The Place, It Has a Name Projekt Frei–Raum
am 5. Februar 2019 um 20 Uhr
“The Place, It Has a Name”
Mixed media installation and performance
Lisa Kohl, scenography, video, installatio
Elsa Rauchs, voice, performance
Ian De Toffoli, text, dramaturgy
The Freiraum project “The Place, It Has a Name”, by Luxembourgish artists Lisa Kohl, Elsa Rauchs and Ian De Toffoli is a multidisciplinary project, using poetry, video, text projection, photography, soundscaping, drone noises, music, pre-recorded voice-over and a live performance during which all these elements concur to implicitly formulate a simple but important question: how do we make choices in life?
In a pre-recorded voice-over, a woman’s voice slowly and immersively tells the story, through the eyes of a first-person narrator, of an unnamed character, who wakes up, on an average day – he or she has to go to work –, drinks his coffee too quickly, races down the flight of stairs of his apartment building, but then pauses because he notices that something is off. The whole city is covered in mist, and as he walks down the street to find his bus stop, he doesn’t recognize anything anymore and the more he walks on, the more the landscape surrounding him begins to change, to fall into ruins, or to evaporate and disappear. Finally, an unknown man in the mist walks up to the narrator and asks what he is still doing in a city, swallowed by the fog, that everybody else seems to have fled or abandoned. The narrator seems at a loss, realizing that he is in a completely different place altogether, or maybe he is nowhere (not in the material world) anymore.
The story culminates with the appearance of the woman behind the voice (Elsa Rauchs) on stage, making an attempt of defining, through a poetic list of oxymorons, the “moment of ultimate freedom”, which is: the infinite but at the same time incredibly brief moment right before a choice (a decision) is made.
While the story unfolds, images of untrodden paths in the woods, of mouldy cellars, of mist-drowned plains, or streams of water appear on long white veils that hang from the ceiling. Rather than retelling the same story, they (the images, but also the sounds and noises) rhythmically accompany the story through associative imagery that leaves everything open to suggestive discovery and interpretation. Thus, “The Place, it has a name” is a multi-layered installation, which takes the spectator on an immersive journey, but builds up its signification and meaning through the combination of its different artistic elements.
Largely inspired by Tarkovsky’s movie Stalker, which tells the story of a mysterious place called the “Zone”, at the heart of which there’s a room that grants all the wishes to whoever steps inside, “The Place, it has a name”, reimagines the “Zone” as a place of meandering, of errancy, of loss of control, and thus, of a certain kind of freedom which has to be uncovered by the narrator.
Finally, the installation asks the question of man’s desire for fulfilment and what the terms of such fulfilment are: security, goods, spirituality, idleness, or even letting go.
eine Koproduktion des Kasemattentheaters mit dem IP