::: V O I C E S :::
ARTIST‘ STATEMENTS ZUR AKTUELLEN COVID-19-SITUATION
Die durch Covid-19 ausgelöste Krise trifft die Kunstschaffenden weltweit hart und unmittelbar. Für unseren Blog ::: VOICES ::: haben wir internationale Künstler*innen, die momentan nicht an unseren Produktionshäusern arbeiten können, eingeladen, uns durch Statements an ihrer aktuellen, individuellen und künstlerischen Situation teilhaben zu lassen. /// The crisis triggered by Covid-19 hits artists worldwide hard and directly. For our blog ::: VOICES ::: we have invited international artists who are currently unable to work in our production houses to make statements about their current, individual and artistic situation. Berlin, 05/2020
December 2020, Budapest
KORNÉL MUNDRUCZÓ (Proton Theatre)
There are currently plenty of negativities to face worldwide. Nearly in each sector. Culture is no exception. And within the most vivid, but also most fragile part, the independent field. It’s crises, just like of plenty other fields won’t end with the virus.
But let’s try to focus on positivities. Since as bigger the limitation, as bigger the celebration. Before the virus we maybe were tired, wished the world to slow down, so we can have a break. Now we use every minute and possibility to work. We work while keeping the distance, in a genre which is totally physical, while wearing masks and not seeing the faces, the mimics of each other, while constantly disinfecting and testing. Awkward conditions. Doctors and politicians above art. But we are happy that we can do it. Already simply working got a triumph. Working without knowing whether there will be a premier and if yes, when also means without production pressure. It’s a chance to find the roots of creation again. We finally have the time to stop, to live in the moment, to experience the beauty of it. Alone, but also together with our colleagues. We learned that it can be valid to perform without an audience. We are not anymore doing it for the premier, but to ease the hunger. An intrinsic motivation, a need, a must to create, without knowing what the future of the creation will be. An uplifting feeling. Art for art. Exactly what the essence of art should be. Art has to be superfluous to be real, to be true art. When this is done we can start finding the way back to the audience or better to say to each other. The desire on the side of the artist, appears also on the side of the spectator. Going to the cinema, the theatre or a concert is not the rule anymore, but the exception. Our special moment. Our common ritual. A reunion. And we are closer to each other than ever before.
I would like to see 2020 as a possibility. Despite all bad things happened, it is definitely a chance to return to the basis of art. In a free fall losing the existential and finding the essence.
Kornél Mundruczó – Foto by Sándor Fegyverneki
June 25th, Balrampur & Moga
PANKAJ TIWARI & ABHISHEK THAPAR
After COVID-19 broke out in India the ruling dispensation implemented a hasty, inconsiderate and strict lockdown across the Indian state without giving any substantial thought about its impact on the precarious working class communities. Tragic fallout of the irresponsible implementation of the strict lockdown was the pushing over the edge of the migrant worker communities across India. The lockdown, in a matter of hours, resulted in a jolting halt to the economy and many daily wage laborers and other precarious workers were rendered jobless, moneyless, food less and under the fear of contracting COVID. In such a desperate situation, the migrant workers who were living in large Indian cities were left with no choice but to turn towards their homes in remote villages and small towns of India…
June 24th, Frankfurt
Corona hit me and my team of collaborators hard. We were meant to tour my two current works around Germany and Austria and all of our gigs were cancelled. We immediately gathered for emergency meetings via Zoom and fought hard with programmers about possible cancellation fees, with state institutions about emergency funds and social security. While some theaters seemed lost other institutions and collaborators offered immediate support and were open for a discussion about how tackle the current situation. In the midst of home-office, home-schooling, home-cooking, home-cleaning, of course, there were also home-workout sessions via youtube and Zoom. „Colonastics“, a fitness workout that doubles up as a critical whiteness lecture, has been with me for some time now…
COLONASTICS | Foto by Justus Gelberg
June 23rd, Berlin
This text was written between April 20th and June 23rd in Berlin – This situation, the lockdown2020, makes me want to think about intimacy:
What does it mean to produce intimacy and to be produced by intimacy? We think that agency in intimacy is consent. Intimacy used to be something that you invite somebody into by opening up. It often carried a confessional mode or a mode of gifting somebody something inner most precious. An act of invitation that asks: Will you enter my world and touch me. Or asks: May I enter your world and touch you. Or asks: How do you want me to touch you? Or asks: How do you want to touch me. Touching in intimacy can be an act of seeing and hearing someone, being in touch with someone. Will you see me? Will you let me see you? Intimacy used to carry an idea of inner and outer and letting somebody or something in. Touch seems to be the portal for that connection…
June 21st, Rheinsberg
ORQUESTA EXPERIMENTAL DE INSTRUMENTOS NATIVOS (OEIN) & PHØNIX16
We – the Orquesta Experimental de Instrumentos Nativos OEIN from La Paz in Bolivia and the Berlin vocal ensemble PHØNIX16 – should have opened the MaerzMusik festival on March 20 and on March 22 we wanted to perform in Hellerau. After the outbreak of the corona crisis these concerts were canceled at short notice, and a little later the OEIN’s journey home. The originally planned 10 days in Germany became 84 days – in quarantine in the Musikakademie Rheinsberg. It was an intense and unforeseeable time. In these three months we made numerous recordings of new pieces that will be published as audio / video installations at various festivals in autumn 2020. Here is a little insight into our 84 days in 84 seconds:
June 20th, Valparaíso
NOS ROBAN TODO, MENOS LA RABIA / THEY STEAL EVERYTHING FROM US, EXCEPT THE RAGE by colectivo LASTESIS
In this context of confinement, the pandemic of patriarchy no longer needs to hide behind false masks and disguises. Today, the cases of domestic violence increase every day, confirming that the home is often the most dangerous place for many women worldwide.
