meet cmmc, the performance duo behind our cmmc bag
Intense aesthetic, that’s how one could describe the work of performance duo CMMC. Céline Mathieu and Myrthe van der Mark create detailed motions they repeat for hours - moving synchronously for 2 hours straight or crying simultaneously for over an hour - In which elegance contrasts a dangerous battle between rationality and subconsciousness.
Céline: “Our work is semi-scientific. For our performance Friends call me Gas, we studied the shapes and forms of specific rituals. We wondered what would happen if we’d only maintain the visible action. Would we still be able to evoke a mystical feeling? We realised the performance might come across as somewhat woolly, but we liked the wittiness of it. We’re acting on the border of gut feeling, hypersensitivity and spirituality.”
With literature playing an important role in their work and being an inexhaustible source of inspiration, they both write on their own terms: Myrthe mainly prose, while Céline also provides essays and text for their performances.
Céline: “I admire writers like J.D. Salinger, David Foster, Franz Kafka and Douglas Coupland.”
Myrthe: “We do prefer to use non-fictive works as a source of inspiration We focus on knowledge, efforts of people trying to understand something. This gives our work a more scientific approach.”
Both women have great respect for Simone de Beauvoir.
Myrthe: “She’s the summit of physicality and battle.”
A similar corporeality is a vital part of CMMC’s praxis. Whenever they’re performing, they wear sleek and sober outfits, exposing the shapes of their body.
Céline: “We want to evoke a pure and estranging feeling. Sometimes we create geometric shapes around our body, for instance with shoulder pads.”
Myrthe: “For a particular performance, we needed six costume switches in forty minutes. That shows how important clothing and styling are in our work.”
It’s not a coincidence Lies Mertens dedicated a handbag to these artists.
Myrthe: “First she created the bag, then she thought about who’d like to wear them. That’s how she thought of us. It’s a classical, straightforward design.”
Céline: “Normally, I always have an enormous bag with me, containing all my stuff. It’s like an archive of our work of the past few months. At home, I have a hanger full of tote bags. I’m not that well-organised.”
Myrthe also drags a big bag along with her, including her book, laptop, notebook and pens. “I never buy small bags, to be honest. Even my wallet is humongous. Maybe, using the CMMC, downsizing can become a new habit. A smaller bag forces us to reflect on what we take what us. Anyway, the bag matches our performances perfectly: sober, but with striking details.”
The CMMC is also available in a smaller version, the CMMC mini.