Since the very first edition of the Berlin Performing Arts Festival, Introducing… has been a permanent part of the schedule of programming and is good for a surprise every year. At the end of the day, the newcomers always bring new topics and aesthetics, questions and criticisms with them to the independent performing arts community. This year, the interest was especially large: more than 200 artistic newcomers and collectives responded to the open call with the desire to present their perspectives to the audience and the performance venues and to enter into exchanges with them. Ultimately, taking part in the festival not only provides the participants with visibility, but also with the opportunity to receive advice about their work and to network.
In cooperation with the performance venues Ballhaus Ost, HAU Hebbel am Ufer, Sophiensæle and TD Berlin, four productions have been selected which will enrich this year’s edition of the festival.
In the ongoing series to build to bury to remember, Sarah Ama Duah concerns herself with the deconstruction of memorials and develops hybrid forms between sculpture and bodies. In doing so, she invites additional performers to reflect upon the fetishized status of historic monuments together by shaping their bodies into alternative, temporary monuments using latex. The audience members can position themselves freely within the space and ask themselves questions about the forms of sculptural appreciation: who do we want to dedicate this to and what are we actually dedicating? How do we deal with the empty space that remains when colonial monuments are torn down?
In we are all made of stars, we are challenged to take a new look at bodies. Freddie Wulf takes the audience on a journey through the body as a living landscape, an ecosystem that is constantly undergoing change. Using an endoscopic camera, the artist explores the textures of bodies, water and plants in close up in a bathtub until a cosmic landscape unfolds before our eyes. Inspired by philosophies of vital materialism, the performance deals with the topics of comfort, embodiment and self-perception from the perspective of a trans man.
With Kriegsrahmen, the collective what about: fuego restages 34 iconic photographs of wars and conflicts throughout the world without showing the originals. Each image corresponds to an event between the years 1989 and 2023 - from the year of the birth of the performer until today. The stage is transformed into a laboratory where the photographing of human suffering is questioned and deconstructed. How is war created within our heads and what does it do to us when we observe the suffering of others?
Salma Said and Miriam Coretta Schulte take a look at the past with an eye toward the future and ask questions that are just as large in behind your eyeballs: how can an archive be brought to life? Can it become a hole in time through which we can enter a new future? The audience is invited to travel through time and space when the two playfully explore, between video projections and car tires, the subversive video archive 858 of the Egyptian revolution of 2011 as well as the potential of choreographic techniques for remembering.
All of the participants in Introducing… question, using their respective individual aesthetics, the automatisms with which we classify the world, its circumstances and corporealities. We are very pleased to be able to share these extraordinary artistic newcomers with you during this year’s edition of PAF!