Durational rope

Since 2006, QUARTO has created two trilogies, as long-term research, each piece being autonomous and yet intertwined with the others. The performance ‘Beauty of Accident’ is the final part of the trilogy ‘BEAUTY’, which continued to unfold in two new works, ‘Durational Rope’ that premiered 2014 at the Museum of Modern Art in Stockholm and the ‘Rope Installation’ which was exhibited during Feb – May 2014 at Dansens Hus foyer in Stockholm; an experimentation involving an extreme physicality between body and rope.

This work is a performative exploration, in which the artist duo QUARTO, using a kilometrelong rope, challenges the notion of what a body is capable of. In a five-hour performance, a 1000-metre rope is manipulated to generate a tension between body and rope through constant motion. The physical exertion, on the verge of the unbearable, gradually peels away our notions of body and object, ego and drama.

How to translate a physical practice into words?

Words have a dual force. They emphasise and are signs that we share. They give us a sense of belonging to a group, a culture, which in turn constructs a reality, an imaginary world that becomes reality, because reality is largely a construction, and we need it in order to support our existence due to the fact that we share some concepts about the world and what we are doing here. This reassures us that we are treading on common ground and that we are speaking the same language. But what language does the body speak? Could our body, through its movements, be a mode of experiencing life?

What happens to the body when dealing with an object? Or when an object is imposed on the body? How can movement originate in an object? How can the object be restored of its subjectivity that was lost in order for it to become an object and serve a purpose? How can the object be redefined? What is an object? Could an object be the mode of perceiving a body? The mode of perceiving an interested body? There is always a relation of interest between subject and object. For example, a rope is one thing when used to bind or hold something together, and another thing when used as a whip. So an object does not exist of itself, but rather as a manner of use.

QUARTO’s desire is to experience the intensities between body and rope, in the attempt to dissolve the presence of habits, psychological representations, characteristics, common sense, dichotomies, woman/man, ceasing the ego and drama. Thus trying to create an impersonal presence, an empty being, without a personal story or plot. The ‘empty body’ as an entrance into the territory of subjectivity, seeking to undo established forms and plunge into the field of accidents, an immersion into chaos in constant construction and deconstruction of shapes. What forces do these bodies evoke? How to capture the intensities passing through the rope and bodies? Using the force of ‘nature’, as a way of effectuating resistance to any form of power.


Artistic director, choreography, concept & performance: Leandro Zappala
Choreography, concept & performance: Anna Mesquita
Philosophers: Fredrika Spindler & Marcia Sá Cavalcante Schuback

Graphic design & production: QUARTO
Sponsor: Pille Repmakarn
Co-production: Moderna Museet, Dansehallerne & MDT
Supported by: The Swedish Arts Council, Stockholm’s Culture Committee and The International Dance Programme – The Swedish Arts Grants Committeé’s International Programme for Dance Artists