Live art and exhibitions at the International Summer Festival Hamburg

Live art and exhibitions at the International Summer Festival Hamburg

Kampnagel Hamburg

Design: Hanna Osen, Paul Voggenreiter. CGI: Jonas Liebermann.

August 20, 2020
Live art and exhibitions at the International Summer Festival Hamburg
August 12–30, 2020
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The future is back: The International Summer Festival in Hamburg presents a vast live art and exhibition program from August 12–30, 2020, introducing ways and perspectives for art to happen in pandemic times. Apart from world premieres on the several stages of the Kampnagel arts centre, the festival also offers an extensive outdoor performance program and site specific projects in collaboration with Kunstverein in Hamburg and Elbphilharmonie. Additionally, online performances offer access from any place in the world while taking place in Hamburg. “In view of the fact that times are extremely uncertain and the situation in many countries is out of control, presenting a live art festival may seem thoughtless at first. Instead, we have been racking our brains to develop a safe structure in order to suggest a perspective for the international Live Art community, even under the most difficult conditions”, says Artistic Director András Siebold.

Main exhibition program
Choreographer Marlene Monteiro Freitas (*1979, Cape Verde) is presenting her spacious 800sqm installation Cattivo, commissioned by the BoCA – Biennial of Contemporary Arts in Portugal: Hundreds of music stands have been freed from their existence as objects of utility and turned into protagonists of situational scenes.

In collaboration with Kunstverein in Hamburg, the exhibition Being Laid Up Was No Excuse for Not Making Art – Corona Sound System features sound works by Wolfgang Tillmans, Holly Herndon and experimental Early Music Choir Ensemble Graindelavoix, among many others.

German media activists Peng! Collective present their most recent large scale phone prank. As a fake Federal Office for Crisis Protection and Economic Aid, they have held talks with CEOs and other executives of 10 German companies and asked: How do top levels of companies deal with terms like sufficiency economy, socialization, solidarity economy and post-growth economy?

An interdisciplinary team around game designer Sebastian Quack presents Botboot, a project in collaboration with Imagine The City / Kunst und Kultur Hafencity. Using an interactive web app, this participatory art project takes people a mythical journey through public space. 

Stage program
In addition to the exhibition Cattivo, choreographer Marlene Monteiro Freitas will present the world premiere of her new ensemble work Mal – Embriaguez Divina on August 26. Another world premiere is delivered by South Korean theater maker Jaha Koo, who is working on his documentary piece The History of Korean Western Theatre. Sad British comedian Kim Noble presents Lullaby for Scavengers, while Swiss theater director Yan Duyvendak has been creating a participative show called Virus, based on a simulation to prepare for a pandemic by the European Union. Moreover, highly acclaimed Irish choreographer Oona Doherty dives into male working classes in Hope Hunt, and Gob Squad’s Show Me a Good Time is an outstanding example of live media art (and also available as an online version).

Online program
We’ve got something for those suffering from Zoom fatigue: Queer Viennese theatre guerrilla Nesterval delivers The Willy Brandt-Test on Zoom. Spectators interview and evaluate eight performers from Vienna and Hamburg in one-on-one conversations. They are navigated through various online theatre spaces and finally get into “a virtually brilliant narrative labyrinth … which raises questions about one’ s own capacity for democracy.” (NDR). Four shows are performed in English.

Out of a TV studio on the festival site, three “Pandemic Talks” are broadcast, in which SARS-CoV-2 is tracked down from different perspectives. The second talk on sovereign information spaces features Swiss journalist Hannes Grassegger in conversation with New York Times media columnist Ben Smith, science fiction author Malka Older and Peter Pomerantsev from the London School of Economics.

For over 25 years Gob Squad has been blurring the boundaries between art, theatre and “real” life and is one of the most renowned European performance groups. Their newest piece Show Me a Good Time lasts 12 hours, which are split into 4 days and can be viewed in a live online version. In search of a really good time, the performers are scattered on the streets of Hamburg and meet strangers for joint actions via split-screen.

German composer, prepared piano master and Academy Award nominee Hauschka’s Summer Festival concert in the empty Elbphilharmonie is available online.

Australian performance artist Samara Hersch delivers a captivatingly simple yet complex piece. Body of Knowledge is a show for 12 participants in their homes. They are connected by phone with teenagers from Australia in ever new telephone chat rooms to discuss the future and all big and small questions of life.

In his one-hour piece In Praise of Forgetting, Part II, performance artist Oliver Zahn leads us through his desktop folders and into the archives of German history while reflecting on the concept of memorial culture (or rather the culture of forgetting).

Further program
A vast outdoor program in the Festival Avant-Garden offers concerts, readings and installations every festival evening on different stages. The whole festival program consists of over 80 different performances, concerts and installations. The festival runs until August 30.

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August 20, 2020

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