June 19th, Lille
The covid-19 confinement has been a real test of artistic autonomy and resourcefulness. Paying the rent, a kind of geo-politics. I worked 100% alone with only what I could find in my studio. I made many objects but only a single performance: A selfie-portrait. 23 000 people have died in France alone of covid-19. I put on my corona make-up in sacred silence wich is broken repeatedly by the sirens of ambulances. I am forbidden to go out. I am compelled to go in. My art is my trench. The thorns are from the grave of someone I love. The bat is gentle on my lips. Blameless. Like death.
The Covid bat make-up
I am a white South African jewish queer artist who lives in France and works internationally. I say this not because I need a box to lock myself in, but because I must be aware of the origins of this position I have assumed – aware of my white privilege, my experience of being raised in apartheid South Africa, questions about what post-colonial means, my orientation as a member of a historically persecuted race of jews, my intersectional position as a queer artist whose work is often made in high heels and make-up and designed for confrontation…
June 18th, São Paulo
“The Empire’s Last Gala” – On March 5th I turned 60. Having not celebrated in a long time, I threw a considerable party in my backyard, from where I write this piece. It was kind of a private version of the „Baile da Ilha Fiscal“. I just about avoided being the bearer of a tragic source of contamination. Pictures and videos that people still send me of everyone hugging and drinking out of the same glass seem from an entirely different era or planet. The fact I’ve officially entered the “elderly“ category perfectly in sync with the epidemic lockdown, is the kind of irony that comes with the package. An isolated house during a pandemic does feel somewhat like a nursing home…
June 15th, Beijing
WU WENGUANG & FOLK MEMORY PROJECT
We are filmmakers, dancers, visual artists, theatre makers, writers, peasants, students, all coming together for the „Folk Memory Project“. In early 2020, the Corona Virus started spreading rapidly and widely, not only to the lungs but also to the human hearts. We asked the members of the „Folk Memory Project“ to keep filming their daily lives wherever they were. We called it „Riding through 2020“. This is how we have been riding through 2020: Our activites were Filming in the villages, Sharing & communicating with the group / “Email-group,” a daily communication among the members / Disseminating to the public by social media / Online Sundays: Group yoga & book reading / and a “Reading Raw Footage” workshop. We are ready to ride through the whole 2020. We are not alone. Always a group. We will always take on any challenge together.
