ephemeropteræ 2013 | TBA21 Day

Augarten Contemporary, Ephemeropterae
Ruth Noack, Ephemeropterae˜ XI/ XV, 24. August 2012, Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary-Augarten, Photo: Jakob Polacsek / TBA21, 2012

Friday, 14th June 2013

After last year’s successful debut of the spoken-word performance series ephemeropteræ, which consisted of 16 well-received events, TBA21 will launch a second edition in 12 weekly episodes, curated by Boris Ondreička and Daniela Zyman. The program explores the rich traditions and contemporary articulations of poetry, literature, performance, and language-based artistic practice at TBA21–Augarten. ephemeropteræ—referring to species that live for only a brief moment—pulsates from poetry and prose to music, dance, theater, film, anthropology, linguistics, philosophy, and other fields of art and science. By resisting definition and directly addressing and engaging audiences, ephemeropteræ offers an interdisciplinary arena dedicated to the nature and the experience of oral practices and reveals itself as a potent and thought-provoking site of contemporary expression. This ongoing performance series is presented in the open air, under a canopy of trees, on a hospitable stage structure designed by David Adjaye. The ephemeropteræ stage consists of a trapezoidal prism made of timber slats, which frames the view of the surrounding park and references, somewhat ironically, the proscenium of classic theater. Additionally, food and drinks served by the newly reopened AU café can be enjoyed on picnic blankets on the grassy lawn of Augarten.

The spoken, the screamed, the whispered, and the stuttered are manifestations of oral expression, as is the decomposition of speech into rudimentary vocal sounds such as growls, moans, and coughs, as well as its corporealization into gestures, enactments, or speech-songs. The voice inhabits its own discursive space but is also an “animation” of the body, and the body manipulates the sounds of utterances. But there are also the inner voices that one hears in one’s head, plaguing voices, speaking in tongues, and ambiguous, ghostly, bodiless articulations. Rather than fading in inner silence, these voices are made to be heard in nuances and inflexions. But then again, there is the speech of reason, the prepared address, intended to be educative, informative, structured, playing with various regimes of knowledge production and communication.

ephemeropteræ 2013 feature pluralistic words, works, acts, screenings, and performances by protagonists representing a wide generational and cultural range, including WANDA COLEMAN (b. 1946), the legendary L.A. blueswoman, 2013 Jean Burden Poet, recipient of the Shelley Memorial Award, and great Afro-American poet; ÁSDÍS SIF GUNNARSDÓTTIR (b. 1976), the Icelandic artist and poet responsible for, among many other things, the lyrics to Ragnar Kjartansson’s Feminine Ways; ANTONIO CARO (b. 1950), the Colombian guru of pop-conceptualism; JOHN GIORNO (b. 1936), the legendary poet, one of the most innovative beatniks ever, and the sole actor in Andy Warhol’s 1963 movie Sleep; a stunning collaboration between the Austrian musician CHRISTIAN FENNESZ (b. 1962) and the film director EDGAR HONETSCHLÄGER (b. 1963) on AUN (live score and screening in cooperation with Filmarchiv Austria); the Wittgensteinian project of the Mexican artist ERICK BELTRÁN (b. 1974) and his Colombian colleague BERNARDO ORTIZ (b. 1972); CLÉMENTINE DELISS (b. 1960), the anthropologist, curator, editor of Metronome press, director of the Weltkulturen Museum in Frankfurt, and founder of the Future Academy’s oral newspaper voiceforum); HASSAN KHAN (b. 1975), the Egyptian artist, musician, and author; BLIXA BARGELD (b. 1959), the cult figure of industrial music, leader of Einstürzende Neubauten, and onetime member of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, this time in the role of spoken-word artist, a medium that he has practiced since 1996; ROMAINE MORETON (b. 1969), the fabulous Australian poet and filmmaker; PETER GIDAL (b. 1946), the Swiss-born experimental filmmaker; LOIS WEINBERGER (b. 1947), the fabled Austrian “plant-man”; the emerging artist ANNA ARTAKER (b. 1976); the designer of ephemeropteræ stage and architect of world renown,
DAVID ADJAYE (b. 1966); an evening of artists’ writings selected and performed by Daniela Zyman and Boris Ondreicka, curators of ephemeropteræ 2013; and many more.