2017-2020, Performance cycle of collective performance operas
In a time in which people continue to displace – forcibly or by choice –, the performance cycle HOME inquires into the concepts of home and the ideal force of a community and sites of belonging. At the same time, it questions the precarious umbrella of state systems and norms that ascribe conventional meanings to both the collective and places. The chapters are developed through intensive co-creation processes with collaborating artists, presented as final collective performance operas. During these processes of production, we migrate towards ourselves and one another.
Is the real home where we are heading? Is the real home where we are?
Is home/Heimat a site, my body, a memory, a feeling, a hearth… your hand? Is home to be taken for granted, or to be work for? How can we come from a country? How can a human being come from a concept?
Developed and presented on VestAndPage's 2017-2020 Europe tour as collective performance operas with stations in Reggello (I Left My Story Home); Thessaloniki (Aegis VI); Belgrade (After the Fear); Venice (Come Home); Sopot (Mother); Oostende (The Raft); Frankfurt (Capital); Carinthia (Non House | Yet | This House); Venice (Anam Cara); Formentera (O'Torre); Riga (All and None); Bad Rappenau (Here&Now).
The question of migration is most frequently tackled in the theatre of today. One such project underlying individual transformations instead of social change is the cycle of creative performances operas HOME by VestAndPage. (...) In the Artaudean, anti-Brechtian tradition, they highlight the idea of migrating towards each other and ourselves, investigating what home represents for each of them. The experience of each performance or chapter is shown only once, before a limited audience, without permission to record.
From: Where is Home?. Paper by Radmila Nastić, University of Kragujevac, IFTR World Congress
Theatre and Migration: Theatre, Nation and Identity: Between Migration and Stasis, Belgrade, 2018
In this dead place, after everything they have been through, they came alive.
And then, we came alive, after everything we have been through. They asked questions, and they were ready to go over and over what happened, recreating the whole thing, to feel the pain but this time of their own making. This dead place is where they came alive, after everything they have been through. And they were ready to die again.
Lena Todorovic, Audience After the Fear, KPGT, Belgrade, November 2017
I LEFT MY STORY HOME (HOME I)
Collective performance opera
Teatro Excelsior, Reggello, IT
In collaboration with Compagnia dell'Orsa
8 October 2017
I Left My Story Home developed from the invitation by Compagnia dell'Orsa to VestAndPage. For four days we worked together with the Company and seven young asylum seekers of the region. In a process of migrating towards each other and ourselves, we scanned what home represents for each of us. We told stories and memories and spoke of journeys of hope. We performed the ruptures and sense of belonging. We gave shape to the tales of those who belong to the Tuscan hills, those who travel in their dreams, those who step into independence, or those who risked their lives in search of a place of hope and a better future.
Artistic direction: VestAndPage (Verena Stenke & Andrea Pagnes)
With: Thomas Amisare, Ivan Bevilacqua, Gianni Calcinai, Cristiana di Rubba, Martina Ermini, Cecilia Ferretti, Filippo Ferretti, Simona Gonnelli, MD Hadaythullah, Ibrahim Karamoko, Mahamadou Konare, Boubacare Konate, Gianna Mancini, Matteo Meucci, Lucio Miglionico, Lorenza Minisci, Marina Morandi, Maria Novedrati, Silvia Pecorini, Francesca Piani, Farida Poggesi, Ilde Serinelli, Diarrasouba Soiilho, Martina Taras, Giovanni Tenucci, Veronica Vannucci, Simon Yeboah.
Light: Stefano Baldini
Realised as part of the project Echi di Contaminazioni, with the support of the Metropolitan City of Florence and the Municipality of Reggello. With gratitude to Comune di Reggello, Adele Bartolini (Assessore alla Cultura, alle Politiche Sociali e per l’Integrazione del Comune di Reggello), Gianni Calcinai and Centro Accoglienza Straordinario Villa Letizia, Tosi-Reggello/Cooperativa Servizi Toscani-Multicons.
Video and stills by VestAndPage. Photographs © Maria Grazia Lenzini.
AEGIS VI (HOME II)
Collective performance opera
SMCA State Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki, GR
5th Thessaloniki Performance Festival, curated by Eirini Papakonstantinou
21 October 2017
The last part of the AEGIS Cycle is also the second part of the HOME Cycle.
