Since summer 2021, Berlin artists have been conducting research on the grounds of the Humboldt Forum as part of Moving the Forum | Das Forum bewegen.
The fourth chapter, “Interacting”, is particularly concerned with the structures of the institution and aims to establish a dialogue between the institution and the world outside the Forum.
Starting on 2 May, five teams will begin their artistic researchon site for six weeks – together with 10-15 participants each.
The results of all five artistic explorations can be experienced in various performances on 11 June.
The artists Tamara Rettenmund, Akemi Nagao and Gabriel Galindez Cruz describe their project as follows:
“We „occupy“ the Humboldt Forum with a durational intervention celebrating a line up of ritual actions and movements where differences can converge.
The symbolic language of rituals can help us, through our single and collective body, to participate in a larger world, to heal and reinterpret this space beyond what we currently understand.”
THE FOLLOWING RESEARCH QUESTIONS ARE THE STARTING POINT FOR YOUR WORK
“How to achieve reconciliation with this controversial place that provokes resistance?
How to give voice and listen to the invisible entities and beings behind the museal pieces?
How do we build bridges that allow us to be multipliers of an empowerment-knitting movement among our own communities and beyond?”
The artists of Prusaki Corps have the following in mind:
“Out of the refuse a new creature emerges: a persistent multi-species muddle, a wormy pile, a teeming motley plague that dances a revolution. Prusaki corps is a collective identity referring to the group and to each of its members when engaging in prusaki corps activities.”
“We will work in the passage, which we perceive to be the digestive canal in the building that lets things in and out. What is useful and relevant is processed and incorporated and what is not useful or even harmful is excreted. We want to promote such a critical digestive process in the mind regarding ideas and “knowledge”. We will work with this same passage in our bodies and the mouth and anus at either end to generate movement and find expression for an undivided head-body entity. In our non-hierarchical laboratory we will develop a collective body resulting from the juxtaposition and alliance of divergence, mutation and revolt as opposed to assimilation and uniformity. Our intervention score will be based on co-determination and allow for every participant to initiate.”
“Post-humanistic bodies – how can the body be(come) an agent of rebellion?
How is epistemic violence present in western knowledge practices?
How can we use interruption and disruption as generative and creative tools?”
“The Prusaki are born out of the sewer system below the Humboldt Forum and the sewer grates are the portal through which they make their appearance in the overworld. The name Prusaki originates in the curious coincidence that the Polish language uses this same word to designate both cockroaches and Prussians. The Prusaki organize themselves in Corps and they go about their business like cockroaches and other plagues. They are artistic autodidacts and insufferable insubordinates. Their research over the seven seas and the seven heavens has led to the discovery that there is one great big hell that encompasses all: the big amount of bullsh*t dished out by the powerful to remain in power. They have worked, amongst others, with E-Coli-Broccoli Tanzcompanie, German Vermin Association, Bündnis Komposthaufen and in collaboration with individual artists such as MC Kack, Violetta Toiletta and Roy de Stroy. Their current activities include cataloguing the vast archive of objects that make up the world-wide acclaimed collection administered by Prusaki Kulturbesitz©.”
Ahmed Soura describes his project as follows:
“The mask, an object inhabited by spirits, a body but without souls. the mask is immortal and this is a true value of the identity of each people. This is the moment of freedom while having control of the memory of the body going over the limits to surprise the collective memory.”
“The mask, an object inhabited by spirits, a body but without souls. the mask is immortal and this is a true value of the identity of each people. A mask that loses its head loses its identity, hence the loss of the identity of peoples. Decolonization and the memory of living masks is a journey of identity on foreign bodies. There is the encounter with light, shadows and modernity.
It is also the moment to make room for others in your imagination, to give your hand (your body) without being in contact to create strong images in space, to give rebound to the gestures of others. A game of fear of total freedom will be present to create tension in the group and in the space.
