Our common futures - Zitate aus einem Forschungsatelier

Am 10. und 11. Juni 2016 fand im Rahmen des Festivals Theaterformen das Forschungsatelier "Our Common Futures" statt, in dem des um die Rolle der Darstellenden Künste in den Transformationsprozessen im ostasiatischen Raum ging: Die Metropolen Ostasiens befinden sich seit Jahrzehnten in einem rasanten Wandel, die darstellenden Künste mittendrin. Theatermacher sind im besten Falle Seismografen mit einem besonderen Gespür für verschiedene Strömungen in der Gesellschaft, Watch Dogs und Change Agents: Künstlerische Interventionen positionieren sich auch zu Stadtentwicklung und Globalisierungsprozessen und loten ideelle und materielle Freiräume aus. Auch das Verhältnis zum Publikum bleibt davon nicht unberührt. Wie wirken die Mega-Cities auf das künstlerische Schaffen? Wie reagieren die Künstler inhaltlich und ästhetisch?

 

Our common Quote I

Director Kyung Sung Lee from Seoul opened the first panel of Saturday’s research atelier Our Common Futures. How can the artist’s work be understood as an intervention into society? His answer is simple, yet hopeful, indeed:

“We judge each other so quickly by one’s political opinion and we hate each other so quickly, so I wanted to kind of try to delay this process of judging each other by creating this space for conversations.”

In today’s difficult times Kyung Sung Lee offers another inspiring image and idea, when he says that in the space of a theater “we can still face each other”. Yes, there are conflicts and there are different opinions and political views and there is a lot of judgment in the first place, but what it really needs is communication and a dialogue instead.

Creating a space for those conversations through performing arts is the kind of intervention that makes me wanting to be a part of the arts and of our common future – “being apart, but together”.

 

Our common Quote II

During the debate on „Political Reflections – Aesthetic Challenges. Artistic Strategies for the Performing Arts“ in the course of the research atelier Our Common Futures Tadashi Uchino explains that besides the traditional forms, all other genres of theater in Japan haven’t been accepted as an ‘official’ part of Japanese culture for a long time.
Accordingly the motivation to become an actor has been different from the motivation of German actors. Tadashi Uchino said:

“The reason why people want to become an artist is rather private. So if you want to do theater, that means you have a kind of very personal reason to do so. As there is no professional school for acting – you can be an actor the next day […] the theater usually is a very direct and sometimes very unconscious reflection of experiences.”
 
 

Our common Quote III

In the second panel, “History, Memory, Participation. Audience Engagement and Arts Education” of the research atelier Our Common Futures director Mark Teh gave an introduction into his work as an artist and activist in Malaysia.
Following his principle of “art is not enough” he and his colleagues from the Five Arts Centre in Kuala Lumpur are working on interdisciplinary projects combining theater with education, activism and politics.
Preluding his presentation he described a powerful analogy which provoked me to look at performing arts from a new perspective:

“You can compare performing arts or arts in general to multi-point plugs: they are everywhere, they are all over in this room, too. […] And they are cheap, kind of disposable, but absolutely necessary because they allow and connect different appliances, technologies, applications, devices, gadgets. You plug in and get charged up, and you leave afterwards. These things are dispersing our electricity… This festival is actually functioning like this as well.”