DORIS UHLICH Gootopia
© Katarina Šoškić
Mucus, this biologically vital substance, triggers different reactions in people. It can provoke disgust and unease as well as arousal. The cause for its appealing and yet irritating nature can be found in our technologized society, which is driven by ideals of sterility and stability: mucus is neither solid nor liquid, neither internal nor external. Life starts out wet, we need to be towelled dry, we do not come “clean” into this world. Mucus is a primordial part of us that we lose track of over time. It’s the glue that makes the organism work, creating all sorts of connections. Still, the pandemic has made us afraid of this substance. And in science fiction, it is mostly affiliated with aliens and indicative of the non-human, the constant flow of the unknown, spreading and streaming. Gootopia works at the intersection of horror and fascination and makes it possible for the audience to once again delve into the vibrant processes of our metabolism.
“The fluidity of bodies and their boundaries has been of major interest in the contemporary dance field for a long time. In Gootopia, synthetic mucus will literally play the part of a choreographic element to represent liquid phenomena.” – Doris Uhlich
Doris Uhlich studied contemporary dance pedagogy at the Vienna Conservatory, performed for theatercombinat from 2002 until 2009 and has been working on her own projects since 2006. Her performances often address beauty ideals and body norms. Her collaborations mostly include people from different backgrounds and with diverse body shapes. Since more than naked (2013), Doris Uhlich’s work has been marked by an interest in nudity that goes beyond ideology and provocation. With her most recent works, she examined the entanglement of human and machine and the future of the human body in times of its surgical and genetic enhancement.
She has received many awards and prizes, such as the 2013 Outstanding Artist Award for Performing Arts from the Office of the Federal Chancellor, the 2017 Nestroy Special Award for Ravemachine, together with Michael Turinsky, and the 2019 Audience Award at the Our Stage Festival Dresden for Every Body Electric. Doris Uhlich tours and teaches internationally. She has been a lecturer at Max Reinhardt Seminar in Vienna since 2015.