Miet Warlop

This October, Miet Warlop (b. 1978, Belgium) makes a long overdue mainstage debut in the UK at Fierce Festival, presenting Ghost Writer and the Broken Hand Break. Three performers spin in a circle for 45 minutes, recalling the whirling Sufi dances through which dervishes enter a state of religious ecstasy. The dances are accompanied by Warlop’s signature style – striking music and stunning design.

Fierce describes Warlop as “a totally unique figure within the European scene” and Ghost Writer as “a riot”. For Warlop, the spinning is a way of being at rest, a way to enter into a deeply personal or private world, a place to interrogate her work at a standstill.

The performance features a series of texts by Warlop and curator and writer Raimundas Malasauskas (LT). Of this collaboration, or ‘mixing-up’, Warlop says: “who is it that writes your story? People say 'Everyone writes their own story', but that’s not true. Even if you want to write your own story, if the world doesn't cooperate, you can't control it. Things just happen to you.


The following text is one such ‘mix up’ between Malasauskas and Warlop:

“What is your true matter of practice?” ghost writer Raimundas Malasauskas asked Miet Warlop once. “Electric jellyfish”, she said. “In transition. From tension to attention, from breathing to singing, from focus to staring, from staring to starring. Vibrating with the smallest detail in galaxy. And there is no frame to add, only gravity. In obeying its pull I will stick one of my hands to the heaven and the other one to the ground. My voice chords will tremble, but I will stay calm. My right ear will tune to the left, and my left one – to the right. Boundlessness will kick in. Without ever stopping the movement I will start singing songs we wrote about matters of life, death and shapeshifting. I will not be teaching wet plaster how to dry this time. Two or maybe more bodies will be spinning around their axis next to me, but keep in mind – it is not me who is in the center, neither you nor anyone else whose biography you wanted to use. Their speed will be different. They will be in all kinds of futures and pasts, making sounds with their instruments and tongues, all aligned with their feet. No culmination will clap on a horizon – the horizon is in circle too. When a time will come to stop, we will look at our own palms and break the spell of never-ending transition. The truth is always somewhere there.”

“What an odour of suggestions to follow,” the ghost writer thought. The songs turned out to be about illusion, perceptual gags, invisible break ups, self-optimisation, present and now that it all started, nowciousness. Nothing remained true to the cyclical order of things.


Miet Warlop’s Ghost Writer and the Broken Hand Break plays the Birmingham Hippodrome Friday 18 October at 10pm, and Saturday 19 October at 2pm, as part of Fierce Festival.

Categories: Featured Artist

Date Posted: 25 September 2019