A Film by Chto Delat?; 2011
Director: Olga Egorova (Tsaplya)
Music: Mikhail Krutik
Set: Dmitry Vilensky and Natalya Pershina (Gluklya)
Costumes: Natalya Pershina (Gluklya)
Choreography: Nina Gasteva
Script: Olga Egorova (Tsaplya) and Dmitry Vilensky
The fourth songspiel by Chto Delat? represents a similar new form of contemporary tragedy as the first three musicals of the “Songspiel-triptych”. But whereas the first three productions were based on accounts of historical events the “Museum-Songspiel” realized in a tradition of dystopia film. The script takes place against the backdrop of an imaginary scenario of Dutch politics in the year 20XX, where all immigrants have been banned from the country.
The first scene – which in contrast to all most other scenes of the film was shot on location at the Van Abbemuseum – shows a Museum’s guard who is controlling the galleries. The dramatic soundtrack accompanying the scene seems to anticipate his confusion, when stumbling upon a group of illegal immigrants, who have sought refuge in a large display case designed for street art incorporated into the museum. The museum seems to be the only institution in which they hope to be able to evade their deportation. The situation reminiscent of a (human) zoo, where one group is separated from another through a large glass wall, is finally resolved when the museum director tells the outraged journalist, that the museum never intended to hide the immigrants from the authorities in the first place, rather they were merely hired as actors for a performance.
The film raises the frightening question of which particular role the museum and therefore also art might be forced to play under political circumstances borrowed from the realities of Russian current political situation. The film is a kind of acid test on how socially concerned art might operate under severe pressure of control by nationalistic populist governments.
The work is a co-production of the Van Abbemuseum, SMART Project Space and Chto Delat?
Distribution and inquiries: SMART Project Space, Amsterdam
Willemijn van der Ree
Igmar de Haan
Huip van Dijk
Claartje van Swaaij
Wouter van der Wiele
Museum attendants [choir]:
Lotte Bovi (mezzo-soprano)
Tim Maas (bass)
Frederique Klooster (soprano)
Anette Stallinga (alt)
Joost van Velzen (tenor)
Evgeny Shrednik (oboe), Mikhail Krutik (violin), Alexandra Zubova (violin), Alexey Bogorad (viola), Elena Grigoryeva (cello), Marina Krutik (piano)
Conductor for Choir recordings: Anton Pauw
Translations: Peter Wezel and Thomas Campbell
Camera: Artyom Ignatov and Tom Bierenbroodspot
Make up artist and hair: Loredana Secci
Stage production: Alex Lebbink and Jimini Hignett
Stage building and props: Jimini Hignett, Benjamin Roth, Avi Krispin, Pieter Paul Pothoven, Niels Vis
Production Accountant: Harry Raam
Special thanks to:
Museum of American Art, Berlin