“Northeast Southwest” is a transnational contemporary art project with exhibitions, performances and art projects that will be on view from 23 September to 6 November 2022 as a cooperation between the Kunsthaus Dresden and HELLERAU in the robotron canteen, in and around the Festspielhaus Hellerau and in the city space.
“Northeast Southwest” is dedicated to the oldest and at the same time still current orientation process of mankind, which is decisive for existences and life perspectives, in which one does not exist without the other: While the “old East” and the “new West” transfigure each other mythically or diabolically, depending on the perspective and distance from events, the concepts of the “global South” and the “global North” address lines of relationship and conflict in which a global colonial legacy lives on. “Northeast Southwest” takes up current conflicts with this global, political and cultural system of coordinates and asks how actors and groups can act within and beyond established coordinates and national structures?
From 23 September to 6 November 2022, “Nordost Südwest” will address this question with contemporary artistic positions from the visual and performing arts. The project is a curatorial collaboration between Kunsthaus Dresden – Municipal Gallery for Contemporary Art, HELLERAU – European Centre for the Arts, the Beirut Art Center, the KRAK Center for Contemporary Culture in Bihać, the Performing Arts Institute in Warsaw and other partners in Beirut and the independent scene in Dresden. What Beirut, Bihać, Warsaw and Dresden have in common is the confrontation with the past and present of war and violence, with social and political tensions and migration as a formative experience.
In HELLERAU, in the robotron canteen and in the public urban space, works by international artists selected by the curatorial partners from Beirut, Bihać and Warsaw can be seen. In addition, four other exhibition venues of the independent art scene in Dresden will show selected works from the Hoffmann Collection donation. In this way, the curatorial approaches and artistic approaches create a visible network of exchange and joint action between the different places, institutions and arts.
Within the framework of “Nordost Südwest”, HELLERAU will devote itself to the performative aspects of this exhibition project from 30 September to 1 October 2022. The motif of listening and the power relations between centre and periphery form the starting point of four artistic positions proposed by the Polish curatorial duo Marta Keil and Grzegorz Reske.
Politics of listening
Marta Keil and Grzegorz Reske (ResKeil), Performing Arts Institute, Warszawa, Curator:inside (translated from English)
What is the shape of the sound coming from peripheries of our attention? The centre is usually well audible, as it situates itself at the core of listeners’ focus, no matter if they like it or not. It speaks loudly, often flattening the sound with its own, dominating tone. The landscape of what we hear results from the way we distribute our attention. And that is a political decision, obviously. But the conditions of that very decision is shaped by the context within which we learn to listen. The melody of the voice of our neighbour, the sound of the streets, the flow of the rivers, the way a friend shuts the door, the moment of the year when the birds and their morning conversations are back, the order of raising voices at the family dinner.
Listening can be a demanding task. It requires a genuine curiosity of what we do not know yet and what we might not be sure how to handle. Attuning to the rhythm of the one we listen to means giving them as much space as they need – and sometimes giving up our own. It is thus an exercise of redistributing our own resources: attention, time, patience, curiosity. What do we need to practice listening? How to acknowledge the registers that are situated beyond our listening capacity and how to learn to hear what remains inaudible? How much time do we need to attune to unknown voices? How do you accommodate uneasiness that they might bring?
We are both part of the Performing Arts Institute, the collective initiative based in Warsaw, Poland, the post-communist country that since 1989 has been doing its best to follow the West with all its might. At the moment our perspective is shaken a bit though, as the two of us have recently relocated to the Netherlands. Uprooted from the soil that was nourishing and shaping our practice, we are still learning how to root in a new context. We somehow need to learn to listen anew.
The North East South West project is a multilayered conversation of voices coming from the regions situated at the peripheries or semi-peripheries of the Western, centralised perspective. The performative program created for Hellerau gathers artists coming from Poland and Argentina and based in various European countries (Germany, the Netherlands and Poland). They problematise the power relations between the centre and the peripheries not only in geopolitical terms, but also on the level of social and more-than-human relations. Wojtek Ziemilski challenges the theatre discourse, structure and tools, asking who do they actually belong to; Zorka Wollny creates a powerful soundscape of feminist voices taking over the public spaces, Iwona Nowacka and Janek Turkowski listen carefully to the unheard histories, creating conditions for conversations that are unlikely to happen otherwise and Nahuel Cano invites us for a journey of learning how to listen to the voices of the river, to its past and future currents and to the human and other-than-human inhabitants of its territory.
