What Is Monumental Today? #2014
Haus der Berliner Festspiele, Kassenhalle
12.7.2014 18:00 Performance What Is Monumental Today?
A political collective culture of remembrance is an essential requirement for a democratic society. What happens when certain groups are excluded from both the public sphere and historical narratives – and what can be done to change this? Which structures and performative rituals are necessary to establish a counter position to the asserted monumentality of traditional memorials as an embodiment of ruling power? As the second part of Chto Delat’ on-going project questioning the concept of monumentality that will span Vienna, Berlin and Saint Petersburg, Chto Delat have developed a new performance: During a one-week workshop in which they will conduct a targeted historical investigation, they will develop new strategies of empowerment and, at the end, present a learning play. During the entire festival, an exhibition at the Haus der Berliner Festspiele will present excerpts from the project’s first station in Vienna: “Face to face with monument”
For our play we took as a starting point the very short and tragic story of one art object created by our collective in Vienna for the “Into the City” festival: “Our Paper Soldier” sculpture, conceived as a Queer replica of the monument to the Soviet soldier killed fighting for the liberation of Vienna from Nazism in 1945. This sculpture became a central part of our festival, asking the questions: “What is monumental today?” and: “What might constitute anti-fascist struggle in our time?” After the festival ended, the sculpture went to Berlin where it was placed in front of the Festspiele House and at night before the opening of the festival it was set on fire by persons unknown. So we have decided to play with this story in a form of investigation – “Who had burned our Paper Soldier?”