PERSONA SONATA
Live performance / Text / Video
Live at Spitelkollonaden, Berlin, October, 2021 and Lament.tv

Trailer


Persona Sonata is a performance by Sanna Helena Berger, reflecting on the paradoxes of contemporary lamentation.
A reflection of disparities between seeing the loss of the cultural persona lamented amidst ongoing global suffering.
It also reflects on the presence of the singular self within a voluminous body.
The want and need to interlink.
Movement narrated by sound and text becomes a language through which a sonata unfolds.

This is a voluminous piece 
Made from dense material 
Staged in an opulent setting 

A motif of multiplicities unfold
Entering and dispersing 
Braiding together and unfurling 
Mirroring the making of mimicry as metaphors 

The topical lament is thrown off balance and into the mix 

Reflected from a personal place 
Performed in a public setting 

My voice is a transparent volume 
Hoping for good reception 
Knowing the difficulties in hearing 
Hefty hammering haggling for attentiveness 
In a fluttering social scene 

Sounding sometimes like private noise
Spoken by the dominant tongue 
But attempting to manoeuvre with resonant meaning 
Resisting to enter the echo chamber 

And as a long braid contours the landscape 
Into which some form of sonata unfolds
Brimming with allegories but acutely personal 
Sounding sometimes dissonant and diskanted 
Notes are combined with movements

A sentiment abstracted but absolutely ordinarily honest 
Written from an entirely un-exclusive setting 
This prelude remains unrevised 
Jotted down just last night as our daughter 
Cries for sleep and I think mostly of her but partly of introducing 
Of what this work is speaking 
Of fatigue 
And of joy 
Of tragedy and its comedy 
Of bodies which intertwine, which repel and repress 
Of paradoxical laments 
Of withdrawal and togetherness 

Which even in these in-between moments 
compel me to write 
As a persona; A sonata. 

There are materials which turn the body into an object 
Reducing it to a mere reflection of the social 
Leaving behind nothing but the artefakt of presence 
Dialectically living as a kind of double image displayed 
Acting as voyeurs but producing performance 

A mirrored surface creates a wall 
An unintentional side effect of self-contact
The reflection negates itself and fails as figure, falling flaccid. 

When the value of life becomes economically described 
The societal structure is inherently bankrupt 
A nest of negligence. The profane acting as sacred.

And it causes the audacity of claiming calamity
Lamenting the tragedy of departure from expected social ideals
From melancholic material matter which seems to matter more than most 
Vocalising this material loss, localising this material loss, which in contrast to the dispersed body, 
the perversed body, the entirely overtaken body, seems so little but manifests so big and loud and strong. 

Simmering in a welcome stand-still of embrace  of non-transactional care and contact
Lingering in the lavish luxury of liaisons 
Done with demonstrating one’s value through pure performativity of presence. 
Sans touch but entirely mingled, oscillating back and forth on a progressive wave 

A volume which both grows and lessens - the oxymoronic swell of a surf
The dialectical lamentation needs a new vernacular 

The delicate self speaks of the cultural capital in jeopardy. 
Echoing their access to the upper echelons in the established order.
In this scene in which we see ourselves set as a still life  - A mis-en-place, placed in plentitude. 
In utter abundance and opulence in a crisis of sparse co-existence. 

Where some have none but a multiplicity of doubt and dread 
and dream of collective care and collaborative cures 
But receive a bound-to-bounce check in the defunkt economy of exclusivity 

And whilst beings become numbers and data which abstract bodies 
and these intense powers of abstraction reduce even a magnitude to nothing 
The many-faced self-recognition becomes a blurry vision. 

A frame which freezes then speeds up per automation, mingled beyond recognition. 
This is an extension of my present condition 
The motif of disembodiment 

The dispersal body 
In parts, then not 
Interprets actual lifelessness 
Exodus of consciousness 
Memory of movement 

Where language and sound are entirely the same
And soon the recitation which seems too thick and saucy gradually transforms into a sound from slid round glasses  
These are odes to the slow cancellation of the future 
In which inconsistent monuments are constructed by new rituals 
An elegy to futility and the myth of progressive modernity 

This is a chance to recoup

Where music and movement escalate again into a percussive staccato dialogue 
Which begins to dismantle 
There are echoes in this contact 
Though no body is speaking as no body is only ever speaking 
No one body only ever moving and
No still image only ever of real bodies

They tie and link and wrap and tangle into 
Bodies which organise themselves
Reveal themselves through volume 

Setting out to locate the I in the following
The I in the masses 
A body of bodies makes more tissue, harder holding
Weightily woven, wearing well

A close-knit platted braid, curling bodies coil around the projected self 
A solo centres their swimming displacement

At the one hand I am braiding my hair, at the other my hair is braided. 
At the one hand i am elongating my limbs, at the other holding the hand
that at the one hand is braiding my hair, at the other i am platted -
a single length made up of interlaced strands move into the shape of a coil.

Isolate if you can the singular body in this link
It is no longer 
In this vaguely fluid mixture 
A hand lost in the body 
Bathed in braids

This absolutely unoriginal meditation 
In which the suspended body becomes alert

And when an arm slides through she is still inside

It is a tiny distance but a huge measurement 

To exit the I as a whole 

The I is decided 
The I is shattered 
The I is unwaveringly for another 

I finally understand the meaning of the voice 
It shouts at the point where the I is coming undone
Weary and spent 
Out of breath and fatigued 
Entirely without reason
This realisation of absurd pointlessness is a point of becoming 

In its undoing I exist as we
There is no name for the we 
Because we are not two singles coupled
This is not that which will tear
But has torn into the becoming through the impermeable
Launched into the breathable space 
On the movement of waves 
After gesticulating within the confines of walls

I touch my shoulder with my hand 
Putting my elbows on my knees 
Placing one part of my body on your body 
Your body is another’s 

These are combinations 
Which give rise to a state of absolute contact 
These are meditations on combinations 
An aria to accompany the coterie 

Recasting ruins as entirely new models 
With zero singularity 

An entirely moulded
So moved, so stable

A tightly knitted agency



Full documentation of the 1 hour performance is available on request.
Persona Sonata act III abstracted is available to view here.
Persona Sonata is performed by Veronica Bruce, Luisa Alfonso, Shade Théret, Magdalena Mitterhofer,
Gloria Regotz, Wera Bet and Sanna Helena Berger.
Pole sequence movement is choreographed by Veronica Bruce.
Filmed by Alexander Iezzi and Arnold Trautwein.
Sound production by Hoyah.

Persona Sonata is part of Lament’, a series of performances taking place between August through
November 2021 featuring works by Ana Gzirishvili, Cassie Augusta Johnnysdottir, Sanna Helena Berger,
and Ivan Cheng. Persona Sonata took place at Spittlemarkt on the 9th of October, 2021.
Process