Let’s find out what RECESS really stands for!

Bauer Hour is a talk show, variety show, shit show, parlor show, all or none of the above and also an experiment. A space and time for whatever seems most important now and not later. An occasion to practice the unknown, to share the musings and amusings that decorate life and need a place to go at night so they don’t cause insomnia, a container for the things that end with ‘you heard it here first.’ Bauer Hour is not about Bauer, it’s all about the guests… within the ruckus frame of Bauer, of course.” – Eleanor Bauer

RECESS stands for something