Aqua Viva

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The performance was conceived and developed by Per Huttner, Carima Neusser and Randolph Albright.

It was performed in a hearse in front of Igreja do Espírito Santo, Caldas da Rainha, September 21, 2019 at 21.30.


” I don’t know what I’m writing about: I am obscure to myself. I only had initially a lunar and lucid vision, and so I plucked for myself the instant before it died and perpetually dies. This is not a message of ideas that I am transmitting to you but an instinctive ecstasy of whatever is hidden in nature and that I foretell. And this is a feast of words. I write in signs that are more a gesture than voice. All this is what I got used to painting, delving into the intimate nature of things. But now the time to stop painting has come in order to remake myself, I remake myself in these lines. I have a voice. As I throw myself into the line of my drawing, this is an exercise in life without planning. The world has no visible order and all I have is the order of my breath. I let myself happen.”

Clarice Lispector, from Aqua Viva



In her 1973 novel, Água Viva, the Brazilian author Clarice Lispector presents us with metaphysical reflections of the most spellbinding nature. It embodies the power of artists to speak to us from beyond the grave through their surviving works.

By reading their creations we can become surprisingly intimate with artists whose physical bodies are long dead. We can reflect on how some aspects of life are timeless: such as our fascination with and fear of death. We become conscious that our lives are played out in the paradoxical tension between continuity and discontinuity. The performance is a reflection about this strange form of communication, drawing upon many of the temporal, musical, and metaphysical themes found in Água Viva.

The Swedish dancer and choreographer Carima Neusser moves to a soundscape created by the Portuguese musician Garcia da Selva. It has been composed from audio taken from a rare 1977 interview with Lispector on Brazilian television. Her words, distorted and amplified, shed light onto her creative process, – providing an arrhythmic dynamic for a choreography performed in her honour.


The performance was produced by Vision Forum in collaboration with Gremio Caldense and supported by the Swedish Arts Grants Committee.