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TREGUA will be a traveling circus of Europe, devised as an attempt to consolidate and/or juxtapose contemporary definitions of democracy and national & European identity through art-making, performance and collective action.

Tregua, which means truce in Spanish, will be both a spectacle of Europe and a place of inquiry, action and self-learning. Through deconstructing the narratives of European national identities, Tregua will take a shot in challenging binaries (polarisation), empowerment and repairing communities. Can we facilitate a framework of co-existence within dissensus? Can it be performed?

TREGUA will be self-organised, functioning on collaboration and exchange. Each participant will be asked to propose a talent and an event. Tregua will tour from one participant’s event to the next, putting on spectacles showcasing all the talents from the group. Once TREGUA is formed, the project will involve three stages. Firstly, the group will discuss and decide its core definitions and manifesto as well as its own structure and timeline. Secondly, the group will work on all the logistical aspects for the realisation of the circus, from finances to promotion, etc. Lastly, the group will carry out the circus. We estimate that the first and second stage will take place online during 2019 and the actual circus will tour in 2020. The exact dates are to be agreed by TREGUA. The circus can be in a tent, a field, in a church, in a supermarket, in a bowling alley, in a bank. Its appearance and touring means will be decided by TREGUA.


Goals

  • To explore alternative structures within the arts

  • To confuse the frameworks in which we work, collaborate and show.

  • Research by attempting, making, going. We don’t wait.

  • To put ourselves through the process and theorise by doing.

  • To challenge our practice and redefine democracy.

  • The execution of a peripatetic learning space.

  • To propose a fluent definition of Europe.

  • To perform Europe

Draft Manifesto

  1. Tregua’s participants will agree on a definition for talent

  2. Talent could be anything you consider yourself to be good at, or anything you are willing to show to an audience

  3. Tregua’s participants will agree on a definition for good from point 3.

  4. This manifesto can be challenged at any point

  5. A Tregua manifesto should allow contradiction

  6. Tregua is transnational, temporary, and embodied transitorily by its members

  7. Under any circumstance Tregua would allow any form of abuse

  8. Tregua’s participants will agree on a definition for abuse


PARTICIPANTS


Sally Plowman

Bio:

Making art, trying to have fun. Always loitering and plotting and scheming, thinking about infatuation, adolescence, magic, soft things, chemistry between people, not understanding, clichés and the bit before a story. Based in London and Lincolnshire. https://sallyplowman.wordpress.com

Project description:

A collaborative event taking place in the town centre of Lincoln (UK). With a merging of performers and audience, public and private, I will present a clown show. A creature reducing us all to creatures, the clown reflects the world through a distorted lens. The event becomes a conversation, a subverted hierarchy, a carnivalesque incongruous confusion of reality. Drawn into the absurd world, things collapse.

Hanna Bargheer

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Bio 

Theoretically Swedish, Hanna Bargheer is a Berlin-based arts and political science student. She dabbles in theatre and visual art but prefers to incorporate mixed media in all her projects. Alongside her passion for coffee she feels strongly about accessibility to the arts and hopes to push for more public artistic practice.

Project description: 

For the TREGUA Project I want to collect stories, impressions and memories of Europe to create a platform to be heard as a performer and seen as a viewer. Call it a collaborative theatre piece, a collection of monologues, or maybe just another way to sort our identities and share them with others. Using theatre workshops and discussions, the performance will be built collaboratively and innovatively with the desires and imaginations of the participants.  


Nora Silva

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Bio:

I manufacture contexts and build sculptural installations as a fiction from where to address political issues. I use aesthetics as a prop for performances to happen within, often using gestures of irony, contradiction or frustration. The sculptures might shape the action and at times the action defines the sculpture. Defining political by its Greek etymology which refers to its collective sense: ‘the process of making uniform decisions applying to all members of a group’, my practice is intimately linked to the social. www.norasilva.com

Project description:

I would like to visit Gibraltar since it is the last territory in Europe that is under watch by the Special Committee on Decolonization, exclusively devoted to the issue of decolonization.


Will Slater

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Bio:

Will Slater is a performance artist and tour guide, originally from London and based in Madrid. From 2015 to 2018, Will was an ambassador for Intercambiador ACART, a residency program that facilitated projects from international artists to integrate them into Madrid's art scene. Along with this, he created works that gave impressions on the Community of Madrid, the structure of its suburban neighbourhoods, and their effects on him as a long distance walker.


Project:

Improvised Terraces is a performance piece and series of actions, taking place to create temporary social spaces for the public. The artist and other participants will explore quiet neighbourhoods, set up furniture outdoors and plan activities around them to see what community may organically come of it. This is an action inspired by a particular talent that the artist has observed in his neighbours to start their own outdoor social clubs, simply by placing some fold-out chairs on the city square. It evokes a power to take public ownership of any space to enjoy, without a reliance on the terraces of bars and cafes. cargocollective.com/willslater


Paula Kolar

 

Bio:

I was born in Vienna, Austria, into a bilingual family. I am only now understanding the impact of having been raised between languages, noticing how it has shaped my thinking and identity. I am now based in the U.K, where I am just finishing my MFA in Fine Art at the Ruskin School of Art. I spent the summer of 2015 in Vienna, which was at the time heavily affected by what the media calls ‘the refugee crisis’. There was so much about the situation that I did not understand: the European Union’s responsibility in the matter as a whole, Austria’s role as a member state that was also a transit zone, my role as an individual bystander (trying to help, but not understanding), and then finally the role of the media, which was already driving the conversation. Once I had moved to the UK in October 2015, to start my BA in Fine Art and Theatre, everything seemed far away, not many students seemed to follow current affairs. It was this frustration about the lack of a conversation that made me focus my work on migration: it was and still is an attempt to understand. paulakolar.com

Project description:

I tell stories through a variety of mediums: video and sound installations, interactive performances, as well as printed magazines with corresponding pieces of electronic fiction. I have been researching various themes within the topic of migration for the past three years and undoubtedly, my work within Tregua would continue along this theme, as I believe this topic is testing fundamental European values.

