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Festival returns as “last human venue”

  • 2013-08-31
  • By TBT staff

RIGA - When the bi-annual Homo Novus festival was founded in Daugavpils in 1995 by the theater director Peteris Krilovs, it was the first international theater festival to be held in the independent state of Latvia. Lively and energetic, it was fueled by the huge and equally shared enthusiasm of the organizers, volunteers, technicians and artists alike.

The 10th Homo Novus program reflects exactly this feeling. The organizers are happy to present artists and works that take risk and speak about issues that are central to the contemporary world and people in all their variety. They will again map the whole city with festival events – from theater venues to streets, parks, a private flat and out in the forest. As in the past festival editions, this will provide a platform to new creations by Latvian artists. This time, to mark the 10th anniversary of the festival, 11 local artists and companies have been invited, all of them previous collaborators of Homo Novus, to create individual projects on the same concept of “theater as the last human venue,” to be presented in an abandoned villa in Riga city center.

Festival talks this year are organized together with online magazine satori.lv and its editor Ilmars Slapins and are inspired by the topics from the festival performances ‘Hate Radio’ and ‘Lost Gardens.’ The talks will be in Latvian and English.

Talks:

Responsibility of Voice
Journalists, politicians, artists are all public persons and what they say can affect thoughts and lives of many people. How does the freedom of speech go together with contemporary ethics and ideas of safe and democratic society? Who is more responsible in the end – the one who kills or the one who incites to kill?
September 4, 16:00, at Festival center

Man, Nature, City
In the city, the conflict between the natural and the civilized has always been most obvious. Is our urge to keep close bonds to nature an atavism or a way to preserve the very human nature? This is a question the town planners, environmental activists and each of us living in the self erected urban cages should ask ourselves.
September 8, 17:00, at Festival center

Artist talk: I went mental and all I got was this lousy t-shirt
Over the last 10 years artist and activist collective of one, the vacuum cleaner, has become semi-notorious for his acts of street brandalism, performance interventions and online pranks. Yet during this time he has also battled with severe mental illnesses and over the last two years this has become the focus of his work (and life). In this informal presentation he presents recent, current and future projects that have blended his practice with radical approaches to his own and others neurodiversity and mental health.
September 4, 22:00, at Festival Center

Performances

ON THE CONCEPT OF THE FACE, REGARDING THE SON OF GOD
Romeo Castellucci / Societas Raffaello Sanzio
In his performance ‘On the concept of the face, regarding the son of God,’ the Italian artist Romeo Castellucci focuses on one of the icons of Western culture – Jesus Christ. Antonello de Messina’s Renaissance image of Christ is in the center of this performance, looking down on a hyper-realistic scene on stage, where a son is taking care of his sick father, who cannot control his body anymore. The monotone sequence of actions that occurs in silence is a conversation between two of the closest people and is full of helplessness, love, compassion, anger, dignity and humiliation. As time passes, every next touch between the two goes into a new level of meaning and depth.

September 2-3, 20:00, National Theater, Kronvalda bulvaris 2, 7-10 ls

The Curators Piece

Tea Tupajic, Petra Zanki
Curators of different international theater festivals have been invited to take part in this performance. They are people with a rare, yet a very interesting profession – they travel, see many different performances and, eventually, decide on the artists and shows they want to offer to their audiences. Directors Tea Tupajic and Petra Zanki present ‘The Curators’ Piece’ as a “trial” against art and its protagonists, challenging the utopian ideal of the responsibility of art to a wider society. Charges are raised against all participants: the artists who create a piece, the curators responsible for presenting the work, and the audience.
In the Riga performance we will see on stage the artistic leader of Tallinn’s independent stage – Kanuti Gildi Saal and the curator Priit Raud, artistic directors of two Norwegian contemporary theater centers – Per Ananiassen from ‘Avantgarden’ and Sven Birkeland from ‘BIT Teatergarasjen’, the director of ‘Performance Space 122’ Vallejo Gantner from New York, German dramaturg Florian Malzacher, as well Homo Novus director Gundega Laivina.

September 3, 21:00, Gertrudes street theater, Gertrudes iela 101a, 5-7 Ls
For more information: homonovus.lv/eng/info.php