What does it mean to be an individual, especially what does it mean to be an individual in a biological sense? Animals can no longer be considered individuals in any sense of classical biology: anatomical, developmental, physiological, immunological, genetic, or evolutionary. Our bodies must be understood as holobionts whose anatomical, physiological, immunological, and developmental functions evolved in shared relationships of different species. Thus, the holobiont, with its integrated community of species, becomes a unit of natural selection whose evolutionary mechanisms suggest complexity until now largely unexplored. As Lewis Thomas commented when considering self and symbiosis: The whole dear notion of one’s own Self — marvelous, old free-willed, free-enterprising, autonomous, independent, isolated island of a Self — is a myth. So, Fuck Capitalism! But what is a holobiont?
Lynn Margulis coined the term in 1993 to better describe how macro-species (like a human or a panda) universally live in symbiosis with other (usually) micro-species. She claimed that all individuals who participate in a particular symbiosis are bionts and the entire organism that is comprised of these bionts is a holobiont. By that definition, everything is a holobiont because every macro-species lives in symbiosis with some other species. You’re a holobiont. That panda over there, wearing pants, is a holobiont.
In a very raw material yet, presented as a work-in-progress of a future work, Farid Fairuz and eight performers explore from inside out the territory of a landscape filled with confusion and incertitude. They are all lichens, but do they know it?
a fluid-performative exploration in the frame of We are all lichens project
by: Farid Fairuz with: Olimpiu Blaj, Andreea David, Paul Dunca, Ruxandra Hule, Ilinca Manolache, Katia Pascariu, Mihai-Răzvan Rotaru DJ set: Admina producers: Solitude Project, The National Dance Centre Bucharest, Colectiv A
Not recommended to people with sensitivity to strobe.
About the artists
Farid Fairuz took the Romanian cultural scene by storm in 2010 with his critical performances on capitalism, sexuality, cultural production and religion that sharply mirror failures of the local society. Until he reinvented himself as Farid Fairuz and assumed a fictional biography, the artist Mihai Mihalcea was one of the most active in the field of contemporary dance in Romania, after 1989. He initiated or he has been part of many of the projects that led to the international recognition of Romanian contemporary dance and he played a key role in the establishment of structures and institutions that have become landmarks of this area. Between 2005 and 2013 he has been the director of the National Dance Center in Bucharest. In 2006 he was nominated forParis-Europe Prix 2006 by Maison d’Europe et d’Orient, Paris. In 2013 Farid Fairuz was a fellow at Akademie der Künste in the Performing Arts section. In 2014 he co-curated the festival Good Guys Only Win in Movies at Hebbel am Ufer Berlin.