I am incredibly interested in the multi-layered and shifting nature of the narrative we are told and tell each other, when it comes to this politically heated topic. How very differently the narrative is experienced from country to country and individuals.

In November 2017, this led me to retrace one of the routes of refugees traveling through Europe: From Austria to Germany, through Denmark and Sweden, equipped with a gGoPro and a microphone. Hitchhiking, I interviewed local bystanders, recording our conversations. The same intrigue led to me conduct fieldwork on Lesvos in Greece, twice in the past year, gathering stories from both volunteers and refugees themselves.

The collected stories have formed the database from which I draw when I write scripts. The writing helps me work through the ethics within my work. My performances are usually interactive, always a dialogue of sorts, even if I have mostly been working as a solo performer (which I would love to change). I utilise sound and projection. I play with shadows and live drawing and use low-level arduino technology to facilitate audience interactions. This has included a performance where members of the audience could trigger scenes, that were ‘stitched into a map’, by touching their locations. I aim to tell stories that require the audience to be an active participant, an active reader and listener.

Cynthia Carllinni

 

Bio:

I am currently in first year of a two year MA in Contemporary Art Practice, Critical Practice pathway at the Royal College of Art. I have studied a BA in Fine Arts in Cape Town, South Africa, where I lived 6 years as an active artist. Also studied costume and set design at the Universidad de Palermo. Back in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2013 until 2018, I assisted to Diana Aisenberg’s art clinic and participated from several group shows, public performances on the train and 2 solo shows.

I have an absurd perspective on life and therefore, this is very present in my practice, for several years I built big mechanisms that produce water sounds, kinetic sculptures and interactive installations, costumes for performances and later on video and digital sound.

I am currently working with weather phenomenon and food. The most recent work is a series of Cabinet displays with ready-made food sculptures and a weather forecast video with a fictional story about an overconsumption of potatoes (in progress).

Project description:

Making mashed potatoes is my talent. I will perform Europe by cooking mashed potatoes. I think potatoes are representative of many political issues relevant to the EU and to the world today. Potatoes are in Europe an indigenous plant from South America. They were brought in the 1530’s by the European colonization. At first, Spanish government used it for the military and the navy, local countries considered it evil and poisonous, since only the roots of the plant were eatable and that was unheard of in Europe. Later on, with population starving from warfare, potatoes were cultivated in large scale by Lois XVI with the aim of sustaining the military and the population; soon they became one of the most popular food sources in all Europe. In 1845 a disease destroyed the entire potato production of Ireland and about one million people died from starvation, another half a million emigrated. In the 20th century, potatoes became one of the most produced food sources in the world. I will perform Europe by cooking big amounts of mashed potatoes and inviting people to eat it cold with their own hands. The performance will take place in Galicia, Santiago de Compostela. The reason for this location is personal as well as political, lots of people emigrated to Argentina from this area, including my family, and this migrations and colonization history is embedded in our food and most particularly. Potatoes work on many levels and have been witnesses of important times in humanity, they played a big roll in constructing our food rituals and traditions, At the moment, the world can’t hold any longer with old paradigms and I think this is a good way to rethink about this reconstruction today.


Veronika Rišňovská

 

Bio:

I focus my studies on theatre directing at Bard College in Berlin. From the age 13 I was dancing and then slowly developed my way to physical theater, which then led me to medical clowning. During my gap year I spent a semester at the Inverted Circus School in Aberdeen where I was studying acrobatics and from there moved to the refugee camps, first in Serbia, then in Greece where I worked as a medical clown. After moving to Berlin I started to teach clowning in clowning workshops at Bard College in Berlin in which we focus mainly on empathy and personal autonomy o marginal children. During my clowning workshops I have been invited to give workshops at the Central European University in Budapest as well as the Smolny University in Saint Petersburg. As a director I have been directing several plays (mainly from German postdramatic authors) and created several public interventions for the College of Extraordinary Experiences. I have also founded an arts festival called Pankumenta for young starting artist in Berlin. Currently I am getting ready for my first artist residency in Pôtoň Theatre in Bátovce, Slovakia. Here are some links talking about my work: https://blog.berlin.bard.edu/7-staging-theater-unexpected-place-conversation-veronika-risnovska/ https://blog.berlin.bard.edu/an-interview-with-a-clown/ https://berlin.bard.edu/civic-engagement/community-engagement/pankumenta/ https://www.facebook.com/pankumenta/

Project description:

As a clowning teacher and theatre director I would consider the art of empathy my biggest talent. Empathy often gets confused for feeling what the other one feels, but it is not quite that. Empathy is an active listening in which one removes himself, what he feels, and any kind of personal judgment (also the one that often sounds like "oh I know how you feel. I felt the same when...") to be fully present for the other/s. Removing ourselves from a conversation is a very hard thing that needs to be practiced on every day basis, but once we learn it, it creates new possibilities for co-existence of individuals at a completely new level. This is what I try to teach my clowns and use in an everyday communication with my actors. Imagining taking this teaching into the European dimensions seems almost impossible, but where would be the fun if I did not try it? Especially in the times when Europe is facing the rise of nationalism, extremism and xenophobia, the talent of empathy seems the one we need the most. Thus, if selected I would love to connect my two hobbies, clowning and directing and create an immersive, interactive performance piece that will also serve as an empathy workshop for all the participants and spectators.

Daphne Politi