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performing arts, visual arts, music
installation art, performance, video art,
Africa, America, Asia
In Transit
The Berlin Lab – Transforming the Arts
A Festival for the 21st Century
30.05.2002 20:00
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In Transit. The Berlin Lab – Transforming the Arts.
"Music-Workshops" with Benny Sokong
"He left quietly" by Duma Khumalo (Theatre/Documentation)
"Octopus" by Michel Groisman (Body Performance)
How do we want to live together with people from other cultures? How do we envisage our future? In a culture moulded by national identity or in a movement between the cultures that takes up the challenge of international changes? And what does it mean in practice: to face up to this challenge? IN TRANSIT is an experimental field for this practice. Curators from Asia, Africa and Latin America will be drafting new perspectives for the arts. With the Lab, the New Conversations, we will be opening a forum - in close co-operation with intellectuals and artists - reflecting the structures of transcultural practice and organising new ones. Transformation as a cultural, artistic and social resource for new blueprints for life.

The Lab – the Laboratory for New Art

The Lab is the core of IN TRANSIT, the new place for transformations. At the House of World Cultures, the Lab will be producing statements from the material of globalisation: material for visions, generated through an encounter of fifty artists with impressive biographies, and from different cultural backgrounds. Difference will become the driving force. The new develops from the new: Silat, a master of Indonesian martial arts, improvises with a contemporary choreographer from South Africa; a young concept artist from Europe enters into a dialogue with the Elder from an Indian tribe from the Amazon region.
The Leitmotifs are artistic work as political responsibility, ritual as a form of life and as a strategy for an urban redefinition. How does identity arise in a state of transcultural transformation? The Lab plays with the risk, names the conflicts, and sets out to provoke. It is a forum for artists, open to the public every day with productions, lectures, improvisations and discussions.

The Performances – from the Ritual to the Club

Ritual is an early form of the club. The club is urban ritual. They are both extreme forms of experience, of staging events, between which the arts develop. The ritual and the club are the central formats for IN TRANSIT.

The Productions – From the Ready Made to the New Conversations

IN TRANSIT is exploring new paths here too. The performers, musicians and video-artists invited to the Lab will be presenting their latest works: works from the past few months; works they have especially developed for IN TRANSIT, or – as work in process – are in the planning stage. What they are showing are radical positions related to new aesthetic languages, at the cultural fractures of the metropolises in Africa, Asia and Latin America: solos and productions by two to five performers, exemplary of the liberatory tendencies in the local art scenes. At the same time, IN TRANSIT is developing a new format for these rather conventional production forms: that of New Conversations. Artists from different continents will work together for several months in at least two phases, alternately adopting very different cultural contexts. The material for this co-operation is cultural difference.

The Awards – Special Commissions for Special Projects

IN TRANSIT 2002 and 2003 form a single ‘production unit’. An important link between the two will be the Awards: prizes presented to a number of artists or co-operation projects. These awards are linked to new productions and working processes that would not have come about without international support. The projects will be selected in 2002. The results will be presented in Berlin and - with our partners - throughout the world in 2003. The Awards will be presented by an international group of artists and events organisers at the end of IN TRANSIT 2002. They will accompany the projects over a period of one year and create artistic networks between the projects.

Ong Ken Sen

Ong Keng Sen is the curator of In Transit 2002 and 2003. The artist, who comes from Singapore, became well known in Germany with his spectacular production of King Lear at the Theater der Welt in 1999. In Asia, and on the international stage, he made a name for himself above all as the artistic director of TheatreWorks and through The Flying Circus Project. Ong Keng Sen is the first non-European artist living outside Europe to be the curator for a major performance festival in Europe.

Author: Haus der Kulturen der Welt

Contact: Johannes Odenthal

Link In Transit
The Berlin Lab – Transforming the Arts