2013 Revolution Won’t Be Performed

A cultural-artistic program of the European People’s Movement “Solidarity for Greece”

Premiered November 27th  2013 Kampnagel, Hamburg www.kampnagel.de
Artistic Director: Saša Asentić
Dramaturgy: Ana Vujanović
Artistic Collaboration: Alexandre Achour, Heike Bröckerhoff, Dragana Bulut, Olivera Kovačević Crnjanski, Nataša Damnjanović, Zeina Hanna, Milan Marković Matis, Marta Popivoda and Helen Schroder

Is art “a mirror to hold up to society or a hammer with which to shape it”? Even if once upon a time it was indeed a hammer, “history repeats itself, the first as tragedy, then as farce”. In the course of its repetitions it was once claimed that “revolution wouldn’t be televised”; then it was televised; and then we open the recurrent question: Can revolution be performed? Our concern is how to situate performance as art form and performance maker as artist in the continuum between “yes” and “no”. Nowadays one might really think: “If we cut the budget for art and culture, then what would we be fighting for?” Still, if “there were thousands of workers behind ‘The Builders of Bratsk’” and only dark sky behind the group Chto delat? (What is to be done?), we need to ask again: Who stands behind us

Revolution won’t be performed is a public event, which physically and conceptually takes place in the context of performing arts. The project started with research on the work of the communist choreographer—worker Jean (Hans) Weidt and his troupe Die Rote Tänzer and ended in a critical and ironic historical journey through the recent revolutions in European society, examining the role of dance and performance in those liminal moments. The revolution is understood here as a point of intersection between work (labor, production) and war (violent, often armed conflict), which we proclaim to be two prehistoric roots of dance as art. Questioning the possibility to perform a revolution, dance constantly plays around it, yet begins to stutter and steps back, out, down, or aside when it reaches its revolutionary peak.

Footnote: Maybe instead of looking for who stands behind us, we could look for whom we stand behind. A solution could be to put art in the service of revolution without abandoning its aesthetic and symbolic qualities. This would mean to step beyond the borders of the Artworld and to join a larger revolutionary social movement. Could the European People’s Movement “Solidarity for Greece”, with its 8.4 million adherents be exactly that which we are looking for?

REVOLUTION WON’T BE PERFORMED is funded by: Tanzfonds Erbe – an initiative of the German Federal Cultural Foundation. With the support of the Hamburg Cultural Foundation, Akademie Schloss Solitude and Solidarity for Greece.