On May 8, we were to start the public activities of this year’s residence program “COMMON GROUND” in Komuna Warszaw, curated by Tim Etchells, Marta Keil and Grzegorz Reske. The pandemic forced us to temporarily change our plans: since it was forbidden to come to Komuna Warszawa, we invite you to
#terenwspólny / #commonground – series of trailers in Komuna Warszawa
Tim Etchells / Natasza Gerlach / Marta Jalowska / Grzegorz Laszuk/ Piotr Urbaniec / Robert Wasiewicz i Marcin Miętus / Zorka Wollny
Teren wspólny / Common Ground
An area drawn on the map or marked with paths made by feet marching across the lawn every day. It can be meticulously fenced or negotiated continuously. With whom do you discuss the rules? What keeps you together? Who will never be allowed inside?
Common ground: an area that you co-create, that you take care of daily; an area where you can move freely – provided that you know the governing rules. It’s a space that you identify with, or a space that you can’t look at anymore. It’s a shelter and a privilege. Who does it actually belong to? Who decides about its limits and marks its borders?
Common ground, shared ground, a shelter. Underground.
“Common Ground” is the curatorial framework for 2020 proposed by Tim Etchells, Marta Keil and Grzegorz Reske, inviting artists to debate the current conditions of defining the space of what we have in common. We will pay particular attention to the areas that remain beyond the pre-defined borders. “Common ground” can be understood as a specific fragment of public space, or as a language, a method of working, a shelter. It refers both to the mutually agreed social frameworks, as well as diverse dimensions of what can be perceived and felt together: like sounds, but also weather – experienced by all, and lately changing status from an innocent topic of small talk to a real threat, as well as a subject of political dispute of vital importance.
Moreover, “common ground” is also our space that has shrunk dramatically in March 2020, to the rough elements dividing public and private spaces: windows, balconies, car doors. The public space has become dangerous, and social contacts have been linked with the risk of infection with a new, still not fully known disease. The Covid-19 pandemic highlighted borders that – for some of us – used to be invisible: newly materialised borders of countries, playgrounds, forests, public transport or our own staircases; painfully changing the accessibility of common spaces. On top of that, it also strongly marked privilege and exclusion – related to, for example, who has free access to a computer screen. What has become freely accessible and common is the fear about the future and an extreme reduction of life quality.
In times of pandemic, all the places where you can meet other people became dangerous, including places where we could directly sympathise and support each other. Perhaps for some time, those places will remain open only for chosen ones: those who have gained immunity against the virus. Perhaps we will be facing a monstrous update of biopolitics: sorting people into healthy or sick, immune or vulnerable to the infection, those who can move freely and those who will still belong to groups of risk and will remain confined to their own apartments. Perhaps all we used to know about negotiating common space will become invalid, and we will have to rethink the principles of common life from the scratch. Probably, many places where we liked to gather will cease to exist.
This new and still unknown context will impact the character, scope and language of works created within the framework of “Common Ground”. Some of them cannot be carried out in the form that they had been planned. However, all of them – operating at the intersection of performance and visual arts and making use of diverse strategies and aesthetics – will explore, together with the viewers, the things that can still be perceived as common, and how we negotiate the language used to talk about them.
8.06 – Zorka Wolny – #commonground part 6
Tim Etchells is an artist and a writer based in the UK. He has worked in a wide variety of contexts, notably as leader of the world-renowned performance group Forced Entertainment and in collaboration with a range of visual artists, choreographers, and photographers. His work spans performance, video, photography, text projects, installation and fiction. He is currently Professor of Performance & Writing at Lancaster University.
Marta Keil – performing arts curator, researcher and writer, based in Warsaw, Poland. Since 2019 she co-runs Performing Arts Institute in Warsaw. She works in curatorial tandem Reskeil with Grzegorz Reske. Together they curated Konfrontacje Teatralne — international performing arts festival in Lublin (2013-2017). She initiated the East European Performing Arts Platform (EEPAP), that she collaborated with until 2019. As curator and dramaturg she cooperated with numerous artists, i.a. Agnieszka Jakimiak, Lina Majdalanie, Rabih Mroué, She She Pop, Agata Siniarska, Ana Vujanović. Since 2019 cooperates as facilitator with the Reshape project. She teaches regularly curatorial practice and institutional critique. Editor of books: Choreography: Autonomies (2019), Choreography: Politicality (2018), Reclaiming the Obvious: on the Institution of Festival (2017), Dance, Process, Artistic Research (2015).
Grzegorz Reske – curator and producer of performing arts projects. Part of ResKeil tandem, and Performing Arts Institute collective. He was co-curator (with Marta Keil) of Konfrontacje Teatralne – international festival of performing arts in Lublin (2013-2017) . In the past years involved in numerous theatre and performing arts projects in Poland and abroad – including Kalisz Theatre Meetings (program selection – 2015-2017), Teatr Powszechny in Warsaw (international cooperation program 2014-2016), Labirynt Gallery in Lublin (“Meet the Neighbours” – 2017-2019). He is permanent associate of East European Performing Arts Platform where coordinate international collaboration projects: „Identity.Move!” – 2014-2015 and „Reshape” 2018-2020. Board Member of IETM – International Network for Contemporary Performing Arts. He teaches regularly at universities in Lublin and Warsaw.
The project is co-financed by the Warsaw City Hall as part of the Hub Kultury Komuny Warszawa program