Media Machine was part of the 6th Moscow Biennale’s main project. During 10 days of the biennale bloggers, photographers and cameramen were working on documentation.
Taus Makhacheva combines a dedication to our shared past with the precariousness of today. She researched acrobat traditions and asks an acrobat group to make every night a human pyramid, a small human mountain. Not only that, she also asks them to activate at the same moment the masterpieces of the museum of Makhacheva, capital of her native Dagestan. This performance takes place at exactly the same time in Kyiv, the brother city of Moscow.
Studio for New Music Ensemble
Studio for New Music Ensemble observed, composed and performed a daily diary of the goings on at Moscow Biennale 2015. A composer spends a day on site and will perform a musical arrangement, an improvisation or piece at the ending moment in the evening of the biennial. The performance happens every day except the first.
Hanne Lippard’s full-time presence in Moscow acted out in small single performances, accidental encounters with visitors and spontaneous readings under the motto of “Blackout”. For this, Lippard found her material on site in the course of the biennial through interaction with the participants. Her involvement also included unannounced alterations of the space for which she is provided with a “carte blanche”.
Gabriel Lester’s daily performance activated the right wing of the Central Pavilion of VDNKh in the early evening hours. The string quartet players were hidden behind a wall, and only their hands and instruments were visible for the viewers.
During the ten days of the Moscow Biennale, Andrey Kuzkin realized a long-period performance every second day. Each visitor became an integral part of the project, conducting an action themselves, becoming witnesses in their personal manner, yet connected by Kuzkin’s conceptual framework.
The backdrop for u/n multitude’s involvement in the Moscow Biennale is the concept of the cultural palace (дворец культуры.) In order to provide a place where workers of socialist regimes could become culturally and creatively active, the buildings also fulfilled the purpose of symbolizing state power. The chance to become an amateur artist is what u/n multitude offers to employees of VDNKh with the goal of founding an artistic collective to perform at Pavilion Nr.1.
Vaast Colson performed a short performance on every day of the biennale, preceding the keynote speeches, aiming to go back to a sense of connection with life.
Donna Kukama’s performance for the Moscow Biennale will only be acted out once during the ten days. Her impact on the sociopolitical settings of the biennale could unfold as a poetic gesture, an addition of oddness to the situation or a disruption.
“Inventing Ritual” is a 30-40 minutes performance created by more than 20 artists. “Inventing Ritual” constitutes an innovative method of “diffusion” for Chinese contemporary culture and art. Artists will proceed to a ritual practice by itinerating art and creations throughout the world, promoting Chinese culture, and enhancing the understanding of the West about Chinese contemporary culture. “Inventing Ritual” transmits the excellence of Chinese traditional culture, combined with Chinese contemporary inventive spirit. The notion of “Made in China” becomes “Created in China”: a new image of China’s contemporary culture is built, revealing its strength and freshness.
Rana Hamadeh’s performance “Can You Pull In An Actor With A Fishhook Or Tie Down His Tongue With A Rope?” is an eight-channel sound play that departs from a claim that regards justice as the extent to which one has access to the dramatic means of representation — the measure to which one can access theatre. The performance takes the Shi’ite ceremony of Ashura, alongside the political, military and legal actualisations of this ritual within the Lebanese and Syrian contexts, as a field for commentary and research. Ashura is a theatrical religious ceremony that re-stages the battle of Karbala during which Imam Al Hussein (626–80 AD), the grandson of Prophet Mohammad and an allegorical reference to the figure of the oppressed, was killed. Through a series of rites and orations over the course of ten days each year, Ashura mourners recount the battle’s events, weep and inflict wounds onto their bodies. Fluctuating between the theatrical and the actual witnessing of the crime, Ashura mourners constitute themselves as testimonial subjects while embodying the roles of the oppressor and the oppressed at once. Treating Ashura as a dramaturgical framework that underlies the entire politics of oppression in Lebanon and Syria, Hamadeh’s performance decodes, reorders and re-choreographs the ceremony’s theatrical components, proposing with that a possible language through which the history of the region’s violence can be re-read. The work considers whether it is possible to script Justice — to rehearse, narrate, weep, chant, choreograph, or even spectate justice.
Honoré δ’O focusses on one of the ten biblical commandments every day. The commandment of the day is voiced at intervals; in Russian on the full hour, in English on the half hour, in Chinese or Hebrew/Flemish/Hindi on the quarter hours. Honoré composes 10 delineations on the Ten Commandments. Everyday a specific reflection on the commandment of the day will be performed. Honoré will edit the consecutive abidances into one screening The Ten Commandments: How To Gather.
Besides Honoré offers a sign: a barrier. The barrier as symbol of human rule and regulation, but being placed on the height where it can also articulate our relation to upper strata.