Live Art / Music / Lectures and Workshops
Down to Earth
“It all began with the idea of a dance movement that captured my attention, some ten years ago. I couldn't shake it off.” This is the opening sentence of Bruno Latour’s “Facing Gaia” and refers to the power of art to break out of thought patterns and create spaces of possibility. Several times a day, Down to Earth therefore presents performances and artistic practices that exist between the staged and the situational and make it possible to experience a different relationship to history, art, the body, the world or ecology.
Artists and musicians take turns with new interpretations of their works, which they present without microphone, speaker, spot, beamer, computer or screen, making their physical presence, mood and posture immediately tangible on site. A further component of the exhibition are the different formats of joint practice and reflection. Joulia Strauss, for example, invites us to enter her Avtonomi Akadimia, where international guests give philosophical lectures or introduce us to indigenous practices of healing and thinking, but also offer workshops in martial arts and meditation. The French director Frédérique Aït-Touati together with the experimental academy SPEAP and artists shares her experiences with various forms of Gaia theatre, which she has been developing for many years together with Latour. And every now and then you can enjoy a pleasant meal at “Down to Earth” – food prepared without electricity and offered outside at the green table on the south terrace at the back of the Gropius Bau.
Artists, philosophers, activists, musicians and theatremakers will fill the building and embark together on a three day journey. On Friday we will remember the progressive proposals advocated by the 1989 citizens’ movements including a draft constitution put forward at the time. On Saturday individual aspects of reform advocated in 1989 will come into contact with ideas and projects of today’s activists in a range of working parties ultimately coming together on Sunday as contributions to a transnational European constitution that will help in times of increasing populism and nationalism to carry visionary social ideas into the future.
The artistic works that will be on display in the “Palast der Republik” behave differently in relation to the discursive programme. Some prolong the echo of an unredeemed rebellion: they preserve the latency of an alternative course of history and the hope for a different world, which may remain unheard in daily political reality, and pour it into atmospheric, ephemeral spaces and images (Trajal Harrell, Alexander Giesche, Augusto Corrieri). Others repeat the horrors of the totalitarian regime of the GDR and banish them to images and rituals (Thomas Demand, Technosekte + Henrike Naumann) or shed light on parapolitical aspects of history and create their own public spheres – subcutaneous and subversive (Anna Zett, Bojana Kunst, Jeremy Wade, CHEAP). They offer themselves as resonating spaces and disturbances of what is said, sometimes quietly and sometimes loud. In the egalitarian juxtaposition of art and discourse, the idea of an interim use of the Palast der Republik also resonates, which in turn was based on the architectural concepts of a “University of the Street” by Cedric Price.