Academy of the Precarious #2 — Uncertain Encounters
On the links between methods and aesthetics in independent theatre
Led by: Sandra Umathum
What effects do certain methods of production and rehearsal processes have on aesthetics and forms of performance? And how do artists generate their material? In the independent theatre itself these questions are much thought about, however, there has been little research into them from an academic perspective.
Four four-day workshops will approach these issues. The principle of the “uncertain encounter” will serve as a case study because independent theatre artists often find their material in contexts, in places or with people that they approach partly through extensive processes of research. Here they regularly work as researchers, trainees, learners, travellers or ethnographers.
For this reason the academy also works with and in unaccustomed groupings: each workshop will be led by an artistic and a non-artistic representative working in tandem. Together with the participants these teams will devise and try out new forms of artistic working (together) continuing the increasing interconnection of art and non-art or practice and theory in exemplary fashion. How can both sides relate to each other in a meaningful way? How can they learn and benefit not only from their opposite number’s expertise but also from what they don’t know and are unable to do? And to what extent can this Academy itself become a model for a precarious link between art and non-art?
On 20th and 22nd June participants will also take shuttle buses to Mülheim an der Ruhr to attend the showcase programme at Ringlokschuppen. They will also spend an evening with one person from Cologne, the “Cologne godparents” who come from different areas of life and work and will show them and tell them about some of their Cologne: where they work, where they live, the routes they take every day, their favourite places and people.
Registration is compulsory.
More Information on the registration procedure and costs is to be found here.
Workshop #1: CONGO IN COLOGNE. CHINAFRICA.MOBILE
Led by: Daniel Kötter & Christian Chokola Muhigwa, mobile phone engineer
Language: German and English
Mineral mining in Central Africa. Working conditions in China and media development in West Africa end up as a mobile phone in our pocket. What has this got to do with theatre?
Together with the Congolese mobile phone engineer Christian Chokola Muhigwa and the film-maker and director Daniel Kötter the workshop participants develop performative and filmic strategies to generate augmented reality at specific locations in and around Cologne and examine how these can make the connections between global production and local usage tangible.
Daniel Kötter is a filmmaker and director of music theatre. His works combine techniques from structuralist experimental films with performative and documentary elements. His major works include ‘Ökonomien des Handelns 1-3: KREDIT, RECHT, LIEBE’ (Economies of Action, 1-3: CREDIT, RIGHTS, LOVE, with Hannes Seidl, 2013-16), the multi-channel trilogy ‘Arbeit und Freizeit’ (Work and Leisure Time, 2009-2011) and the series of films, performances and discussions ‘state-theatre’ (with Constanze Fischbeck, 2009-2014). From 2014 to18 he worked with Jochen Becker (metroZones) and others on the research, exhibition and film project ‘CHINAFRIKA. Under Construction’.
Christian Chokola Muhigwa was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo and studied Natural Sciences and Engineering in Burundi and Germany. He is a young businessman working on engineering designs and architectural concepts to help his community overcome anarchic urban planning step by step. He also encourages urban planners, architects, artists, engineers and technicians to make a greater effort to understand communities and further their development by making information available about computerized methods and the latest technologies.
Workshop #2: APPROPRIATION, AFFILIATION, AND OTHER A
Led by: Lina Majdalanie & Aljoscha Leder, public prosecutor
“Every name in history is I,” said Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900) — “and I is other” adds the Turkish queer artist Zişan (1894–1970).
Starting from photographs from family albums, from newspaper articles past and present, from loved or hated lines taken from literary or theoretical texts, this workshop with the Lebanese performance-maker Lina Majdalanie and a tracker uses various exercises to investigate the relationships between private and public spheres, biographies and history, identity and alterity, from here and there, reality and fiction, art works and documents between the familiar and the unknown, the vertical and the horizontal.
Lina Majdalanie was born in Beirut. She works as an actor, director and writer. She has written, directed and performed numerous plays including ‘Do I know you?’ (2017), ‘33rpm and a few seconds’ (2012), ‘Photo-Romance’ (2009) and ‘Biokhraphia’ (2002). She also works internationally as a curator and lecturer. Her work probes the possibilities and boundaries of the performable and searches for forms of a political language in an age of globalization and digital technology. She chose Lina Majdalanie as her pseudonym in April 2015.
