Commitment Phobe
© Lisa Maatjens


Commitment Phobe

Commitment Phobe is a project in development that explores (and wants to celebrate) ambiguity and doubt. It is a response to a perceived social and cultural demand for the clear, the certain, and the consistent – ways that we are taught it is worthwhile and understandable for a person to be. And to the increasing necessity to take strong, definite, personal and political positions, along binary lines.

Ambiguity and multiplicity have become recurring principles in Ira’s work: in Break Yourself she performs in male drag; layering multiple identities over each other and playing with how the ambiguous, slippery readings of her body resonate with a series of sexual fantasies. In Ways To Submit, she invites the audience to have a physical fight, a seemingly simple frame that produces a breadth of encounters, always evading simple categorizations or moral judgements. In her processes she often starts with broad conceptual questions and tries to find articulations of them that are embodied, visceral, human, and playful – and that is what she is attempting to do with this research.

How can we conceive of doubt as a tool? How can we value ambiguity without making ourselves powerless? Commitment Phobe is an experiment in not knowing, in keeping it moving, and in what it might mean to not ‘take a position’ as a political choice.

Ira Brand

Ira is an artist, writer, performance-maker, and curator. She graduated from Dartington College of Arts in 2007, and in 2019 completed the DAS Theatre Masters in Amsterdam, where she is now based. She makes live, inter-disciplinary performances: solo stage shows, one-to-one pieces, duets, or participatory work.