Friday, May 27, 2016

Faki Day 3: Nazism and the Circus, Clinginess, Death in Bengal

It's early afternoon on Day 4, and there's a peaceful air over the factory Medika, as though we have been here forever. People mill about cleaning, cooking, talking, and rehearsing with a distinct sense of eternity.

Medika used to have a wifi password "OVO NI JECUCANJ" which I'm told in Croatian means This is not a squat. The reality is that it kind of is... a squat, but without much of the angst which can happen from communal living (at least during festival time). Staying here for Faki, I keep thinking about how the festival provides all the things which arts festivals (even quite prestigious or well-funded ones) promise but don't deliver: food, a roof over your head, people who care about you. Some kind of sense that something might happen other than networking and CV-building. In short: it's provision of the bare necessities allows actual risk - by which I mean, it opens a space for possibilities, and not just execution of a pre-organised marketing strategy.

Day 3's performances were a distinct change of pace - with just 4 new works on the program. Lab on Stage's Klette or the Desire for Surrealistic Clinging kicks things off, followed by Roxana Küwen's beautifully-realised performance lecture about fascism and circus in Nazi Germany, and ending with Kolkata-based Syed Taufik Riaz's work From Dust We Come and to Dust We Go. Punctuating the performances was Sura Hertzberg's Straight Jacket, the only casualty for today, as I was but a brief voyeur on her experiment, which was essentially a recreation of an asylum in the halls of Medika's fluorescent graffiti-stained walls,and barred windows. (Yes, it was spooky).

Klette or the Desire for Surrealistic Clinging

I'm not afraid to say that I was eluded by the work done in this dance, performed by Austria-based Lab on Stage. Ostensibly about the flux between subject and object, and their level of 'stickiness', the dance revolves around two performers with Velcro on their bodies, with which they stick or un-stick each other in a manner reminiscent of the titular klette (German: a type of nettle). A nominated 'third actor'  - a humanoid cardboard 'L'-shaped object, stands in for an array of diverse furniture. The two performers move through various states of negotiation, stuck together for the beginning and subsequently removing themselves, achieving a possible freedom, before rebuilding a different relationship again.