"WELCOME HOME -- ancestors speak. We forgot how to listen!" performance by Ivan Civic
17. -21.08.2011 in Haus der Kulturen der Welt
Video: Omid Hashemi
Stage: Frank Schönwald
Costume: Aycha Araya
"However mean your life is, meet it and live it; do not shun it and call it hard names. It is not as bad as you are It looks poorest when you are richest. The fault-finder will find faults even in paradise. Love your life, poor as it is. You may perhaps have some pleasant, thrilling, glorious hours, even in a poor-house."
David Thoreau from "Walden or life in the woods" (1854)
1- The performance takes a tight reference from the Walden book. It is a tour de force of isolation in an artificial landscape created by the artist inside the heart of Haus der Kulturen der Welt, in Berlin. The action on stage is aimed to reawaken a lost memory we all have of where we come from and what our ancestors would have transmitted us if we still knew how to listen.
Duration: 101 hours (uninterrupted) 24/7.
2- The artist will never leave his stage for the entire duration of the performance (101 hours) and can be visited by the public at any given time.
3- The performance is dedicated to all handicapped aspects of our lives. If we are not handicapped physically, then we are at least crippled emotionally.
a- the blind my touch
b- the deaf may be at silent peace
c- the dumb can observe the silence
4- The blind have an advantage. They are the only ones allowed to come up on stage and touch and feel everything during the entire duration of the performance. Nobody else is allowed on stage.
5- The artist will not speak for the entire duration of the performance. He will only use sign language to translate the Thoreau quote from the Walden book.
6- The lights will blind the ones who can see. The lights will never go off during the five days of performance. They will stay illuminated day and night, eliminating the feel for time.
7- The artist will not eat during the five days of performing on his stage. He will only drink water.
8- "WELCOME HOME" is not a spectacular performance. It is simple but due to its lingering presence, it will permeate itself into the minds of the visitors that spend enough time feeling and watching it.
The idea of an extended performance concept spread out to a total of 101 hours is very challenging and exciting. This time span opens up many new possibilities to experiment with performance in space and it's interaction with the audience present at any given time.