GPS | AZERBAIJAN | Puppets from around the world raise hopes for the future in Baku

GPS | AZERBAIJAN | Puppets from around the world raise hopes for the future in Baku

Why was the opening ceremony of the second international puppet theater festival in Azerbaijan so damn solemn an occasion? Probably because the organizers have put so much hope in it. In November 2011, when the first international theater festival opened in Baku, the Azerbaijan State Puppet Theater turned 80 years old. It is a venerable institution. It was the first time such a large-scale international festival was organized in the history of Azerbaijani theater. Continue reading

BUT IS IT PERFORMANCE DESIGN? |  Tino Sehgal’s “This situation” dreamily implicates the art experience, and quite likely elite academia itself

BUT IS IT PERFORMANCE DESIGN? | Tino Sehgal’s “This situation” dreamily implicates the art experience, and quite likely elite academia itself

“The situation” is purely experiential, engaging viewers immediately in real time and space to implore a questioning of the art experience, and experience itself. If “This situation” is not a work of performance design, I don’t know what is. It is not surprising to learn that Sehgal is a trained choreographer; he composes what is then physically interpreted by non-actors, actors and dancers, and in the case of “This Situation,” intellectuals. Continue reading

CULTURE KLATCH | Trans Europe Halles grapples with art for social change in Europe and the Arab world

CULTURE KLATCH | Trans Europe Halles grapples with art for social change in Europe and the Arab world

Twenty-five artists and cultural operators from Egypt, Jordan, Iran, Palestine, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia and Turkey will be guests at Trans Europe Halles Meeting 76. They will offer inspiration and examples of how they work in independent culture under harsh conditions and to share their stories of how culture actions can lead to social change and a more open society. Continue reading

FESTIVAL WATCH | Performance actions teem in Bulgaria’s festival for independent theater

FESTIVAL WATCH | Performance actions teem in Bulgaria’s festival for independent theater

Of particular interest would the November 9, Open Space Forum, which organizers say “will explore several key factors in the development of contemporary culture that we consider important. They are: the development of international partnerships, the establishment of independent art spaces, as well as the development of new audiences and international mobility of artists and creative products.” Continue reading

IN EXHIBITION | “Fluxus as architecture” argues for the structural coherence of George Maciunas’s universal language

IN EXHIBITION | “Fluxus as architecture” argues for the structural coherence of George Maciunas’s universal language

It’s a prefab vision, but the exhibition seems to be arguing for a Fluxcity vision. that allows a single module to form into clusters, communities and hives. The concept leans on Maciunas’s prefab design for Fluxhouse, which was completed in 1965. An architect, George Maciunas, educated in architecture at Cooper Union and Carnegie Institute of Technology, held several prestigious professional positions in firms including Skidmore, Owing and Merrill, Olin Mathieson Chemical Corporation and Knoll Associates. For sure, Fluxcity is not a fancy idea. Continue reading

REPORT FROM THE FAR FAR SOUTH | Samuel Buggeln on La Zaranda’s not-so-poor-theater sojourn at Argentina’s Teatro Cervantes

REPORT FROM THE FAR FAR SOUTH | Samuel Buggeln on La Zaranda’s not-so-poor-theater sojourn at Argentina’s Teatro Cervantes

Reporting from Buenos Aires, Samuel Buggeln, a New York theatre director and designer, is presently is researching the Argentinian theatre world. He has been blogging about his experiences there and posting them at 25weeksbsas.blogspot.com.ar. He took in a Spanish troupe performing in a lavish Argentinian theater. These are his impressions. Continue reading

IN EXHIBITION | Photographic landscapes of sexual intimacy raise “Wonderlust’s” temperature

IN EXHIBITION | Photographic landscapes of sexual intimacy raise “Wonderlust’s” temperature

In “Wonderlust,” Canadian artist Sarah Anne Johnson’s work pushes the boundaries of photography by incorporating burning, scratching, gouging and glitter into her practice. These effects, she believes, “make visible the elation, beauty and self-consciousness of sex.” She photographed her subjects in their homes and then worked with the resulting prints in her studio Continue reading