An ironic lament about the transfiguration of history, Eastern European national myths and the right-wing populism of the present day
When and why do people cry in public? Are they overwhelmed by honest feelings? Or are they crying for political reasons? Are we culturally programmed for emotion? Tears don’t lie”, my ass! In the performance “Mothers of Steel”, Agata Siniarska and Mădălina Dan weep over their memories of the mood of departure after the fall of communism in their home countries of Poland and Romania.
In iconic TV images such as the one about the shooting of Ceaușescus and keyword inscriptions, historically significant events, places and actors encounter the abysses of a historiography that is above all interested in constructing a stable national myth – from the Ottomans to communism to the European Union.
What do the two performers show here when they sob continuously for an hour: great feelings, slapstick or irony? Siniarska and Dan tell the story of Eastern Europe from the perspective of the victims with biting humour, just as the right-wing populists* in the current governments like to do. And thus pose the question as to the ulterior motive with which this story of the collective victim role is told.
Mădălina Dan completed her Master Solo/Dance/Authorship at the HZT Berlin in 2016. Before that she studied choreography and script/new drama in Bucharest. From 1998 to 2002 she was a member of the Romanian State Ballet Oleg Danovski, after which she was active in the contemporary dance scene in Romania.
Agata Siniarska studied at the HZT Berlin and works with various artistic formats such as performance, lecture performance and video. She is a founding member of female trouble, a collective dedicated to themes such as identity, feminism and love.
Mothers of Steel was presented at the showcase of this year’s Impulse Festival.