Our proposal for the Collective Futures Symposium is inspired by the work of a London based live art theatre company called A2 [www.a2company.org]. According to their manifesto, A2:
“…aims to explore new physical, visual and emotional language forms. Committed to providing creative participatory opportunities, A2 often engages people from different ages and backgrounds in both its process and performance work. We are concerned with contemporary existence and the deterioration of our dreams. Our work therefore aims to question. To question how our everyday personal and social choices influence the way we experience and value life. To question the very form and content of artistic expression itself, whilst searching for new emotional vocabularies.”
We intend to screen fragments from the projects The Future of Death (2005) and And it Went Everywhere (2010), in order to then discuss –at the presence of Anton Mirto from A2‐ some main ideas that run across A2’s work: societies fixed on short‐term results, the relationship between an individual and the city, the creation of alternative behavioural suggestions. The “instant” inhabitants of the city centres and communities in A2’s projects go beyond the academic theorisation into a visual, tactile stimulus that opens up to the collective spirit. The collective futures, or the future of the collective spirit, is touched upon in an optimistic tone in A2’s practice. Instead of re-acting against something as a unified group, one can also “play”, “act” and “experience” things as part of a larger group.
The collective, in this instance, can be traced in the relationship between the academia (where this event takes place) and a team of practitioners using a different set of canons in order to express themselves, as well as in the relationship between these practitioners and the individuals who are engaged in their workshops. As the “call for participants” is open to everyone, there are often differentiated critical reactions around the same subject (with death, for instance, as in The Future of Death) by a number of people who, however, act upon it collectively and in the same milieu. In the aforementioned performance installation (2005), forty people choreograph their own burial with earth in front of a live audience. The reactions towards the idea of death vary as much as the age and the individual life experiences of the participants.
Furthermore, A2 engage widely with notions of the public space and how one perceives it, while challenging our perception of the city, the architecture surrounding it and the way in which we navigate within it every day. In and it went everywhere (2010), local people are asked to wear black tights on their heads and attach themselves in specific locations for 10 minutes each time.
The “performance” here, isn’t a one-off ticketed event, but an experiment open to everyone: “We are concerned with contemporary existence and the deterioration of our dreams. Our work therefore aims to question. To question how our everyday personal and social choices influence the way we experience and value life”
Anton Mirto – A2
The future of death / part VI
Will next be created June 22nd & 23rd, 2011 with 40 local participants
At 23 Yaffo, downtown Jerusalem, Israel
and it went everywhere (2010)