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FREE TO MOVE AND ARRIVE NOWHERE
Theater- and solo-performance, plus video-interventions, 18+19.07.14, Transit -intercultural theater performance, Stadtmuseum, Tübingen
The project Transit was an initiative of ‘Masckaratheater‘ based in Tuebingen and it brought together people that found themselves in shifting situations, like migration, end of a carrier, unemployment. In search of new perspectives, around 20 actors and musicians from different countries worked together in this intercultural performance on “Tübinger Vertrag” and the freedom of movement in Europe. (german text)
viki semou’s contribution focused on those people to whom any place in ‘the system’ is denied, one way or another. In other words, she impersonated those people marginalized even among marginalized. Those in continued Transit. Those “free” to move and arrive nowhere.
Art-direction: L.Conte, J. Knab
Actors: L. Baranowski, A. Bosch, A. Fodor, D. Gauß, Q. Hu, S. Kubin, F. Lokaj, S. Mahler, N. Roos, V. Semou, L. Till
Musicians: J. F. Olivos Blomberg + Tübinger Baglama-Schule: A. Güler, H. Bastas, S. Braun, C. Celik, O. C. Iygi, G. Tercan,
Concept-Executiion: Viki Semou
Technical assistance: Tasos Akridas, Vangelis Tourloukis and Sara Bangert
Technical Support: Kreismedienzentrum-Tübingen and Ralf Martenstein
Technical Advice: Timo Dufner
Viki Semou participated in the event with a solo performance and a series of interventions in the space dedicated to the work of Lotte Reiniger, an artist of films and shadow-theater plays made with 2d-figures, mostly in black. These interventions consisted of 1. a video in loop in combination of a Reiniger’s video, 2. the video of that day’s theater play which was recorded while v.semou was participating in it, and 3. a live stream of what she was seeing during her solo. This last screening featured successively the image of drawers/boxes and then the image of people -the audience.
Art has often been a place where ‘abnormals’, ‘monsters’ and other ‘curiosities’ can be fearlessly and harmlessly presented. Even accepted. As long as they stay there. When it ‘s only a show. In the realm of art and the non-real, of fantasy and dream.
Yet, the ‘abnormals’ and the ‘monsters’ exist and are claiming their place among ‘us’.
“Discrimination and prejudice are often condemned as markers of cruelty or insensitivity and not as markers of structural inequality. This reduces the reality of social injustice to a question of compassion and charitable feelings..”
(paraphrasing Alison Kafer in ‘Feminism, Queer, Crip’)
04-27.07.14, group-exhibition ‘sense no sense’, Shedhalle (Schlachthausstr. 13, Tübingen)
FRAMING : participatory performance; an invitation to see the world with a head-mounted camera.
(on the 04.+26.07.14)
FRAMING | AFTERTHOUGHTS: screening of the videos produced by the visitors during the performance.
sense no sense, 04.07.14 – 27.07.14
More about the program of the exhibition here
‘Framing’ invites visitors to see the world only through a head-mounted camera. The project reflects on the moments we spent experiencing the world through digital cameras, or cameras on cellphones and computers that we use before, during and after the shooting of a picture or a video. It condenses these moments in one and with this exaggerated condition, it comments on the virtualization of our glance as well as on the transformation of the Familiar and the dis-embodiment that such a mediated experience creates. In addition, with multiple head-mounted cameras, the project creates hybrid beings and it investigates their interaction with each other and with the ‘normal’ people.
In ‘Framing |Afterthoughts’, the videos produced are screened in situ, one after the other, from the moment they are created till the end of the exhibition. In this way, the project documents the exhibition, what each glance has chosen to register from it on that moment, and the reaction of each body to this mediated experiencing of the space. At the same time, the fact that such unstable recorded images of a space are screened in the space itself, juxtaposes not only the mediated with the non-mediated experience of an environment, but also the ‘real’-time with the ‘just-a-while-ago’ creating an echo of the ‘real’.
You can find an example of the videos created here.
The project was partially funded by the Kulturamt of Tübingen and technically supported by Kreismedienzentrum of Tübingen and the Shedhalle.
Performance, 24.05.14, Kunstamt, Tübingen ///////
IS THERE THUNDER, WHEN THERE IS NO-ONE THERE TO HEAR IT?
A tribute to those artists, thinkers, activists, brave or maybe stupid ones, that persist in doing something they deem important, even if no-one is there to acknowledge it.
A tribute to what is yet to be discovered.
A tribute to what gets lost and forgotten, even when it was created with love and care.
Concept-performance: Viki Semou.
inspired by the short story ‘Black Heavy Cloth’ by Michael Ende from his book ‘The mirror in the mirror’
In the short story ‘Black Heavy Cloth’ by Michael Ende, a performer gets set on stage to perform. The show does not begin, and yet no-one cancels it. The man remains on stage, rehearsing the performance in his mind, standing on the opening posture, ready to start. We follow his thoughts and his doubts, his stress and his boredom, his anger and his despair, his indifference and, in the end, his oblivion of what he was supposed to do and why. Nevertheless, he never leaves the stage: he stays there, waiting, and mirroring the first posture of his show-to-be.
