To celebrate the World Theatre Day, we are presenting the first details of the 25th anniversary edition of Malta Festival Poznań, to be held between 8 and 28 June 2015.
The Curator of this year’s Idiom, New World Order, is Tim Etchells, a major personality in European theatre, the founder and leader of the British company, Forced Entertainment. Tim Etchells is an artist whose work expands beyond a single discipline: he is a director and playwright who also makes video projects and neon signs. Together with the artists he has invited to take part in the festival, including Tiago Rodriguez, Vlatka Horvat and Rabih Mroué, as well as groups like Schwalbe and Winterfamily, Tim Etchells will focus on the topic of the possible future. In the second half of the 20th century, the world seemed to be on its way to improvement, greater safety and happiness. Today, we are accompanied by a gloomy vision of a planet that has completely exploited its limits and potential for growth. The contemporary world seems to be darkened with an image of disaster in the form of military conflict and environmental threats. What new goals and the fulfilment of what promises can be expected during the next two decades? What plane can artists work on in the context of the constant changes on the geopolitical map of the world?
Tim Etchells will visit Poland not only as a curator, but also as a director and neon sign artist. With his company, Forced Entertainment, he will present two shows at the Malta: The Notebook and Tomorrow’s Parties. We have also commissioned him to design a neon sign that will become a permanent feature of Poznań’s urban space.
Read courator text:
New World Order
Starting to consider the Malta Festival Idiom theme ‘New World Order’ I was struck by two immediate lines of thematic connection.
The first was to think about the vast array of ways in which this phrase has been used to describe dizzying shifts in the social and political reality we live, since the last parts of the Twentieth Century and the first parts of the Twenty-First. New World Order invokes not only the paradigm-shifting of international relations, from Gorbachev and G. H. W. Bush ushering in of the post-Soviet era, to the First and Second Gulf Wars, 9/1, the War on Terror, the rise of Jihadism on the global stage as well as the upheavals and subsequent retrenchments of the Arab Spring, to name just a few of them. At the same time it invokes perhaps the other whirlwinds of change that have gripped much, if not all, of the world – the building narratives of imminent ecological disaster through global warming and resource scarcity, the austerity politics brought on by the banking crises, economic downturns and Eurozone upheavals and the technological shifts that have, in their different ways, re-organised labour, leisure, politics, commerce and social space from digital media, social and peer to peer networks to big data, globalisation, and electronic surveillance. I had no sense that my selection could address all these topics and tendencies, but at the same time I was sure that these still-moving movements, currents of change and transformation would be there in the background, bringing energy, questions and resonance to the selection. How can performance help us map and understand this already and always changing space? How might it help us to navigate?
The second impulse I had was to think about the idea of new world order in quite a different way, not so much from the social and political as from the philosophical, especially in terms of how art might help us see and re-see the world in new ways. Not so much a matter, perhaps, of seeing the worlds change as changing the way we perceive, frame and understand it.
In addressing these two impulses I’ve worked with Kasia Torz to create an Idiom strand for the festival that is looking both forwards and backwards in time, examining particular situations and histories of change and transformation and at the same time setting its sights firmly on the future – on where we are heading, challenges we face and possible solutions. [something about specific works]. The future in this ‘new world order’ is an anxious one, on a personal level and in terms of bigger geo political and socio-economic questions. The works in the Idiom program are not offering solutions for this anxiety but in inventive, playful, troubling, rigourous, comical, challenging and surprising ways they are, I think, helping us to map and understand the territory in which we find ourselves.