> 24 novembre 2017
Cette activité se déroule en anglais.
In collaboration with Arts and Theatre Institue, Czech Centre Brussels, Zbigniew Raszewski Theatre Institue Warsaw, Festival Temps d'Images Rumania & Loft Theatre Germany.
The upcoming anniversary of the crucial years 1918, 1948 and 1968 is a pretext for the symposium Remembering 1918: East and Central European Modernity Rebuilding in Performing Arts. The international symposium opens the issue of the influence of modernity past and present on theatre and dance in Central and Eastern Europe from a comparative point of view, offering dialogues between scholars and artists, between theatrical studies and testimony.
1918 marks not only the birth of new national states but it stands as a powerful symbol of the desire of many people in Europe to construct a better future and embrace modernity. This aspiration for modernity is also reflected in Art. At that changing time, Modern Theatre appears as a mirror of political society and social turnover. It creates new discourses, while the new states are built and democracies crafted. This unprecedented political, artistic, scientific and technologic rapidity continues to inspire scholars and artists today, by seeing a parallelism with those revolutionary changes and the immediacy of the 21st century.
Remembering 1918 in East Central European today requires resisting to retrospective reading limiting this history to the chain of events leading to the disaster of World War II. The colloquium dedicated to 1918 offers to engage critically with the many visions of this moment in national histories past and present. How modern patterns find echo in after-war theatrical productions or in current performances? How the ethos of experimenting and engagement continues to appeal among contemporary artists? Is the social and political mission of the avant-garde arts and culture still valid nowadays?
The symposium thus analyzes avant-garde stage since 1918 with the attention being paid to symbolic periods – the Roaring twenties, the Golden sixties and Fall of Communism. Performing Arts seem to illustrate very well the tension between the search for national identity and the unique roots, and the quest for modernization nurtured by the transnational admiration of modern technology for the twenties, the thirties, the sixties, the seventies till the numerical revolution.
Theatrical practice, theory and politics may influence one another more than it is usual in other art disciplines. The organic engagement of stage and society – something subtle, even critical, something harshly overt – is one of the main characteristics of East Central European Performing Arts. This is the reason why the participants in the symposium focus on how theory, politics, and cultural policy influence of the art discourse in the Central and Eastern countries. The notion of performance analyses cannot limit itself to a descriptive approach of the scenic process; it also has to cover the intentionality of the theatre artists and the effect on spectators. The historicity of presentation and of reception will be brought into confrontation in order to lay the foundation of theatrical aesthetics and to initiate ideas about new theatrical forms. How do artists form and deform dramaturgy? How do they play with mechanisms in a play? How do they play with the spaces, public perambulation, intertextualities? How do they construct or deconstruct a drama in a mise-en-scène?
During the 20th century, the populations of Central Europe underwent two totalitarian regimes. Despite breaks in the democratic process of the countries, it is clear that art, mainly the performing arts, remained a bastion of resistance, revived in the 1960s with the models and experiences of the first avant-garde to try to translate a new political, social and economic reality. This relationship between the first and second avant-garde invites us to extend our reflection to the digital revolution. The symposium thus raises the crucial question of how these continuities and breaks in the vanguard of the past and present typically result from the cultural history of Central and Eastern Europe or from a change of European paradigm like Braun (2nd reform), Fischer-Lichte (2nd avant-garde) or Lehman (neo-avant-garde) had already noted it in the 1960s. Are we living in a third avant-garde?
The outcomes and inspirations from the symposium will be the source of artistic (dance and theatre) creations which will be presented under the title Remembering 1918 / European Dreams of Becoming Modern on May 24 to 26, 2018 at BOZAR/Brussels.