Projects in HELLERAU
Based on a personal family history, Polish director and visual artist Wojtek Ziemilski addresses the theme of legacy and inheritance in his latest stage play. With Anna Dzieduszycka, a distant cousin, renowned actress and protagonist of the play, Ziemilski seeks to talk about the common past and the fact of inheritance, of material objects, physical features and cultural values. “Ode to Joy”, which premiered in April 2022 at STUDIO teatrgaleria in Warsaw, is a play about what connects us familiarly and humanly, what we inherit, what we free ourselves from and what always remains part of us. In this way Ziemilski also questions the discourse of theatre, its structures and the tools of theatre and who they actually belong to.
Iwona Nowacka & Janek Turkowski
The Polish translator, author and curator Iwona Nowacka and the Polish director Janek Turkowski have been working together continuously since 2013, especially on long-term film projects. They are mostly location-based and their development is based on encounters with residents, archival documents and persistent cinematic explorations. The stories to be told emerge from the material found, the various fragments of which are assembled into a video storytelling performance. As a starting point for their work at HELLERAU, the two artists will explore the agricultural aspects of the immediate surroundings of the Festspielhaus and investigate what post-Soviet traces can be found in the soil.
In “Ways to Listen to a River: Movement 1”, Argentinian actor and performer Nahuel Cano explores the surroundings of HELLERAU. As part of his extensive research into mapping soundscapes, he follows the voices of the water. The resulting sonic map, which can extend far beyond the immediate banks of the rivers, seeks to capture not only the historical, political and ecological, but also the inner, personal voices of the inhabitants – human and non-human life. These stories, together with the filmic contributions of the Argentinean director Juan Fernández Gebauer, finally condense into a spectral narrative, an experimental concert that invites us to listen to those ghostly voices of the water and at the same time to find ways of dealing with what these waters have to tell us about their past and present and the future.
The works of Polish artist Zorka Wollny straddle the border between theatre and visual art and are closely connected to the history and architecture of the respective places. Through the use of classical instruments, everyday objects and singing, the artist creates immersive soundscapes of harmonic sound and site-specific noises. With “Imperfect Choir”, Wollny will develop a choral work on Dresden together with protagonists at HELLERAU.
30.09. – 01.10.2022
North East South West
A project in curatorial collaboration of Kunsthaus Dresden with HELLERAU – European Centre for the Arts, Beirut Art Center, KRAK Center for Contemporary Culture in Bihać and Performing Arts Institute in Warsaw.
With Rana Haddad & Pascal Hachem (200 Grs. ), Frenzy Höh-ne, Adela Jušić, Irma Markulin, Svea Duwe & Bettina Lehmann & Roswitha Maul, Omar Mismar, Šejla Kamerić, Darija Radaković, Artist Collective SCHAUM, Antje Seeger, Aida Šehović, Petra Serhal, Caroline Tabet, Janek Turkowski and Iwona Nowacka, Nahuel Cano, Zorka Wollny, Wojtek Ziemilski as well as works from the Hoffmann Collection donation by Félix González-Torres, Tony Oursler and A K Dolven.
Supported by the German Federal Cultural Foundation, the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, the Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations, the Cultural Foundation of the Free State of Saxony and the Ostdeutsche Sparkassenstiftung together with the Ostsächsische Sparkasse Dresden.
For 2,00€, refugees from Ukraine will be admitted to our performances upon presentation of appropriate proof.
Біженці з України можуть потрапити на наші вистави за €2,00 за наявності відповідних документів.
The Alliance of International Production Houses condemns in the strongest possible terms the invasion and start of war by Russian troops in Ukraine and the related blatant violation of international law. We are shocked by the extent of the violation of human rights, the violence against the Ukrainian population and the extraordinary threat to peace in Europe.
We declare our solidarity with all peace-loving people and we stand up for the protection of democratic, open societies. As internationally working production houses, we use our contacts and networks to give a voice to and stand by threatened artists and colleagues with our means and work programmes.
Альянс міжнародних виробників рішуче засуджує початок війни і вторгнення російських військ в Україну та пов’язане з цим різке порушення міжнародного права. Ми шоковані рівнем порушень прав людини, насильством проти українського населення та надзвичайною загрозою миру в Європі.
Ми заявляємо про нашу солідарність з усіма миролюбними людьми і стаємо на захист демократичних, відкритих суспільств. Як міжнародні виробникі, ми використовуємо наші контакти та мережі, щоб надати голос митцям і колегам, яким загрожує небезпека, і підтримати їх у наших можливостях та робочих програмах.