Voice from the FOLK MEMORY PROJECT, edited by Wu Wenguang; English translation by Hong Guo-juin – Folk Memory Project & Caochangdi Workstation
June 12th, Yokohama
TOSHIKI OKADA / CHELFITSCH & TEPPEI KANEUJI
All of us can find “Eraser Fields“ right behind where we live. Indeed, we could even find them inside our homes. As such, chelfitsch decided to make the effort to cultivate them:
June 7th, Chișinău
i was ill
or i am ill
i don’t know how to say it correctly
with chronic diseases, it’s rather confusing
you don’t know whether it was in the past or it is happening now
when your disease is autoimmune, it’s even more confusing
as if you’ve always stayed home
even though you haven’t stayed home
the only thing is that that home isn’t quite your home
because, in fact, you have no home…
June 3rd, Manila
Every Wednesday since April the Manila Zoo team of 5 Filipino Artist: Russ Ligtas, Joshua Serafin, Bunny Cadag, Cathrine Go and I, have been meeting on zoom. The first few sessions was checking in on each other and exercising alone together (doing our own physical exercise at the same time on zoom). Confined in our own homes, physical exercise has been an important activity during this global pandemic. The repetitive movement reminds me of the hamster running on the wheel and the repetitive stereotypic behaviour of animals in the Zoo…
June 2nd, Kaptaruny
I write this letter from a country where there are still no restrictions, as the President does not see a reason. He calls the pandemic as ‘a corona psychosis’ mentioning that it is more about politics than an illness. Medical and educational institutions make some recommendations, but it is not obligatory. Cafés, restaurants, schools, and kindergartens are open. You can even make a dance or sport class. The social life is going, as if nothing happened. It looks like it is a country of supermen and superwomen who do not be afraid of anything. Or is it a level of despair? I am not sure…
A video I would like to add to my words.
May 26th, Taipei
CHOY KA FAI
We are in a state of change, where beginnings and ends, oscillates.
As an Artist, i was alway searching for some sort of liberations or catharsis.
And maybe i have a tremendous yearning for Freedom.
Especially now… in the time of a pandemic,
The notion of freedom is constantly being redefined in very part of the world.
I start to question myself. Why do we need to Wander?
Wandering is important, both to our human mind and body.
Wandering is a bodily experience, a method for discovering the unknown.
A Wandering Mind would help us to speculates our past and future selves.
As a digital Artist, I chose to make a physical act, a movement to climb a mountain.
an expanded moment to let my body and mind wander…
May 26th, Vienna
In this pandemic age, God’s Entertainment has increasingly developed a political awareness for the working class. They describe their work as a battle against “political blindness”, “civil obedience” and the “society of balconies – a structural, social privilege”. They see current developments as a threat to freedom, and their latest work attempts to meet the public sphere head-on by confronting it with their own intolerance of pseudo-solidarity and hypocrisy. What is the difference between serving and being served? – The metaphor is smarter than the author.
They use the cut-up technique to fragment the current state of society, rearrange it and render the present moment visible in the form of a DIY world system. The earth has not stopped rotating to the east, and this DIY world system, too, continues to rotate obediently and incessantly, without ever posing the question: Can we receive blows without striking back? In the same way that Socrates considered it necessary to create a tension in the mind that would prompt human beings to rise from their bondage-like dependence on myths and half-truths into the free realm of creative analysis and objective value determination, we, too, must recognise the need to create a tension in today’s society by non-violent means, thereby helping people rise from the dark depths of prejudice and class struggle and ascend to the sublime heights of mutual understanding and coexistence. The question as to whether everything you see in the video reflects your own perception and whether you should challenge the present moment is left open for everyone to decide for themselves, because every human being is condemned to freedom!
May 25th, Helsinki
Sonya Lindfors – Foto by Janne Mikkilä
May 23rd, Tehran
„Neither I, no Memory“ by Amirhossein Taghavi & Saghar Hosseinpour
„SHEER“ a duo performance with Saghar Hosseinpour & Sarah Feli
Sheer: The position of a ship riding to a single anchor and heading toward it. The upward curve of a ship’s deck toward the bow and stern, as seen from the side Break sheer: (said of a ship riding at anchor), to be forced by wind or tide out of a position clear of the anchor. „SHEER“ is an experience of our desire to share our situation with each other, in a spaceless and timeless space. It was a practice of communicating with each other from our personal spaces without using words. During this performance, in addition to reviewing the features of this unknown platform (at least for us), we were trying to investigate how two performers could communicate “here” without having access to their physical communication on stage or even without using “speaking” as a means of communication in online encounters. This piece has been made from point zero to end, on the Instagram Live platform, and has been performed once by us at the Reconnect Online Performance Festival:
May 22nd, Amsterdam
May 20th, Berlin
MONIKA GINTERSDORFER, KNUT KLAßEN (Gintersdorfer/Klaßen)
The corona lock down gave us time to edit footage that we have taken in recent years. It shows places and situations that mean something to the team, such as the demolitions in the Rue Princess in Abidjan, structuralist architecture in Ivry near Paris, the Steindamm in Hamburg ecc.
We start with a film “9 lugares favoritos / 9 favorite places” in Mexico City, recorded in 2017. Dalel Bacre, Humberto Busto, Antonio Cerezo, Andrea Chirinos, Arturo Lugo, Carlos Martinez and Arantza Muñoz Montemayor took us to places, on which they see artistic and social confrontation to emerge. Determined by the specific location, we developed quick performances for those present and the camera. With Franck E. Yao.
