Both abstract and more concrete, Artur Zmijewski investigates the overtly human social as well as individual hindrances and disabilities of communication. To read sixteen sonnets by Shakespeare in their translated form, Zmijewski among others engages a person with a migrant Turkish background, barely speaking German. Thus the performance of Shakespeare’s sonnets expresses the friction, changing the text material in both the written alternation from English to German and when meeting the personal parole. The singular person’s voice thus assembles concrete music that contrasts sharply with the timeless perfection and the inaccessible beauty of the classical English poetry.
A suitcase split into two identical halves with the same word (“APPLAUSI”) written on each. The artist carries it from the back of the stage to the apron and, after opening it, places the two halves with the word already flashing on and off on the sides of the stage, in front of the audience. Along with other emblematic gestures by Gianni Pettena, this work constitutes a humorous, yet radical way of provoking the audience by reducing it to the mere level of television viewers. Together with Archizoom, Superstudio and Ufo, Pettena has, since the 1960s, belonged to the core group of the radical movement in Italy, which exerted and still exerts a profound influence on current experiments in architecture and design.
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