TRIBUTE TO THE UNDISCOVERED

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’

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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…