No one will dance alone because there will always be group support. The speed in space will be present to express the urgency of positive changes. We end up with the calm of minds in the masks and shapes of body in space.”
“Which mask at Humbolt forum for which body?
What about confrontation mask, shadow of a human and the place of light in the space?
What for a spirit can we observe in a jerky movement, freez or unnature?””
The collective identity PRUSAKI CORPS will work in the passage of the Humboldt Forum, which they understand as the digestive tract of the building that lets things in and out. Similarly, the Prusaki will use the (digestive) passage in their bodies, or mouth and anus at both ends, to generate movement. In this way, the persistently parasitic species PRUSAKI CORPS sets a critical digestive process in motion that challenges patriarchal, imperial, and hegemonic power structures. What is harmful or even toxic is excreted. A movement and dancing rebellion that exposes the shortcomings of power by making fun of it! The work of the non-hierarchical rebellious plague will be presented in so-called “tentacular interruptions” in the passage.
Sebastian Blasius and Felix Dompreh describe their project as follows:
“Choreographic, installative and sound-related elements revolve around the relationship between (self-)representation and waste, between visibility and invisibility and refer back to the history of the Berlin City Palace, in which the motif of flooding is virulent several times.”
Nora Amin, Adham El-Said and Michiyasu Furutani describe their project like this:
“Inviting people to an open and direct communicational space for self liberation, retrieving togetherness, and collective cultivation of a new spirit of the space along the physical and vocal actions.”
INVITING PEOPLE TO A SAFER PLACE
“Amid the pandemic turmoil on top of the rise of cutting edge technology, our communication is taking distance and fragmented without our physical existence being in the same space- time. This unphysical communication with a flood of information is destabilising the credibility of reality more than ever. By the same token or more, in the context of establishing a new space that is a controversial subject, a certain tangibility will be needed in order to find a respectful communication for further dialogue. We have to have an open, equal, and direct dialogical space; in short, it might be said a safe place where we listen to each others voices. Then, where and what will be the nature of a safe space to communicate with others? How do we use the tangibility to invite people to the safe space? How do we listen to voices that are not loud? How do we blur the boundary between the invited people and host? How will we move together with all of the people?”
“Collecting is one of the current museum’s functions, along with preserving, organizing, researching, and exhibiting the artefacts. That methodology of the collection, coupled with various authorities such as politics, has had a particular influence on the collection itself even if time changes, and has given a specific character with the historical background. The colonial past is a typical example. Collecting is also strongly linked to economic activity because of the principle that collection yields profits. Looking back on the history of economic development, it is clear that the obsessive desire is related to power of collection. In the 21st century, greed and acquisition don’t know how to stop and starting to eat even our standing foundation, the earth. Collection now has a more visible shape as capitalism and intrudes not only into economic, cultural, and political issues but also upon our very environment. Climate change as an apparent phenomenon of human activity is an important and urgent issue pressuring to change the current system globally. How will we be aware of colonization and climate change through the concept of the collection employing our “collectible” bodies?”
“The ritual then can be a collective act of decolonising our knowledge, our rapports and our movement dynamics. It can re-visit our reference of collective movements, of machinery, of order, while transforming them into an authentic simple mode and pattern where the community participants are equal partners, and equal owners of the space. We can be aiming for a certain togetherness that will be released and nurtured via the physical and vocal actions of the ritual. This togetherness will hopefully leave its traces in the space and in the being of every person who contributed to the ritual. It could be a ritual of self liberation, retrieving togetherness and giving birth to a new spirit of the space. It could be a ritual of exorcism and of giving birth, a ritual of evacuating and bringing life…”
“Where and what will be the nature of the space to communicate with others?
How do we use the tangibility to invite people to space?
How do we listen to voices that are not loud?
How do we blur the boundary between the invited people and the host?
How will we move together with all of the people?
How will we be aware of climate change through the concept of the collection employing our “collectible” bodies?”