Just over a year ago my friend Andrea Thal – facilitator of the artist-led space Les Complices* in Zurich – was invited to curate the official Swiss off-site project at the 54th Venice Biennale 2011. The concept Andrea brought together – under the banner Chewing the Scenery – was a community of people working within film, music, theatre and theory to contemplate and play with post-colonial and queer discourses on identity and temporality. As she pieced together the exhibition I was thrilled to be invited to join this collective of misfits to help devise a live music programme as one-third of the MOTHER team led by Dafne Boggeri and Noga Inbar.
Although I cannot possibly communicate all the sounds, sights and sensations of the many warm wonderful days I spent in and around the Teatro Fondamenta Nuove on the Venetian lagooon, here at least is a peek behind the scenes and below a mixtape of what it might have sounded like along with some of my personal musings. For full details of the project please visit the Chewing the Scenery website.
“No Future / No Past”
The centerpiece of the exhibition is Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz’s film “No Future / No Past” played continuously on a screen dominating the space. An imagined punk archive between 1976 – 2031. No punk future, no punk past. Calling on Vivienne Dick, The X, Darby Crash, Poly Styrene, Joey Ramone and Alice Bag. Ridiculous. Dsytopian. Ginger smashes the guitar to bits. More on Pauline and Renate’s work can be found on their website.
MOTHER’s contributions were the most ephemeral. We invited first Mary Ocher from Berlin to join us in June. Then in September came Vera November from London, Maya Dunietz from Tel Aviv and Alona Rodeh from Tel Aviv. Together they brought moments that lingered and temporary collaborations that sparkled. Completely unpredictable. So typical. Find out more about MOTHER. .
Then there is this bit with the longest timeline, started before the exhibition doors opened and completed only after the end of it all. Edited by Anna Frei and Georg Rutishauser and the only remnant left now. A constant reworking of the themes – contemplative chewing and regurgitation within a single publication in three separate editions. Available from the publisher edition fink.
The last and mostly totally unrelated part of the whole thing – a love letter in sound based on memories of moments now passed. It sounded like this, I think. It’s all a bit queer. Wish you had been there.
Beth Anderson – Country Time
Cold Dogs In The Courtyard – Video Is Not Art
Club Tango – Get The Picture
Judy Nylon & Crucial – Live In A Lift
Klack Klack – 1919
Kate Fagan – I Don’t Wanna Be Too Cool
Covergirl – Paris Burns
LiLiPUT – Do You Mind My Dream
Rhythm King And Her Friends – Frankie
MEN – Who Am I to Feel So Free
Lizzy Mercier Descloux – Fire
Mary Ocher – Address Yourself
Austra – Beat And The Pulse
Planningtorock – Living It Out
tUnE-yArDs – My Country
Trash Kit – Cadets
This Beat is Lezbotronik – This Beat is Lezbotronik
No Bra – Munchausen
Inflatable Boy Clams – I’m Sorry