Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation
Volga region branch of the National Centre for Contemporary Arts
The Cultural Capital of the Volga region Foundation
with support of
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany
Goethe German Cultural Centre,
with special contribution by the Robert Bosch Foundation
in the frames of the Year of Germany in Russian 2012 / 2013
inspired by Me-Ti. Book of Changes
by Bertolt Brecht
26, 27, 28 February at 19:00
General concept, script, staging, light – Vadim Zakharov, Maria Porudominskaya
Costumes – Vadim Zakharov
In the frames of the Synthetic program and parallel program of the Walter Benjamin’s New Year Tree exhibition.
Vadim Zakharov and Maria Porudominskaya chose unordinary genre for their art project – “defile inspired by the book”. The book in question is little-known prose of outstanding German poet, dramaturge, and theatre reformer Bertolt Brecht. This prose was written in the 30s when Brecht had to leave Germany after the Nazi came to power. It is no coincidence that he recalls famous ancient Chinese Book of Changes during this crucial period of history and his own life. He lets a philosopher Me-Ti to comment on current events of the time; prototype of Me-Ti was Chinese thinker of the IV century BC, legendary prophet of “universal love” – Mozi.
"Me-Ti. Book of changes" of Bertolt Brecht concentrates on historical figures, philosophers, poets engaging in a dialogue with each other. Among them – Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Trotsky, Marx and Engels, Rosa Luxemburg, Feuchtwanger, Hegel, and Brecht himself. All the characters are given pseudo Chinese names: Ka-Me, Eh-Fu, Mi-En-Leh, Ni-En, Hi-Eh, To-Dzi, Fe-Khu-Wang, Sah, Lai-Tu. With their help, using alienation method, Brecht attempts to “diagnose” historical processes of his dramatic and contradictory epoch.
“Sometimes, to understand the present we need to look to the past. We lack in dimensional vision. We need a different point of reference. But it is no easy task to find it. Topicality and effectuality of the book at present are unbelievable. Garbed in pseudo Chinese garments, personas which formed our social and historic reality appear on a catwalk. We are still rummaging through disgusting waste left by them, crying out to the sky – How could this happen?! How people of the twentieth century let it happen? And, of course: can all of this repeat in future?” Vadim Zakharov
Composer Alezey Sysoev (Moscow), No-name ensemble (Nizhny Novgorod), percussionist Dmitry Vlasik (Moscow), starring: Dmitry Savrasov (Moscow-Nizhny Novgorod), Igor Besschastnov (Saint-Petersburg), Natalia Pshenichnikova (Moscow-Berlin), speech and vocal training – Natalia Pshenichnikova, curator – Ivetta Vechkhayzer.
Me-Ti (Mozi) (ca. 470 BC – ca. 391 BC) – ancient Chines philosopher, creator of the “universal love” concept. Book of Changes is a divination for human activities: if those activities out of accord with the course of world development or they are harmoniously included in the world, in other words – what they bring, unhappiness or happiness, as they are described in language of the Book of Changes.
Vadim Zakharov – artist, publisher, archivist of the Moscow conceptual school, collector. Since 1978 participated in exhibitions of unofficial art. In 1982-1984 – participant of the ARTART gallery. Redactor and artist of the book Moscow Conceptualism (2005). Currently lives and works in Berlin and Moscow. Will represent Russia at the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013.
The motto of the Year of Germany in Russia 2012/13 is “Germany and Russia: Shaping the Future Together”. From June 2012 till June 2013 Germany will be represented throughout Russia with a wide range of projects in politics, economy, culture, education, and science. The Year of Germany is established to strengthen cooperation between Russia and Germany, to offer ideas of solving global issues, and to open new pathways to a common future of the two countries. These initiatives are conducted under the patronage of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany, Goethe Institute, Eastern Committee of German Economy with support of the German-Russian Chamber of Commerce.
ADMISSION: BY INVITATIONS
ADDRESS: Arsenal, Nizhny Novgorod, Kremlin, building 6
CONTACTS: 8(831) 423-57-41, www.ncca.ru/nnovgorod