TQW Magazin
Aleksei Borisionok on Untitled (Holding Horizon) by Alex Baczyński-Jenkins

Organisation without Members


Organisation without Members

Dimmed with a spectrum of lights – red, blue, violet and pink – Untitled (Holding Horizon) features durational movement with five dancers: Aaa Biczysko, Ewa Dziarnowska, Rafał Pierzyński, Ronald Berger, Sigrid Stigsdatter. It starts before the audience enters and it finishes in the dark. It is a long alluring piece of three hours that does something to time; not only to the way time is experienced but also how time – in a club, or in a queer uprising – is circulated, disturbed and disrupted.

Basic box-step movements are organised in variations of sequences, repeated at different speeds and in different amplitudes. There is no centre in the assembly of dancers – the centre is always shifting according to the choreography that brings bodies closer, and also disintegrates. There is no release, neither in the choreography nor in the soundscape, rather there are moments of intensification. Like the movement, the music never completely dies down. Krzysztof Bagiński mixes it live: from subtle looped samples of voices and sounds to loud dance club electronics to Polish pop songs and frogs’ choruses. Never trancy (despite the use of samples from trance music such as Baby Blue’s Eurodancer), it does not manipulate one’s euphoric moments, searching for other long-lasting structures of affectivity. Lights are dimmed, the choreographic space is opaque to mobile-phone cameras – abstraction becomes sweaty only during the short moments when the illumination becomes intense.

The bodies of the performers rotate according to a set of scores – seeking joy in synchronisation – a constant repetition of gestures that makes an imprint in space. When some of the performers leave the stage to change clothes and take a break, this is barely noticeable – the entering and exiting is never intrusive, the rhythm is circulating and circluding. Gestures of attention, seduction, magnetism, touch, signature are repeated by all the performers in a variable order that ranges between thorough organisation and expressive spontaneity and is formalised in a score. Something that can be reproduced and yet is unique each time. The repetitive rhythm lends the dance a formal quality, capturing a paradox inscribed into the notion of queer formalism. William J. Simmons puts it like this: “Formalism requires the centrality of an object, whereas queer rejects authorship and universal concepts. Queer subverts singularity while the medium requires it”.[1] Directly referencing spaces of queer intimacies and nocturnal temporalities, the piece transgresses one’s expectations into a formalist inquiry of the notions of organisation, deposition and repetition – becoming a diagonal, a transversal, a horizon?

The formalisation also helps us to consider how political organisation works, how immediacy intersects with planning, what the abstract characteristics of the movement are – both in a political and a choreographic sense. Performance becomes a sort of destitution[2] – the refusal to sustain representative politics of sovereignty. Choreography constructs scaffolding around which queer affectivity is built upon. A sampled voice from the performance, that stuck in my head, repeats: Could you make this promise to me – You make it back in one piece. The notion of comradeship assumes that affective bonds and political sensitivities are opaque, prefigurative and joyful, dissolving one’s subjectivity (in the shared horizon of struggle and exuberance). If the singularity of an event requires a certain degree of openness, intuition and enjoyment, it becomes a form of organisation without members.


[1] William J. Simmons, “Notes on Queer Formalism”, 2013, bigredandshiny.org/2929/notes-on-queer-formalism (accessed: 20 April 2023)
[2] In the sense of Stefan Nowotny (translated by Aileen Derieg), “The Double Meaning of Destitution”, 2007, transversal.at/transversal/0507/nowotny/en (accessed: 20. April 2023)


Aleksei Borisionok is a curator, writer and organiser, who currently lives and works in Vienna. He is a member of the artistic-research group Problem Collective and the Work Hard! Play Hard! working group. He writes about art and politics for various magazines, catalogues and online platforms such as e-flux Journal, L’Internationale Online, Partisan, Springerin, Paletten, among many others. He is currently a fellow at Vera List Center, New York, and, together with Katalin Erdődi, he is co-curating the upcoming edition of the Matter of Art Biennale in Prague (2024).