While watching at the canals in the cities, would you ever believe, that rivers were here first, not the cities?
I grew up in Kaunas, a town situated at the junction, where two biggest rivers of the Lithuania - Nemunas and Neris confluence. From the two I‘ve always preferred Nemunas. Depending on a season, this river seemed to reflect different colours of the sky, while the colour of the water itself remained unchanged. I am generally afraid of water.
This might have to do with a story I‘ve learned long time ago. One late evening a child (good swimmer), mysteriously plunged or was pushed into cold river waters. He was trying to find something to hold on to, to adhere, but couldn't find anything due to concrete river shores. He was found dead. His fingers were covered in blood. Why are the river banks fortified? Whom are they protecting from the river? City or inhabitants?
Later on I‘ve observed many different types of rivers passing by towns: some of them run underneath the network of streets, some others were squeezing into their dirty beds almost invisibly, under highway bridges, opening cities from beneath. I‘ve also seen wildwater rivers that smelled fresh and had no fortifications, that remained part of town's history. However, more often than not it seemed that towns predated rivers, and that rivers, as if they were aliens, invared the cityscape with their own dangers, romance.
Trying to imagine their pre-urban state. Why do rivers never form a crosspoint? They always meet at a junction where one river ends, loosing its name, and becomes part of other river. Their united waters meet the sea.
Due to urban developments, most of the rivers like Neckar in Esslingen (Germany), where my performance took place, are embedded into an urban scene and flows through artificial canals like veins in historical cities. In Esslingen, I first got inspired by the diverse architecture surrounding water.
Journey plays the central part in the performance and could be understood as a metaphor for city-diving, immersing oneself into the surrounding.
How do we blend into our surroundings and how do our surroundings adjust to us/our needs?