Sunday, July 26, 2009
The summer of lean forward festivals
If 1967 was the 'The Summer of Love', 2009 is turning into 'The Summer of Lean Forward Festivals'.
The lean forward further Les Orientales in France in June was a hard act to follow. But Contemporary Art Norwich 09 has picked up the theme magnificently with its mixture of visual and performance art. Last night we were at CAN 09's first (and free) UK showing of Argentian-born Mariano Pensotti's La Marea (The Tide) in Norwich, which is where all my photos were taken.
Linking threads through Mariano Pensotti's work are the expressive use of video as a narrative element, juxtaposed with live performances and site specific events. These work as urban interventions where fictional scenes are played in a real context.
La Marea is the ultimate street theatre. It takes place in a shopping street late in the evening. The performance consists of nine scenes, some inside shops and others directly on the street, as above. The scenes are played simultaneously and last ten minutes each, with a two minute pause in between. There is no particular order to watch them, you choose your own path.
Narratives for each scene are provided by text on a video screen. La Marea is a technical as well as creative tour de force, with the nine discrete scenes synchronised centrally. Projected surtitles are visible in most of my photos and can be seen projected onto a storefront in the photo above.
This part of Norwich city centre is normally deserted at 11.00pm on a Saturday night. Look at the crowds in my photo above, look at the faces, and look at the spread of ages. The summer of lean forward festivals is showing there are many different ways to reach new audiences. Read about lean forward music here. Capture the spirit of La Marea, as performed in Buenos Aires, in the video below.
There is one more performance of La Marea tonight (July 26) at 9.00pm in Norwich. Well worth leaning forward to. All photos are (c) On An Overgrown Path 2009. Report errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk