As part of the public program accompanying the exhibition “We Treasure Our Lucid Dreams”, Russian art group VASYARUN will give performances exploring the ideas of George Gurdjieff, in particular his practice of sacred movements.
About the group
Performances by the anonymous laboratory VASYARUN are based around the figure of Vasya, who is the archetypal contemporary Russian teenager. The group employs practices that invoke an internal response among the collective. The audience for the lab’s performances is the participants themselves, although the presence of spectators is necessary for testing the reality of the internal work.
The number of participants involved in the project is constantly changing, with new people regularly joining the group. VASYARUN holds open auditions. Candidates should be aged between 18 and 28, 180cm+ tall, have physical strength and stamina, belong to a street subculture, and have no previous experience as performers.
The Gurdjieff legacy
The Gurdjieff legacy and especially his theory of sacred movements are key elements in VASYARUN’s practice over the six years of the collective’s existence. The majority of their recent performances derive from the Gurdjieff’s idea of three centers and the Sufi tradition. Unlike Gurdjieff’s real followers, the members of VASYARUN do not aim to reconstruct the exact movements, instead assembling and integrating the tasks suggested by the spiritual teacher, the completion of which leads to the ultimate goal, presence. Movements have intangible power, and the ability to recreate them is directly linked to the sense of presence. For the group, movements operate as indicators marking where the “I” is currently located and answer the question of who this “I” actually is.
Movements in space are routes running across an invisible game field. These routes have points, the therapeutic questions/indicators that can be heard through the headphones. The choreography is based on work with chakras, elements of oriental practices (including physical exercises), and body-oriented therapy. All discoveries made in the process become choreographic elements.
Our handbook is The Reality of Being by Jeanne de Salzmann, a French dancer, choreographer and esotericist, who was Gurdjieff’s closest student. This book is processual. Rather than providing answers, it scrutinizes the very idea of the search. Discoveries only work today, so tomorrow the search resumes again. Constant searching. Therapy. Process.