Dávid Somló / Dog Kennel Hill Project: Mandala / Our True Feelings


Mandala by Dávid Somló

Go look up the wikipedia page for further detail about the title. Wikipedia rationalises and taxonomizes the information in a digestible form, it’s a skill is that itemisation, revealing an ernest, rigorous patterning of thought. Though, it’s one thing to read about it, another to visit it’s multiple inferences. It’s the smudges of half-thought and flows of sensation that means sitting near humans, and not the screen, is a different mirror. The reflective surface is now in this intangible space, in the theatre-box.

Whilst in the bar before, 10 figures are invited to carry out Mandala for the rest of the audience. Inside the theatre, they carry small speakers along pathways chalked on the floor. Lights are gently changed, the sound of tones accumulate, shift and swell. They walk. People clog up the arteries, making barriers and delays. They meet, join, copy, counter.

The people are patient. They set off at a fairly functional pace, get to know each other, settle into their task and relax to testing the edges of it. Tempo, pause, direction changes – the simple restrictions/instructions open up an indulgence of complexity. A workshop in social relations. A microcosm would be the easiest one-word review, I was feeling brief.

Space is revealed by the motion. It doesn’t fail to amaze me, this simple process. We can read into that all the drama we wish. We can sense into that all the tensions, attractions and concerns we wish. The fundamental aspects of space and time are made and remade in Somló’s sensitive handling, along with the generosity of the others to participate with their time, attention and motion.

The remote, contradictory aspects of meditation’s transcendent re-grounding, drifting and refocussing find space here.

The intersections are where the negotiations happen. Delaying time in order to have a chance to meet. Delaying time in order to obstruct. Converging not colliding.

Diverging but not forever.



Our True Feelings by Dog Kennel Hill Project

Blissful is the unspooling of the histories of thought and their academic hegemony.

The lists and taxonomies drawn up in the name of scientific research could be scorned and laughed at for their reductivism. Yet their attempts are worthy in the long flows of asking difficult questions. That such neat taxonomies continue to prevail in our accelerated times makes even more critical another narrative.

Give deference to testing another podium. Give the tools of testing another continuum. Take the unashamed boldness of asserting something faintly terrifying, and filter it through performances of refined levels of intensity and gross mismatching. Involve us, address us, unzip your lecture-demonstration, do back-up the over-determinism. Bleed the lecture-demonstration, ooze the mutable clotting through the gaps between the words. Stamp on contextual flattening and instead defer to ambiguity.

Heni Hale floors me. The steam. The skin. The structure.

My feelings are felt to be interesting, messy and laced with hyperbole, when the mood takes them, but they are not certainly not irrelevant.




Concept, Composition Dávid Somló
Light and Sound design Dániel Sándor


Our True Feelings

Dog Kennel Hill Project, with Helka Kaski and Erik Nevin, made in collaboration with Dr Guido Orgs

The Yard, NOW 16 Festival

Until Saturday 28 May 2016