Makiko Watanabe, the curator of TOKYO FUTURE SHORTS, invited us to be part of her festival. We happily accepted.
The Tokyo team:
Concept, Direction, Stage and Performance: Georg Bütow;
Production: Mathias Otto Werner Berndt with Idur Drake, Karl Nord and Bosco Taylor
Performers: Óscar Silva, Mathias Berndt, Isabella Bruno; Musicians: Grace Lambert (flutes) and Francis Botu (guitar and arrangements), Isa Bruno (vocals); sound technician: Erik Lintunen; live and recording cameras: Xueyang Ni, Stefan Varbanov. Dino Dassler, Charlie Morris. Costumes by Veronica Toppino.
As the performance was going live at the white lab of CSMs PDP section, audience could enter the scenario or watch a live stream to the Platform Theatre. Nana Maiolini decided to have the stream done by two mobile phones sending via Skype- to give a rough, harsh spooky image. DOPs of the evening were Chensey Gueng and Federico “De” Manachino, the live editing was executed by Nana Maiolini and Zeeshan Azad. Audience could walk back and forth between live show and video stream. The performing team of the night: Martina Conti, Isabella Bruno, Oscar Silva, Mathias Berndt, Georg Bütow, Francis Botu, Erik Lintu. Special thanks to Steve Keays and the tech staff of the Platform Theatre, Michael Breaker and Mike Spencer for support.
Veronica toppino is at work in torino, it. God are we international.
Last rehearsal week was going grand: Blood recipe and splatter tryouts with “Drifty” Driftmier, Francis Botu and Isabella Bruno working on Puccini excerpts, advancing impressively fast. Duet dancing by Martina Conti and Mathias Berndt also went fantastic, plus we had a bit of group dancing rehearsals.
Installation/ Performance/ Dance/ Sound Piece
The performance starts with a speech by the Mexican shaman Pavel Carballido. A masked, clay- surfaced performer is pretending to hold the speech that runs as an over voice. He controls a sound effect on the running voice with a device attached to his wrist, while the sound engineer is defining the nature of the effect. The speech paints a beautiful picture of tomorrows mankind, in which „everyone will see himself in the other and humans live in harmony“. It continues with a choir of four dancers in lyrical movement patterns that could be „the gymnastics of the new thought“. Beautiful music is played alongside, Rachmaninoff, Puccini, Wagner.The choir is painted in complementary colors- per example, black, white, yellow, blue. At a point, the situation tips and the medicine man returns to the space and hails the new god: The god of money. He shoots the choir. Red color is shed, a lot of it. The stage transforms to a temple for a cult without redemption: Capitalism. The cult offers no redemption, on the contrary, it aims to make guilt universal. Pagan/ occult ornaments are painted to the walls with the red color, the beast- turned medicine man builds a throne of dead bodies to sit upon. He eviscerates the dead humans, takes money out of them. Excerpts Benjamin’s short essay „Capitalism as Religion“, prerecorded, is played. The fat beast is digesting money, slashing bodies sits on his blood throne with a salvator mundi gesture, staring at the audience with a„Youŕenext“-attitude.Themusichaschangedtoelectronicwithan evil feel and deep bass during the killing. The beast now invites the audience to sell the person next to him for the cash money offered. In the case of participation, the person would be splashed with red color and piled up on the throne. The audience is asked to sell its soul for cash money, which is literally given to a person signing contract that says so. It is now planned to separate the elements of dance, over voice speech, music, and actions from each other and mix them, interlace, juxtapose them. The piece becomes a live set of the performers, audience and sound designer. The choir as the hope of mankind for a better tomorrow steadily dies and resurrects. The duration is an open outcome experiment, but it can be planned (between 30 and 70
minutes). Walls (if necessary) and floors shall be covered with plastic in case the piece is shown indoors.
CULT is the prequel to the project „The New Society“ by Óscar Silva, Georg Bütow, Pedro Barreiro, Evi Kalogiropoulou and Silvana Ivaldi, a mixture of artists from Fine Arts, Performance, Theatre and Film performed across Europe.
CULT is the start: acknowledgement of the zero hour of now and a first proposal. An apocalypse, and then? Through breaking its own dramaturgy and structure, the piece makes a proposal: The mankind as one body, our lost paradise, can not only be past- it can also be the future.
Nature, the grace of god eye in eye with the occult god of money, freedom versus slavery, life versus death. The battle ́s outcome is to be decided during the performance.
Walter Benjamin: Kapitalismus als Religion, 1921, Essay
Friedrich Nietzsche: Richard Wagner in Bayreuth, 1909, Published in: Untimely Meditations Wassily Kandinsky: Über das Geistige in der Kunst, 1911, VI: Formen- und Farbensprache Richard Gunn: UTOPIAN AND APOCALYPTIC THOUGHT, Heathwood Institute and Press, 2015 Andrew Robinson: Walter Benjamin- Messianism and Revolution, Heathwood 2015)