Contours of inexistence: A reading of the choreographic piece "I Am Here", by João Fiadeiro (2003)

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In the short story O Unicórnio [The Unicorn], featured in Contos da Imagem [Image Short Stories], by Fiama Hasse Pais Brandão (2005), the museum visitor stood in front of the 15th century tapestry with the lady and the white unicorn for three days and three nights without the guards noticing his incarceration. In the wall of the museum, writes the author, Claude de la Viste held the mirror with the image of the unicorn, which was kneeling and laid its legs in her lap. The image of the unicorn stayed in the mirror even when Claude, transparent, moved it away from the animal. The visitor contemplated them from the museum bench. On the wall, they didn’t seem to care he was there: “Could Aia bring the mirror down here for a second?” the visitor asked Claude (Brandão 2005: 15). And Aia came down from the tapestry on the wall and into the museum’s wood floor. Claude wouldn’t take her eyes off the unicorn. The visitor was handed the mirror of the images, and in Fiama’s view, if the image stayed in the mirror even after it was moved away from the unicorn, then the world had no explanation. Just as well. Man withdraws from himself to emerge in contours of inexistence. Invisible in the dark and motionless in the light, man escapes toward space and immateriality. I Am Here is a place in which man, assimilated to space, is reflected in the double images that reflect him, mutually haunting each other. Thus, arise other constellations of images that are almost unnoticeable – the contours of inexistence – as forms of existence. Perhaps the body wouldn’t end “suddenly at our feet, at our hands”. It wouldn’t end there, with “nothing beyond” as “a slope of a cliff over the ocean”, in the words of Helena Almeida, whose photographic work influenced the choreographic piece I Am Here, by João Fiadeiro (2003), on which I elaborate in this dance and philosophy essay.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBodied Spaces
Subtitle of host publicationCrossed discourses between body and space
EditorsGabriela Vaz-Pinheiro
Place of PublicationPorto
PublisherImprensa Nacional - Casa da Moeda
Number of pages26
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


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