Traditional culture vs. multimedia art vs. dotación
I would like to write a report about the theatre performance in DOCK11 in Berlin, when I was there in May. Me and my friend were looking for some theatre performance, that we could see this night, when we were already in Berlin and we found exactly this. So it was more or less an accident that we went seeing exactly this play, but it was for sure a very interesting experience.
As a short introduction for this project I might to say: It was a performance, which apprized modern European world of the traditional culture of Columbia, showed differences between these two worlds and broke the stereotypes, which we have about South America. The performance was customized for circa 30 visitors with whom I actively worked. Actually I think, I´v never been at a performance, that was so much engaging interactivly with the audience. The audience was splitted into four little groups and every one of them visited another place in the theater, where they could learn some about Columbian traditions, rituals, or the natural rhythm of the life. Between these parts actors performed at the main stage. They expressed themselves through dance, speaches to audience, singing, acting, presenting rituals etc. I think, I can guess, that the main goal of the performance was to approach the traditional Columbian culture through intensive emotional experience, just like how for example Antonin Atraud´s Theatre of cruelty works.
Although I would like to use this report not just for presenting the theatre performance, but also as stimulating critique of the deeper problematic. Because at the start of the performance I was very excited to hear actors speaking their own language, during the performance burrow the seeds, walk with my bare foot on the earth, sitting in the straw. It really brought me something pure and real. But unfortunately I kept this feeling just for the start. After a moment I realized that this performance is trying to approach us the different culture indeed, but after all is using the modern technology to express itself. In the straw there was a hidden projector, upon the earth hanged big screen for subtitles etc. When I realize how much these medias were in contrast with the main topic of the performance, the pure emotions were gone. I was disappointed by the inability to express the topic through theatre forms, which is with language supporting the naturality, coming back to our roots. They tried to present their natural being but with technic, which creates quite funny paradox. After that I start to perceive all stuffs like dancing and touching the earth like just accidental, non-well-advised sharps of a cheap mask the show, which has to be with all technic quite expensive project. Than I asked myself, why they actually decided to create this project? I do not doubt about the artistic tendencies of the creators (which were maybe just not well done), but I realized how hard it had to be to get money for the international project to present your country on a different continent.
That brings me to another important question of the financing of artistic projects. I will let this question open, because I am afraid I´m unable to figure out the problematic of the “good and bad” art. But it scares me, how often artistic projects must adapt themselves into the topic, which are salable. For example when I am thinking about doing a new project, somehow I am pushed into the topic of adaptability, stereotypes, etc. Just because right now in Germany it´s easier to get money for the refugees topic. I do not want to detract this topic at all! It´s very important to speak about this problematic. But what really scares me, is this commerce, which influence free art, which should not be at first educational, but artistic pursuant to have the possibility to express yourself freely in art.