Dagmara Bilon is a performance artist/maker creating work since 2003. She makes durational, site-sensitive, action-based, and one-to-one performance work, for live audiences and for video. Over the years a sizable body of work has been built up in various mediums and disciplines.
Bilon's practice is an expression of liberty and a defiance of taboos and conventions, it spans drawing, painting, writing, embodied investigation, site-specific intervention, experimentation with various materials and collaboration with other artists.
Her recent work, Provocations, Meditations and Invocations, allows her to investigate a visual language that creates surreal depictions of the female body as a source of vulnerable confinement and humorous provocation.
Dagmara continuously seeks artistic dialogue and collaboration as a way to develop and challenge the boundaries of her practice. She is currently part of the Purple Ladies, a woman's performance collective based in South East London.
Her work has been presented in England, France, Romania, Iceland, Denmark, Croatia and Spain.
Lover is a one-on-one performance devised and performed in collaboration with Andreas Constantinou. The material explores personal borders, intimacy and sexuality. It was performed in Aarhus, Denmark after its initial research period and further performances are planned in 2017.
Based on the story and cult of Saint Wilgefortis, patron saint for women of abusive or unwanted marriages. An arts-centred research project making works in the form of painting, video, action-based performance and site-sensitive installation; inspired by an early historical phenomena of the bearded woman, a symbol of female resistance to a patriarchal order. Through embodied investigation and the creation of moving images, the interest in this research was to follow a fascination with the imagery and symbolism of Wilgefortis as an expression of silent protest towards notions of female oppression.
Various performance interventions were explored, e.g. on the Balcony of Europa in Nerja, in the King Arthur pub, Glastonbury; in London's Clarence Mews, No Format Gallery and as part of The Purple Ladies' 47/49 Tanner Street event.
"a person cannot distinguish themselves as separate from the object or thing they behold"
The Freudian term is 'projective identification' for storytellers 'sympathetic magic'. The ability of the mind to step away from its ego for a time and merge with another reality. The corner turns into the sea,the waves continuously rise and fall. The performer is dressed in red and carries a red suitcase. Her persona contrasts with her surroundings. Is this a dream? She puts down her suitcase, takes off her shoes, her coat, her wig. She leaves a trail behind and merges with the waves...
With special thanks to Marta Angelozzi
Where: Area10, London / Wiltons Music Hall, London
A durational live installation featuring a composition of 7 red objects and 7 female performers to construct a three dimensional landscape. From birth to death and after life...crossing over the threshold between matter and spirit. In this piece time is not linear and the episodes unfold simultaneously. Each performer working in relation to one object, a repetitive movement phrase, and a unique rhythm.
Performers: Alexandra Baybutt, Agnes Czerna, Eszter Goncz, Jemima Jones, Philippa Karamoegou, Christelle Lafille, Natascha Ruegg
Where: Area 10 and The Other, London
images courtesy of Rachel Cherry
Devised in collaboration with Eirini Kartsaki through a process that tried to answer questions such as: how can the body create its own vocabulary and communicate unresolved anxieties and an unexpressed fight? How can movement and text co-exist and interconnect? What is the role of structure in a performance of fragments? Alternating between chaotic spectacle and fragile intimacy, A Valediction is based on fragmented narratives, juxtaposing sound, language, movement and visual image.
Where: An East London rooftop, a derelict building in West London and at the Romanian National Opera, Cluj Napoca
Out of Nothing was a durational performance installation. The work explored the use of fragmented images based on themes of gender, identity and sexuality; and was devised in collaboration with Andrea Constantinou. The material developed through movement improvisation around a window structure in a disused space over the course of a week's residency in Iceland. The performance was commissioned by the International Dance Festival in Rekjavik, Iceland.
The material was subsequently moulded into a one-on-one performance and performed on the top deck of the Psychological Art Circus Routemaster bus, and in both a bunker-like space and a 'portacabin' within Area10 Project Space, London between 2007 and 2009.
Inspired by R.D. Laing's The Divided Self, Life and Death depicts the story of modern man in conflict between the demands of conformity and instinctive drives, gradually disintegrating from one whole into, literally, many pieces.
Text/scene2: "stand up, sit down, wash up, sit down, turn around, stand up, television on, sit down, dry up, light off, shopping, greeting, this is how i look like, look over there, close your eyes, don't do it, an observer lives inside my house, it's ok, no it's not, sit down, be nice, eat up now, hurry up, light on, sit down, turn around, talk sense, tell me the first thing you remember, come back, eat mustard, who is the observer? this is how i look like from the front, lie down..."
Performers: Sam Booth, Stella Anna Glockner, Eirini Kartsaki, Christelle Lafille, Penny
Where: Area10 and The Place, London; Faki Festival, Zagreb
no beginning no middle no end
enter exit anytime anywhere
3-hour site-specific performance, a journey of 100m toward a cone sculpture, bodies transform into disfigured shadows, a group of individuals move as one body mass and disappear under a projection of light.
Performers: Agnes Czerna, Melissa Dornelles, Andrew Downes, Dani d’Emilia, Andrea Meneses, Christelle Lafille, Robert McNeill, Edgar Oliveira, Maia Sambonet & Juli Talerico; Cone: Joel Gray, Kevin Leahy & Matt Pike; Sound: Pelado, Projections: R McNeil & Shinjoru; Coordinated with Marta Angelozzi
Where: Area10 and Westcombe Park Gallery, London
The lab focussed on exploration of the body as a moving organism and a vehicle for movement expression surfacing from the attention to stillness. The conscious mind served as an observer to a moving life force and to involuntary movement functions. Movements became amplified extensions of that which is experienced in the present time.
Performers: Marthe Louise Bolkan Schneider, Simona DeGregorio, Anne Heilmann, Pauline Huguet, Kirstin Line, Robert McNeill, Ann Sanh, Anastasia Tsonou
Where: Laban and Peckham Rye Common, London
Dagmara works as a freelance workshop facilitator and guest teacher.
With a BA in Dance Theatre and a PGDip in Dance Movement Therapy, she has facilitated movement and dance improvisation, devising for performance, video making and combined arts sessions in a wide range of settings; such as educational institutions, mental health day centres and community events. Workshops have been catered to specific community groups, these include professional dancers/actors, students, non-professional adults and children.
“In my sessions there is an emphasis on creating a safe and non-judgemental space for somatic investigation and creative expression. I draw from a variety of approaches such as bodywork, authentic movement, active imagination and various improvisation and devising methods. I believe that participating in the expressive arts has the potential to create a deeper connection with self and others, raise awareness and facilitate transformation.”
Currently, Dagmara is undertaking a training in Rosen bodywork method exploring touch as a way into deeper layers of our selves by assisting the dissolution of 'character armour' to enable full authentic expression.