Sometimes I wish I knew for certain which steps to take and when to take them. I wish that someone would explain to me how to move and would rehearse with me for days on end so that - whenever the time came - I would be certain to get it right.
Off the coast of Leeuwarden, provincial capital and 2018 European Capital of Culture, the Oerol festival is breaking attendance records on Terschelling Island (Northern Netherlands). As in previous years, environmental installations and performances feature alongside more traditional festival events. However, this year, a whole number of artists seem to have conducted unusual studies on time.
PIG is a playful experiment in collective decision-making that was conceived by the English artist Seth Honnor, Artistic Director of Kaleider. It is being co-produced as a Pilot Project within the framework of IN SITU ACT 2017–2020.
'We count it as progress if we survive in the first place,’ replied Emilie Petit, art director and founder of the Alexandrian Nassim el-Raqs public dance festival, when I asked how the event has developed over the past seven years and what direction it would take in the future.
Upon returning to Slovakia in 2009, after finishing her studies in France, Zuzana Pacáková was playing with the idea of establishing a contemporary art festival that had been missing in her hometown of Košice. Inspired by Paris’s Nuit Blanche, she enthusiastically decided to enter a fascinating circle, introducing the now-renowned and popular festival of contemporaryart, Biela noc, to Slovak audiences.
Originally published in KLAXON #8 - The Augmented City
Ici-Même [here-itself], a Paris-based group founded by Mark Etc in 1993, produces a wide range of theatrical interventions and urban scenographies that question our relationship with our social and urban environment. After having established a reputation for itself, and being recognized for its agility to infiltrate reality and to mystify, Ici-Même has adopted a diametrically opposed approach in its recent creations, by placing spectators at the core of the narration, and, in the unequivocal words of Mark Etc, “are now at ease with inviting the general public.” After an initial attempt of a “video-guided tour of the city” in Allo Ici-Même in 2010, First Life was launched in 2013.
The streets are a place of protest and sometimes of concern. In Paris, despite the small number of protesters, taking to the streets is a legitimate expression of the people’s democratic rights. In Barcelona, protests from both sides fill the streets on the question of Catalonian independence. But across the Pyrenees, Benjamin Vandewalle’s latest participatory performance in public space brings us back to art history.
Sat in Pristina International Airport waiting for my flight to Vienna, and on to London, I’m wondering what this week has been all about: why do I feel so damned tired, and why do I have a photograph of a boy-mannequin, wearing a crocheted waistcoat, posed in front of a badger pelt on my phone?
In Hull, recently voted the “least romantic city in England”, Freedom Festival celebrated the 210th anniversary of the abolition of slavery in the British Empire. It strikes an appropriate political tone, in the wake of recent racist incidents and discourse in Charlottesville, Virginia. Thought-provoking debates and shows combined with lighter entertainment, which were also steeped in the city’s history.
Wherever you find the artist Frank Bölter, who we just read about in column #1, you’ll find his simple paper-made artistic creations in public space… and that’s no accident.
Licensed city planner Trevor Davies is the director of the Metropolis biennale of art in the public space, organized by Københavns Internationale Teater in Copenhagen. He is also the head of the application committee for the city of Åarhus in the run to host the European Capital of Culture program in 2017. Davies talks about art and play as instruments of social engineering and urban ecology. From flash mobs to more elaborate artistic performances, playful happenings in the city innocently engage the fundamentals of society and politics.
One week after the horrific terrorist attack in Nice, reading Thomas Hobbes’ “Leviathan” (1651) is disorientating. This English philosopher puts the natural and political body at the centre of his reasoning, and underlines the fact that political forms and gods are mortal. In particular, he clearly states that destroying one’s own life contravenes “natural laws” (chapter 14). Disorder and religion are seen, at least, as an “infirmity” of the state (chapter 29) and the best that can be said of suicide attacks is that they are a poison.