AEGIS VI (Home II) is an act to honour the ideal force of a community striving to identify its lieu d'appartenance. It refers to Hestia, the Goddess of Greek mythology of the right ordering of domesticity, family, home and the state. Hestia is the hearth, the centre for community and governments’ ritual and secular focus. She resides in every home as the keeper of the flame continuously kept ablaze, which – in the eyes of the artists – has the capability to warm as well as to destroy. The final collective performance opera, developed in collaboration with five Greek artists during a one-week residency at the SMCA, aims to reflect upon the collective in situ, as well as origin and distance.
By VestAndPage in collaboration with Tomas Diafas, Fenia Kotsopoulou, Josephine Makris, Ariadne Pediotaki and Maria Zourou
With the kind support of daz disley
Photographs © daz disley and Psari Visual
AFTER THE FEAR (HOME III)
Collective performance opera
Presented by G12HUB
KPGT, Belgrade, RS
17 November 2017
Be careful of the dark car! Don‘t play with him, he’s a communist! Stop playing with the light switch! Who am I? Who are you? Are you baptised? What is your religion? What is your nationality? What is your ethnicity? Can we talk about home? Can we talk about hope? Can we talk about beauty? Can we talk about memory? Can we talk about my father? Can we talk about white guilt? Can we talk about being stripped of our clothes our possessions naked to the bare bones? Can we talk about dictators? Let‘s talk about restrictions. Let‘s talk about not being able to move, freedom, prison. Let‘s talk about queer. Let's talk about fear.
By VestAndPage in collaboration with Shola Cole, Sara Kostić, Manuel Lopez Garcia, Marco Nektan, Ivana Ranisavljević, Katarina Ranković, Albert Smith, Alex Spyke and Vedran Vucić
Photographs by Mina Sarenac, Maya Reef, Neda Mojsilovic, Vladimir Opsenica and Blueness Photography
COME HOME (HOME IV)
Collective performance opera
16 December 2017
VENICE INTERNATIONAL PERFORMANCE ART WEEK "Co-Creation Live Factory - Prologue 1", curated and tutored by VestAndPage
I am the crack. I open up, so the water can pass. These stones are parts of the scars of the crevasses of the ancestral territory. I am nothing. I am who I am. I am everything. I am not 'we'. I am not speaking out anybody else's truth. I am a body that is by nature radical, digging to the roots. I am an entry point, as my story is your story, and I am many. I am not just one body. Cracks have opened so water flows. Life is a minefield where we go beyond the simple action to honour the issue. And what do we want to create from here? We are standing. We are never on solid ground. We continue. All we have to do is a simple act. And all of the knowledge that is in the space is what we are together. No one shall be afraid of their truth. Would you stand with me, and hold my hand?
By and with Sylvie Barbier, Stefan Biere, Madeleine Virginia Brown, James Thomas Bullimore, Bruno Camargo, Don Chow, Leman Sevda Darıcıoğlu, Erin Devine, Samira Engel, Julha Franz, Marisa Garreffa, Ria Jade Hartley, Paola Kodra, Marie Künne, Gerhard Liska, Nancy Gewolb Mayanz, Ashley-Louise McNaughton, Yuan Mor'O Ocampo, Daniela Francesca Lillo Olivares, Eva Pyrnokoki, Daiane Rafaela, Enok Ripley, Jewel A Rob, Sara Simeoni, Marcel Sparmann, Alex Spyke, Alex Talamo and VestAndPage
Photographs by Lorenza Cini
MOTHER (HOME V)
Collective performance opera
13 January 2018
6th International Bipolar Performers Meeting – Young&Yank, curated by Arti Grabowski
– I am glad to see all of you, but I must go now.
– Home is always there, you can't leave it. Be free to take the road again.
– I am still looking for a way that I can have my breath again. I'm trying to find our common breath.
– I don't even remember if it was me, or if it was someone else. The bottle with the message, crushing on the rocks.
– What are you looking at? The hole in the wall. What are you listening to? The ticking of the clock. Is it a clock? Tick, tack, tick, tack.
By VestAndPage in collaboration with Stanislaw Baldyga, Dominika Borkowska, Maria Nova and Joanna Pietrowicz
Photographs by Jerzy Bartkowski, Fotobank.pl/PGS and Franko B
CAPITAL (HOME VI)
OST>STERN, Frankfurt am Main, DE
27 May 2018
IV. Performance Day, curated by Franziska Eißner, Juan Xu and Dirk Baumanns
NON HOUSE | YET | THIS HOUSE (HOME VII)
9 October 2018
durch:formen, curated by Katrin Ackerl Konstantin, Erik Jan Rippmann und Niki Meixner
During our one-week artist-in-residence at the Domenig Steinhaus, we confronted ourselves through an ontological, semiotic and phenomenological approach with fragments of the architect Günther Domenig's life and state of mind. These are well-reflected in his biographical architecture and opus magnum Steinhaus, blurring continuously the boundary between the inside and the outside. While digging into the architect's personal and conceptual motivations, we came across influences such as the philosopher Jacques Derrida and Deconstructivism, as well as manifestations of traumas deeply anchored in Europe's recent history. In a "Poetics of Relations", we performatively examine memory strata, corners of temporality, windows of communication, and the fragility structure of the individual. A poetic, bodily and imaginary journey through the biographical and architectural expression of Domenig, who experiments with realities, sensations and perceptions, like a dream that drowns into transparent subtlety reflecting the depths of an eventful life that did not shy away from conflicts and complexity.
