Performing New Europe – Documents Inserts Frames:
The workbook to the programme
In addition to the programme, this publication, Documents Inserts Frames, conceived by Jacopo Lanteri, offers contextual information on the individual projects within the festival. Documents, Inserts, Frames provides a deeper investigation of individual artistic practices, gives insights into working processes and documents research materials used.
We would like to thank all the artists whose support and interest in dialogue has made this publication possible.
The diver's technique
by Jacopo Lanteri
One. Going deep.
“The spectator of these forms is a stranger to her/himself; since seeing or watching them and not being able to name them, the viewer sees her/himself for the first time. In that ignorance there is an abyss. Something in which our mechanisms of perception and classification no longer work, where something has broken in that cancels them. One thing that cannot be measured, that cannot be named, that does not belong to the usual tools of measurement. In that abyss there is fear and pleasure at the same time.” - Maria Jerez (p. 53)
The materials published in this booklet are not a map to navigate on the surface of the performances presented in PNEU Festival 2018. Instead they are a tool to dive deep into this abyss, the abyss Maria Jerez referred to in the previous quote.
These materials are a dystrophic companion to the PNEU festival programme. They are composed of an heterogeneous collection of text, drawings, notes, pictures; some reprinted, some newly written.
They can be read in a linear way or they can be used as a living object that can grow and transform itself with the aid of the reader’s notes.
An object that can be put “in conversation” with the art works, and respond.
Two. Conversation as equipment.
“A conversation, unlike dialogue for example, doesn’t have a sense of purpose. It doesn’t need to reach a goal; it doesn’t have to make a point. So in that way, it might seem an inefficient form of communication, which doesn’t produce a programmed conclusion. But in fact, it is a very constitutive method through which we build the idea of history and for that matter the idea of humanity.” - Ivana Müller (p. 82)
Many works of PNEU 2018 are deeply rooted with the concept of “conversation” as a form presented on stage, but also as a tool in the creation process.
Lotte Van den Berg, for example, brings communities together using the idea of the conversation as a platform for conflict: “A place where people can collectively examine, endure, experience the chafing, biting differences between themselves.” Navaridas/Deutinger expose – through an embodied conversation – the contradictions of contemporary political discourse. Michikazu Matzune portrays broken conversations in goodbye letters.
We could use also the word “conversation” to read certain processes that brought the work of Superamas and Julia Schwarzbach on stage, or Cecilia Bengolea's new creation together with the Bodhi Company of SEAD Salzburg.
More than a possible festival topic, the concept of “conversation” is used in the performances presented here as a tool to discover unknown territory. Conversation often develops in a non-linear way: it tends to map a territory more than going straight from a point A to a point B.
It is a tool for knowledge, and this tool can lead to unexpected places.
Three. Be ready for the unexpected.
“For instance when I start to work on a new project and try to focus on a particular idea that I have in mind. While improvising, something else is constantly distracting my focus and suddenly I realize that there must be something other than what I am trying to pursue, that I am unconsciously engaged with: something I can’t get rid of, that wants my attention. Often it is a small material or thought that briefly interested me months ago and all of a sudden reappears and finds its place.” - Christina Ciupke (p. 34)
The technique of diving into performances means abandoning any form of preconception about the work of the arts but instead accepting the stage as a self-expressing habitat where certain forms can exist and evolve beyond the boundaries of the performance itself. What might initially be read as a meaningless detail could re-emerge in us with all its power months after the evening of the show.
The artists presented in PNEU 2018 reflect on the fragmentation, confusion and liquidity of an unstable cultural (and political) situation. The acceptance of the unknown, of the other, of the non-understandable is the key to seeing the complete beauty and power of the complex world presented on stage.
Dear reader, dear spectator, take a big breath and dive deep!
Look at the pdf-file of the book: