HQ: (I feel so Mezzaniney) (2018) is a collaboration between artist & musician Steven Warwick and dancer/choreographer Carlos María Romero, developed at the FUGA residency in Zaragoza earlier this year. This performance is the latest mutation of Warwick’s ‘Mezzanine’ performance series, each of which responds to the architecture in which it is performed, in conjunction here and previously with Romero’s interest in go-go as a form of work between performance and social spectacle.
Taking cues from Velazquez’s painting “Las Meninas”, dancers (Las Mezzaninas) are maids-in-waiting, performing labour and acting out the conflicts found in, and on, platform-capitalism, where self-care routines and community-building are monetised and gaslighting fragments trust. Sound is dissected and reduced to the minimal rhythms found on runways and in club spaces.
If go-go is a dance form that often objectifies the body into a spectacle to be gazed at by the voyeur, in this fictive HQ the body’s pose becomes ambient; less spectacle, more part of the furniture. Warwick and Romero deliberately inhabit the space as an ecology where bodies and sound are temporal sculptures. Reflecting upon contemporary feelings of isolation and community building, they posit questions of agency and conspicuous displays of social interactions in an age of unsettling populism.
For the poolside iteration, the Mezzaniney became a collapsed fourth wall film set, replete with West Coast cybernetic displays such as the geodesic dome and californian poolside wellness.