„To have company“ means that you are not alone, that you share yourself and your place with others. Damaged Goods is a constantly shifting identity, always redefining itself and searching for contexts. I think if you want to explore new territory you have to allow yourself to go to unfamiliar places. The company reconfigures from project to project, though I usually work with some dancers for more than one show. I like to create an open structure where dancers are independent and have the opportunity to do their own work and that of other artists. I think it feeds them and consequently the work. All these different people passing through change and shape the work’s nature.” Meg Stuart.
In 1991 the Klapstuk Festival Leuven presented Meg Stuart's work for the first time in Europe. The full-length new production Disfigure Study was highly acclaimed in Belgium and beyond. She presented her second piece, No Longer Readymade in 1993 at the Klapstuk Festival which toured extensively and launched her artistic career in Europe. Inspired by the artistic climate in Belgium and interested in creating her own structure to support her artistic projects, Meg Stuart founded her company in Brussels in 1994.
The company's name was taken from the first review Stuart received for Disfigure Study in The Village Voice. Burt Supree wrote : "But it's failure that absorbs Stuart, the body's stubborn, fumbling thickness, its sticky desires and cruel inefficacies. And everyone is shown as damaged goods." Meg Stuart found it a fitting name for her choreographic work that doesn't highlight virtuosity but searches to reveal the hidden world of her dancers as they question themselves on stage.
The company acts as a mobile, open structure that advances, produces and coordinates Stuart’s artistic work worldwide; it also makes cooperation with different artists and institutions possible. In the process, Damaged Goods produces highly diverse projects such as group pieces and solos, installations and publications, improvisation projects such as Auf den Tisch! and Crash Landing as well as the festival Intimate Strangers that shows work from the company’s artistic associates in combination with own work. The company has also coproduced films and videos of the Brussels based artist Jorge León. Since 1997, Meg Stuart/Damaged Goods have been artists-in-residence at Kaaitheater in Brussels. The company tours worldwide. With the support of the Goethe Institut Maybe Forever toured South-East Asia and Do Animals Cry was presented in Canada in the year 2010. Meg Stuart and her company have been a resident at the Schauspielhaus Zürich (2000-2004) and the Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz in Berlin (2005-2010). In 2011 Damaged Goods developed and presented the work, VIOLET, in collaboration with Uferstudios and Radialsystem V. The creation of this work has been specially supported by Hauptstadtkulturfonds in Berlin. From 2010 till 2015 the company has been presented at the Munich Kammerspiele on invitation by its intendant Johan Simons. Buit to Last (2012) and UNTIL OUR HEARTS STOP (2015) were both created in co-production with the Kammerspiele. In 2013 Meg Stuart created Sketches/Notebook during a residency at the HAU Hebbel am Ufer (Berlin), the project marks a new alliance for Stuart and her company. Also, 2015-2017 Meg Stuart/Damaged Goods will be collaborating with Ruhrtriennale. In 2014 Meg Stuart/Damaged Goods created their first evening-length solo, Hunter.
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