Streaming is our film premiere:
19th May, Warsaw
MARTA KEIL, GRZEGORZ RESKE (ResKeil)
„The sequence of events was quick“
March 12th afternoon – at Residenz in der Spinnerei in Leipzig – We are standing next to kitchenette, discussing with Lina and Rabih  and our hosts Thomas and Ulrike we are discussing the final week of rehearsals. There are some doubts we might not be able to finish it as we planned, but nothing is certain.
March 12th late evening – at theatre guest apartment at Roßplatz – Thomas writes that all activities including rehearsals are being stopped. We plan to stay in Leipzig over the upcoming weekend to calm down after an intense week and prepare our return.
March 13th noon – we all meet for lunch. It’s partly a farewell, partly a moment to discuss a possible new schedule of work. Rabih and Lina are going back Berlin the same day. The goodbye moment feels awkward as we don’t dare to hug each other anymore. On the way back to our apartment we do shopping for weekend…
I DESPERATELY NEED CHANGE, poster by Marta Jalowska, Edka Jarząb and Sebastian Winkler, photo by Tomek Drzewiecki, „Common Ground“ season at Komuna Warszawa, May 2020
18th May, Shanghai
XIAO KE x ZI HAN
COVID-19, We are in Shanghai. From the end of January to mid-March, we did a lot at home, and it was hard to be alone. Reading books, communicating with friends on the Internet, reviewing past works, anxiety, tension, insecurity. At the same time cooking, follow up the daily news, watching the trees outside the window grow thick leaves…
18th May, Rio de Janeiro
ALICE RIPOLL (Cia REC)
WASHING PROCESS Video – Director: Alice Ripoll, Camera: Renato Mangolin, with Cia REC
16th May, Tehran
How do I feel about this situation I am in right now?
I always need people. I always need gathering. And it has been always happened in a common time and space. but now we only access to a common time in different spaces. To answer this question, considering that the common space has been important for us, and now it’s time to think about this importance. Why this is important for us to meet and gather in a common space? And this is so important for the authority, too, when we desire to meet in a common space, in a way that authority and us always been fighting over the space, like a competition. Who can take over and occupy the space? After the massive demonstration in the streets of Tehran in 2009, government legislate that gathering over 4 people from now on is considered as an illegal act, no matter what the reason of the gathering is. Then the gathering itself became a political act I suppose. And the time we spend in this space became more authentic. Now, the virus just reminds me of a schizophrenic state that want to separate us, but we are already well trained to frequently find a common time to be together.
But what does this situation do to my artistic work?
To answer this question I share a video which is a capture screen of one of our meeting in “jitsi”:
Since some weeks ago we are meeting with many people in „jitsi“. In this specific video we are 8 people, each one gives a task to the others to react for about 60 seconds. The tasks are inspired by these thoughts:
„5 how to’s“ as our guideline to record this video:
1- use home as working/presenting space / 2- use small spaces to express, with a big urgency though / 3- learn to work in limitation and obligation / 4- use the daily destructions created in a nonprofessional space like home as a material for work / 5- define new possibilities out of the restriction of the media/devices you use for these expressions.
15th May, Bruxelles
Thank you for your question. I have been thinking about it for a few days now and I don’t have a design yet. Can it wait? My head is slow these days.
I’m writing this text with a giant plate of Plexiglas™ leaning against my left shoulder / It stands between me and the window. / When I’m not looking at the computer, I’m looking at the Plexi (in the Plexi? Through the Plexi?)…
Ettore Sottsass THE PLANET AS FESTIVAL: STUDY FOR DESIGN OF A STADIUM FOR ROCK CONCERTS (1972-1973)
12th May, Nairobi
I am writing this from Nairobi, Kenya where I still have friends who are staring down the barrel of months without pay, friends who have already lost jobs and friends whose contract will be running out soon…
>> Continue here (Essay and Videos)
11th May, Tel Aviv
In Simple Action, created by Yasmeen Godder in 2016, spectators are invited to be held, as their weight is slowly carried to the floor. This proposal happens multiple times during the performance involving different bodies and creating endless humane variations which resonate empathy, care, and real-time physical negotiation. In Simple Action Home the performers, quarantined due to the Coronavirus pandemic, were invited to film themselves practicing the same action with their loved ones, in the privacy of their home. And by that turning this unique proposal of intimacy and connectivity back into their personal and familial relationships.
