International Festival: On the Town
Saturday November 17, 2007
INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL : ON THE TOWN – FINAL SCREENING
17th of November @ Storefront
SCREENING 1 : 2-4pm
SCREENING 2 : 5-7pm
FOLLOWED BY A RED CARPET GALA EXTRAVAGANZA FROM 7PM
As part of PERFORMA07, New York’s second biennial of new visual art performance, the Swedish collaboration International Festival (initiated by architect Tor Lindstrand and performance-related artist Mårten Spångberg) takes on the monumental task of re-shooting the entirety of “On The Town” (98 minutes), Stanley Donen’s seminal 1949 dance film featuring Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, and others, in order to produce an inter-textual fiction engaging with the spatial and social geographies of New York City.
The actors exploring New York in the original film will be replaced by the performing team of International Festival. This social performance will take place over the course of a twenty-one day shoot, creating a wide variety of social situations as the team searches for and re-films scenes at the locations in “On The Town”.
The original “On the Town” will be running on a loop at Storefront throughout the process, and each day, the new material shot will be superimposed onto the original film, so that the final day’s shoot will complete the “erasure” of the original.
The typical intersection in cinema between spatial and temporal conditions here deviates from a question of “what” to a question of “how,” as the production of the film is transformed from a process of simply creating representation into a dramatic process in its own right. The film, the product of this process, depicts a spatial hyper-fiction, as the image passes from one cinematic reality to another, extraterritorial and actual space, returning it to the general intellect. It simultaneously documents a durational social performance, the expression of which is deliberately weak, and functions as an activation outline, a protocol for an empowered understanding of the city.
International Festival (initiated by Tor Lindstrand and Mårten Spångberg) is a long-term collaborative platform between architecture and performance, named “Architects of the Year” in Sweden for 2007. The work of International Festival issues questions surrounding distribution, accountability, and ownership in specific social and economical contexts. Created by an architect (Lindstrand) and a performance-related artist (Spångberg), International Festival occupies a terrain where opportunities to activate and change spatio-temporal coordination in a pro-active manner are central. This work is embedded in the specificity and singularity of the relations it produces in collaboration with the spectator.
Tor Lindstrand is an architect based in Stockholm. Aside from his work with International Festival, he is an editor of the cultural quarterly Merge Magazine. Lindstrand is also working as a teacher at the School of Architecture, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, focusing on the relationship between tools of representation and the production of architecture, emerging on-line platforms, digital social space, and the opportunity to say yes.
Mårten Spångberg is a performance-related artist, writer and curator. Base in Berlin, he has created his own work, which emphasizes choreographic structures, since 1994, and has been commissioned as a choreographer for the Frankfurt Ballet. His work has been shown in many European countries, and he has also worked with choreographers such as Xavier Le Roy and Les Ballets C de la B. From 1996-2004 he organized and curated the international performance/dance festival Panacea and was commissioned curator of performing arts at the Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon, 2001-04. He was visiting professor at the University of Giessen 2000-03, lecturer at P.A.R.T.S. 2001-06, and has taught both at the arts academy in Maastricht and at the Royal School of Theatre in Stockholm.
PERFORMA07 (October 27-November 20, 2007) is the second biennial of new visual art performance presented by PERFORMA, a non-profit multidisciplinary arts organization dedicated to exploring the critical role of live performance in the history of twentieth century art and to encouraging new directions in performance for the twenty-first century. www.performa-arts.org