CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST TALLINN:
Performances in Kanuti Gildi SAAL:
2nd November at 19.30 BAKTRUPPEN ´DO & UNDO´
4th November at 19.30 TELLERVO KALLEINEN ´Let Me´
5th November at 19.30 SARALUNDEN ´Sweet Beat Tour´
8th and 9th November at 19.30 babaLAN ´Aquart´
12th November at 19.30 and at 21.30 EVA MEYER-KELLER ´Death is Certain´
14th November at 19.30 KIM H. VELTMAN ´The World Tree ´
15th November at 19.30 KATRIN ESSENSON Designed To Make a Difference
18th and 19th November at 19.30 GOB SQUAD ´Super Night Shot´
In Tallinn Art Hall:
24th November exhibition ´Living Sculptures´
In Tallinn City Gallery:
3rd–20th November Liina Siib ´Marlowe´
NU Performance Festival wanders around in the space between theatre, the fine and performance arts, (pop) music, and contemporary dance. This is an undefined, amorphous, and dynamic region, where different understandings of culture, cultural types, and various techniques entwine.
Hybrid forms emerge and new artists’ positions are created. In this no man’s land, we are interested in the artist’s position that moves between different institutional frameworks, their escape route from a uniformly determined institutional identity. This mixture of different disciplines could be called “new performance”.
For years, I have enjoyed watching how good old classical performance strategies and methods have seeped into drama-based theatre and dance. It’s as if they thereby acquire a new vitality, a new life, and at the same time, enrich and undermine the comparatively conservative foundations of theatre. Finally, also here in Estonia.
Already in the eighties, the term “performance theatre” was came into use in the US, many performance-based theatre groups came into being, the most famous of which is undoubtedly the Wooster Group, which was started already in the seventies. It was clear that classical performance art had exhausted itself and was in need of a new injection—of an alliance with other disciplines in order to survive. I also believe that the more radical portions of theatre required this. Theatre expert, Marvin Carsson, has written that, for too long, in addition to its referential, narrative function, theatre has scorned its other, and certainly no less important, performative function. Basically the same could be asserted about performance art or classical modern dance—by concentrating on rituals, activities, and experiences, or the execution of technical dance-based movements, the limited expression resources have inevitably resulted in the dull routine of self-repetition.
Official cultural policy continues to want to lock artists into professionalized “art clubs”, where their destiny and status is initially determined by their choice of specialty. Despite the solemn and all-conquering tone of interdisciplinary rhetoric, it is still difficult to move in such an area that lacks clear definition. The system is built upon preserving the awkward purity of different types of art and making a fetish of club membership. Therefore, my joy was all the greater when discussing the possibility of organizing this festival in the Kanuti Gildi SAAL with Priit Raud, and it turned out that our interest regarding possible performers overlapped almost 70%. It was immediately clear that we should undertake the project together.
The artists performing at the festival have extremely varied backgrounds, although they have all expanded their creative work into different fields, and in their work methods, borrow from different toolboxes. They present a challenge, a micro-level counter strategy to the dominant identity policy in culture, which craves the puritanical purity of art types. Their work can be treated with very diverse conceptual apparatuses, and they are in a constant process of becoming. To use Louis Althusser’s concepts, then they present a challenge to “the appeal of ideological interpellation”.
The general title of the event—Continental Breakfast, the uniform breakfast in all European hotels, which evens out all differences in the name of a single identity—is the social and ironic metaphor of such a unification, that allows us to carry the author’s games of identity hide and seek onto a broader social field.
NU Performance Festival is organized by the Tallinn Art Hall and the Kanuti Gildi SAAL. The main venue is the Kanuti Gildi SAAL, although smaller satellite events will take place at the Tallinn Art Hall and Tallinn City Gallery, and many performances, due to their nature, will undoubtedly spread elsewhere into the Tallinn cityscape.
Continental Breakfast is also a European-wide forum for different cultural institutions, which was created in Venice in 2003. Under the same name, different events will be organized in European cities from the fall of 2004 until 2006. The NU Performance Festival is Tallinn’s event within the Continental Breakfast framework.