Photographs by Niki Meixner
ANAM CARA – DWELLING BODY (HOME VIII)
European Cultural Centre | Palazzo Mora, Venice, IT
15 December 2018
A collective performance opera
As the title Anam Cara suggests, the artists – soul friends – gather in the collective performance opera and unveil hidden intimacies of their lives. They perform to find and draw from a common origin, their bodies engaging in acts of recognition and belonging. Anam Cara cuts across the normative, morality, categories of thought. The soul is uncaged, free from constraint, to foster companionship. An absolute "I" is unthinkable, for the "I" is social. When more people share their sensory perception of reality and live it as a felt mutual experience, the mirror of Narcissus falls into pieces: individual selves become relational and call for the collective, having no more reason to determine their singularity. In a performance opera, visions are like threads that intersect with one another in an interweaving of lives and biographies, destinies and dreams, performed without a preconceived design. Both artists and the audience become part of an existential fabric, which consists of a performatic crossover of systems and patterns in an ever-changing reconfiguration of the notion of coexistence. Castling under the weft of ephemeral scenic compositions woven of existential paths and with a non-linear narrative, the artists are absorbed into one multifaceted Dwelling Body, where the form, the image, the language, the gaze and the understanding simultaneously harbour to find shelter. Anam Cara – Dwelling Body does not take place in a univocally descriptive or representative staged act. It follows a non-linear narrative structure, which develops through time-based interaction between the artists and the viewers, so as between people and cultures. Eventually, it is a founding aesthetic momentum where actual places, metaphorical places, invisible places and imaginary places are home of a perceptual itinerary, which the artists and those who will come to attend will shape in the now.
A collective performance opera by and with VestAndPage and Andrigo&Aliprandi in collaboration with Francesco Kiais, Giorgi de Santi, daz disley, Marisa Garreffa, Fenia Kotsopoulou, Pavlos Kountouriotis, Ash McNaughton, Enok Ripley, Sara Simeoni, Mauro Sambo, Matilde Sambo, Marcel Sparmann, Susanne Weins, Sabrina Bellenzier, Gülbeden Kulbay, and Giovanni Dantomio (We Exhibit).
+ Read more about ANAM CARA and its artists on the Venice International Performance Art Week website
Photographs © Lorenza Cini, Alexander Harbaugh, Guido Mencari, Yansu Wang, Mauro Sambo
O'TORRE (HOME IX)
Inhóspit - Festival of New Dramaturgy
8 May 2019
O'Torre (HOME IX) is inspired by the poem The Tower by W.B. Yeats and took place inside an old windmill of 1893. It is an invitation to inquire together with the audience into our narratives of memories of loss, transformation and change
In collaboration with Francesca Carol Rolla.
Photographs by Pilar Aldea and Miguel Costa
NO MORE IDOLS: ALL AND NONE (HOME X)
Tu jau zini Kur, Riga, LV
30 May 2019
VestAndPage's tenth part of the HOME Cycle, ALL AND NONE (HOME X), is at the same time a contemporary reading of Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra and the honouring of the life story of a young Malian refugee rescued adrift the Mediterranean Sea. The crisis of the reason and the actual state of the global crisis are considered decisive states that press for change. This is an invitation to remember ourselves to ourselves, to the other, and to listen to each others' narratives.
Realized as part of a simultaneous and collective performance opera by and with VestAndPage (Verena Stenke, Andrea Pagnes), La Pocha Nostra (Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Balitronica Gómez, Saúl García-López), Francesca Carol Rolla, Esther Baker-Tarpaga, Myk Henry, Amy Mauvan, Midori, Jesse Quaid, Paul Regan, Juan Carlos Villalba, Rebecca Weeks, Ian Whitford, and Adam A. Zduńczyk.
Photographs by Linda Kāposta and Lauris Aizupietis. Video by Diane Aishe.