Viki Semou impersonates the character by Ende and invites the visitors of Kunstamt to imagine her performing behind the curtains of the stage, in this limbo of waiting and being ready to start. The intention is to bring forward -by hiding them- the agonies, hopes and ambitions of the Artist, particularly when ‘undiscovered’.
In this light, the ‘heavy black curtains’ that hide the performance become the veils of our perception;
a reminder of its limitations. Or they can offer the occasion to expand this perception, once one ‘focuses’ beyond them; on the object of desire or fear, on the fantastic or the forgotten, on the unknown or the undiscovered.
The philosophical question Is there a thunder when there is no-one there to hear it?, that is raised here, does not deny the importance of the witness in art (=audience) or more generally in our knowledge of the world. Yet, it acknowledges the probability of knowing something without witnessing it. Moreover, it suggests the existence of something despite the existence of a witness, while at the same time it implies the power of the ‘witness’ on the ‘thing-being-witnessed’ itself…
Screening, 24.05.14, @18.00 – 21.00, Kunstamt Foyer (Doblerstrasse 21) //////
Documentation and end products of the participatory event on 23.03.14, which consisted on visitors of the Kunstamt seeing the world only through a head-mounted camera.
With this exaggerated condition, the project ‘Framing’ comments on the virtualization of our glance and the transformation of the Familiar that such a mediated experience creates.
‘Framing | afterthoughts’, by screening the videos created on that day, gives a hint on the reaction of each body to this experience and it witnesses what each glance has chosen to register on that moment.
You can find an example of the videos created on that day here
For more on the project see also ‘Framing in Shedhalle‘
Participants (in order of appearance): Color Youth, Fylo Sykis (the fig leaf), Astochia Thylikou (Female Failure), MLFF, Group of Lawyers for the Rights of Refugees and Migrants, Eleni Kolliopoulou, Antonis Vathis, Vassilis Noulas and Cine – Collective.
The rally has been an initiative of MLFF, a group that has created the infrastucture for the rally, and that has been responsible for the organisation and the online broadcasting of the event. The project has been partially subsidized by xminy, and it has been supported by the “Free, self-managed theatre Embros” (an occupied space for free cultural expression and social action).
Trans-languag-ing’ is a video-installation developed in relation to a research on dubbing during the AiR program of Shedhalle in Tübingen. It was presented in Shedhalle on the 22.06.2013.
Through the juxtaposition of different dubbed versions of the famous scene ‘You talking to me?’ of Robert de Niro in the movie of M. Scorsese ‘Taxi-driver’, the project investigates dubbing as a process of familiarization and of appropriation.
Yet, if we see how dubbing was used historically, hence as:
- a tool of censorship and of propaganda
- a process where disembodied voices inscribe meaning on muted bodies
- a process of silencing the ‘foreign’ and of disguising it as ‘familiar’
what is censored?
what is appropriated?
what exactly is left intact?
///// [More on Dubbing] /////
Dubbing is an attempt to hide the foreign nature of a film
by creating the illusion that actors are speaking the viewer’s language.
Dubbed movies become in a way, local productions.
[Martine Danan, Dubbing as an expression of Nationalism, 1991]
BREAK is a project that consists of a series of events:
I. a performance , II. a lecture-performance (forthcoming) and III. a performative/participatory event (forthcoming).
The first one was presented as part of the Artist in Residence program of the Shedhalle art space in Tübingen on 08.06.2013. The second and third part will be presented in the near future in other venues of the city.
And if one asked her, longing to pin down the moment with date and season, but what were you doing on the fifth of April 1868, or the second of November 1875, she would look vague and say that she could remember nothing. For all the dinners are cooked; the plates and cups washed; the children sent to school and gone out into the world. Nothing remains of it all. All has vanished. No biography or history has a word to say about it. And the novels, without meaning to, inevitably lie.
[Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own]
I. The project starts with re-enacting a moment of the everyday life of the artist’s grandmother. Being responsible for 7 grandchildren, her routine mainly included, among other things, cooking, serving the food and washing the dishes. The event refers to one of the moments when she disrupts this routine: when after cooking, serving the food, washing the dishes, she breaks them swearing in her mother tongue (which we-her grandchildren- could not understand).
II. Through a lecture performance, the artist discusses issues about:
- re-enactment (in a context of history and in a context of art),
- breaking of objects as an action common in a large range of cultures, knowing no borders of space and time.
- personal rituals
III. In this phase, the visitors are invited to re-enact the re-enactment that the artist has performed in the first phase. Each step of the ‘ritual’ created by this repetition, will be defined in space and also through instructions given.
The project “BREAK” has been generously supported by the Kulturamt of Tübingen.