Nov 16, 2014

November 20th (thu) // Discoteca Flaming Star / Pol Merchan

'True Stories of Art' by Pol Merchan
'Sticky Stage' (fragment) by Discoteca Flaming Star

Pol Merchan's 'True Stories' of Art is a reading of a series of texts pertaining to art and its context.

1 Fear about showing my work
2 Trying to define art
3 A complicated story: The Kiss
4 Another complicated story: Exhibition in my hometown
5 Love and art or making art for someone
6 Transcript of a phone conversation
7 An excerpt of a letter by Sol Lewitt to Eva Hesse
8 Unconstructive criticism I received before doing a reading
9 What provoked my last reading


Discoteca Flaming Star (CGB, WM, Sara Pereira) werden ihre Arbeit "Sticky Stage”, welche sie als 14-stündigen Auftritt und Installation diesen Sommer für "The Kitchen” in New York entwickelten, vorstellen und ab 21.00 ein 2-3 stündiges Fragment davon aufführen.

Discoteca Flaming Star (CGB, WM, Sara Pereira) will present at 9pm a 2-3 hour fragment of their work "Sticky Stage”, developed as a 14-hour performance and installation this summer for "The Kitchen” in New York.

"Let’s describe three different settings - in all of them it is difficult to locate or orientate oneself: the periphery of Rome in the 1960’s, presented by Pier Paolo Pasolini in his film “Hawks and Sparros,” a lot with 66 acres of emptiness in the former military barracks located in the south of Madrid (entered by Discoteca Flaming Star in the Fall of 2013) and the exile of greek artists in New York City in 1974. These artists and the filmmaker Jules Dassin atempted the filming – against the naked and row background of a recording studio – of the film “The Rehearsal” that ought to be a vehicle of solidarity with the pro-democratic movement in Greece and was meant to inform the american public about of the represive brutality applied by the Junta under the complicit glance of the american government.

With the same sensation we encounter these three settings: “in order to be here, in order to orient myself/ourselves here I/we need help; I/we cannot be here alone.”
In each of the above described situations, help is artistically articulated in different forms. In Pasolini’s Film the help is rather unconfortable and is contained in the figure of a black crow that constantly asks the protagonists of this adventure “where are you going to?” In the case of “The Rehearsal” it is recorded material: many documentary audio recordings as well as previously filmed readings (of poems, letters, statements…) which are shown to the participants of the film during its making; these recorded materials constitute the narrative ground, the structure and support of a collective rehearsal of dissidence and activism. In the case of the filmic scenes by Discoteca Flaming Star in the south of Madrid it is a little prelingual magician, evoquing Pasolinis bird, who wanders around, next to signs that indicate poetical distances and locations.

Three films (recorded in … Madrid), scripts with poems on posters and big textiles (“Dawn-Banners” that collect the sunset and the dawn – and are potential props for the other contributing artists), as well as a performance constitute the open proposal “Sticky Stage” by Discoteca Flaming for the exhibition “The Rehearsal”.

The aprox. 14 h long performance – going over night - is an invitation to sleep in and on a stage suggested as a crossing of stages: in the building in which “The Rehearsal” was filmed in 1974, surrounded by the dystopic landscape of DFS’s films habitated by the magician and the Dawn–Banners that claim the connection with the change of light, the temperature and the density during sunset und sunrise.

In the Film “The Rehearsal” two levels of narration cross. One is the narration of the filmic rehearsal itself (mainly assumed by Dassin and Mercury) and on the other hand a sort of re-enactment of the recent historical events of the political life in Greece. In both levels of narration a sort of interruption appears through the representation of the moment of going to sleep. In the case of the first one we see the participants of the film shooting leaving the location and going towards their home or hotel. They appear bound to each other by the enthusiasm of those who are enabling something together of deep meaning. Cut. Dassin is coming the next day back to the shooting, the clarity of the morning accompanies him and his thoughts along the streets next to the The Kitchen’s current location. Dassin’s off voice tells us about the thoughts and deep emotions of the shooting of this film. In the narration of the event in Greece, there is a very perturbing scene in which the students who have uprised and occupied the University in Athens – the central story or re-enactment of the film- are going to sleep. The images of the student’s bodies lying on the ground and on top of tables contain a filmic temporal impass, in which the actual - already happened - deaths of students fallen in the military action of the Junta and the filmic deaths to come are evoqued. As viewers of Dassin’s film we are asigned the task to guard the dreams of the students. In the two levels of the narration the moment of going to sleep is introduced then as a moment of reflection and responsibility. Going to sleep knots the filmic temporality and its possibilities for dying, dying once again and perform the deaths of others. Here we encounter at its peak one of the highes qualities of this film: not being afraid of bathing in poetry, songs, enthusiasm and pathos.

In the performance “Sticky Stage” Discoteca Flaming Star proposes a rehearsal situation including the elements named further above mixed with a musical soundtrack. The musical rehearsal includes melodies and songs from different sources: going from “The Rehearsal” itself to Lana del Rey, Roxy Music, Virgin Prunes, Frederico García Lorca, Jimmy Scott and Rihanna. Discoteca Flaming Star builds a temporary space in which to take up our fatigue and our dreams in order to approach a tender imagination. The long intervals of repetition of the diferent elements that constitute the performance are characteristic to group rehearsals, they propose a persistance, as the persistance of the bonding among the participants of a rehearsal and the persistance of the joy of making art. It insists on the fact that we will sing again the song, we will recite again the poem and the text and that we will sleep in the same space, dreaming together. Who will guard our dreams?"

doors open 20:00 - performance starts 20:30
soup will be served