Workshop #3: SENDINGS OFF AND OTHER GESTURES OF EXCLUSION
Led by: Hofmann&Lindholm & Yasmin Mahmoudi, lawyer
To what extent can art endanger the order secured by conventions and laws? And in reverse: how does that order interfere with artistic freedom?
The workshop examines grey areas between legality and illegality. Here the Cologne-based performance duo Hofmann&Lindholm enter public spaces together with a lawyer and all the participants in order to try out reliable and punishable (non-)actions using artistic strategies and to examine their consequences.
Hofmann&Lindholm studied Applied Theatre Studies in Gießen in the 1990s and have lived in Cologne since 1997. Their projects at the intersection of scenic, visual and sonic arts are distinguished by their engagement with social phenomena and by exploring new narrative strategies, visual languages and forms. Since 2000 their work has included creating scenic instruction manuals with varying teams of accomplices, interventions in public spaces and disruptions of familiar systems or living spaces.
Yasmin Mahmoudi is an art lawyer and a specialist in the legal protection of intellectual property. Criminal damage, theft, forgery, slander, blasphemy, pornography, glorification of violence... what is art allowed to do? Art law addresses the fine points of this area. The legal expert, who specializes in this field, acts as counsel to artists whose work crosses supposed boundaries and has published numerous articles on the subject in recent years. After studying law at the University of Cologne and completing a legal degree at the University of Lausanne, she moved to the University of Bonn where she graduated as a qualified lawyer in 2003. She has worked independently as a legal counsel since 2005.
Workshop #4: SHIFT ABILITY. PRACTICES OF LIMITATION AND EXTENSION
Led by: Doris Uhlich & Patrizia Kubanek, pro-inclusion activist, sexual consultant and performer (dorisdean)
What is regarded as a physical ability? And what is a disability? Which criteria and (pre-)judgements are linked to these descriptions? And what remains unseen because of them?
Together with the Austrian choreographer Doris Uhlich and pro-inclusion activist Raul Krauthausen the workshop participants will test the relationship between ability and non-ability in a series of research activities. They will restrict their senses or powers of movement, thus qualifying accustomed physical capacities, and discover what happens as a result: in relation to self-perception, a specific situation, the environment, but above all in relation to the demands of a different ability or a different way of thinking about not being able to do something.
Doris Uhlich studied Contemporary Dance Education at the Conservatoire in Vienna and has created her own projects since 2006. Her work focuses on an occupation with everyday gestures or, as in SPITZE (2008) and ‘Come Back’(2012), with artificial gestures such as the strict movement codes of classical ballet. Her performances frequently challenge idealised notions of beauty and physical norms ‘mehr als genug’ (2009), ‘more than naked’ (2013) and ‘Every Body Electric’ (2018)). For ‘Ravemachine’ (2016) she was awarded the Nestroy Special Prize for “inclusion on an equal basis” together with Michael Turinsky.
Testing Encounters — Endless Finale
Entry is free of charge. All festival visitors are welcome to join.
The last afternoon gathers together everyone’s experiences: in four Pecha Kucha lectures the two reporters — Adam Czirak and Lea Langenfelder — will describe their impressions of the individual workshops. Afterwards there will be an opportunity to discuss the respective causalities of production procedures and aesthetics and there will be cake! As well as the workshop participants, other guests are also most welcome: the Cologne godparents and interested members of the public.
Followed by shuttle bus to the Impulse Theater Festival’s city project at FFT Juta
Adam Czirak studied German, Theatre Studies and Comparative Literature in Budapest and Berlin. He is a research associate at the Berlin Institute of Theatre Studies. As a dramaturg he has been responsible for the performative installations of Naoko Tanaka. He recently co-curated the exhibition ‘Left Performance Histories’ (nGbK Berlin, 2018). His publications include ‘Partizipation der Blicke. Szenerien des Sehens und Gesehenwerdens in Theater und Performance’ (Participation by Looking. Scenarios of Seeing and Being Seen in Theatre and Performance, 2012).
Lea Langenfelder studied Theatre Studies and Art History in Berlin and is a freelance artist and writer. Since 2014 she has conceived productions, performances and installations. She has been part of the Mannheim-based collective Theater Performance Kunst Rampig since 2010 and has also collaborated since 2011 with the Hamburg-based artists’ collective HGich.T., her performance duo WARTE11 and the scenographer Sophie Lichtenberg.