SIMPLE ACTION Performing: Shuli Enosh, Sigal Bergman, Yasmeen Godder, Matan Daskal, Ari Teperberg, Ofir Yudilevitch, Dor Frank & their household partners – Music: Tomer Damsky – Edited by Omer Alsheich
11th May, Tilburg
Since 2019 I am developing an institute for movement heritage; Motus Mori Institute. For the coming years I will build an archive for the endangered human movement. My team and me collect personal movements of people in different cities, preserve them in the dancers’ bodies and expose it in long-durational movement exhibitions. – Due to the current coronacrisis we cannot execute the work of Motus Mori as we planned. However we decided to continue our work of preserving the human movement, especially in these times of physical isolation.
In this first introduction-video I’d like to give you an insight in the working methods of Motus Mori Institute, introduce you to the dancers and share our current activities in quarantine:
For the next Motos mori videos please >> continue here
10th May, Rio de Janeiro
ALEJANDRO AHMED (Cena 11)
10th May, Budapest
BENCE GYÖRGY PÁLINKÁS
9th May, Budapest
over at my sister’s garden / during an online family event for easter / her face in a small cube without context / she is at home, blue sky and the concrete wall, the huge / circles under her eyes, her child sitting in a swing / so we can keep distance / reduce our presence to the cube / sending her ’many hugs’ / she hung up all the clothes in the garden / she had a run which is the one time she can / be alone…
9th May, Glasgow
I am very conflicted at the moment about invitations to respond to the current situation. I am torn, wondering if perhaps I should say nothing at this time. Part of me feels that artists are really not the important thing just now, that we should cede space to those who keep people alive and safe. That we should not continue to feel the pressure of putting things into the world to justify our existence…
I feel in one moment that I should not share anything, but then I start to write and then comes this enormous text…
9th May, Vienna
CLAUDIA BOSSE (theatercombinat)
8th May, Budapest
DÓRA BÜKI (Proton Theatre)
The keyword is uncertainty. As an independent company without constant state support we know this word well. In the current situation uncertainty reached a totally new level. An aera with mostly only questions, but nearly no answers…
IMITATION OF LIFE (photo: D. Matvejev/Proton Theatre) „We would have had 4 guest performances with it, to Rome, to Madrid, to Turin and to Tampere…“
8th May, Santiago de Chile
In this photo I’m in my apartment in Santiago de Chile. I live very close to downtown, almost there. Few months ago we were living our revolution and the streets of my neighborhood were full of people all the time. We were angry but happy. Something very important was going on and we had the future of our country in our hands. That idea made us dance and laugh and share animated conversations every day. We danced a lot. My neighbors and I literally danced at night in the middle of our street. We shared food and wine. The streets were deeply alive. Now we are in the opposite scenario…
7th May, Montréal
„Four Long Moments Near the Beginning“ : On March 17th 2020, I wrote: One of my first thoughts in the early days of the pandemic was: social distancing and closing borders, those are things dictators like. I knew I had to be careful how I said such things. These were also scientifically proven strategies to reduce exponentiality, contain the situation and reduce harm…
7th May, Bucharest
I am trying to respond to the question of “What artistic contribution could interact with the current situation?” in this particular framework, with the resources and the medium of expression it can offer in times of spatial isolation and physical distancing imposed by the coronavirus crisis. I agree with the necessity of new artistic statements, voices and contributions within the current landscape, which is also a landscape of struggle. At the same time, as an artist I don’t think the arts should try to keep the same pace of production during these few months, when faced with such a reduction of possible communication spaces:
5th May, Ljubljana
BOJAN JABLANOVEC & ANITA WACH (VIA NEGATIVA)
Physis is a face of nature, body is expression of it. It looks beautiful, graceful and sublime. But it’s also cruel, violent, hostile and painfully pragmatic. Power. We have all in our hands, our legs, our intestines and our germs. Our bodies are colonized, our minds are possessed. Intellect is conditioned, organs infected. Our inner politician demands regulation of nature, our hidden anarchist screams to accept the rules of chaos. It’s time to let the body to speak before the machines will liquidate the language of pain and make us stop to listen.
This video is a part of our preparation for a new piece with the working title “Physis. Where does it hurt?” It was created during lock-down due to covid-19 pandemic 2020.
Video by Bojan Jablanovec & Anita Wach – Music by Eduardo Raon / Add music: Dooley Wilson, As Time Goes By – Produced by Via Negativa, 2020