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Artlist — Center for Contemporary Arts Prague

Berlin Wall

Kohout Milan
[CZ] Další autoři
Mari Novotny-Jones
[CZ] Rok Do
Technique and size


About work

Each of these one-season events was a different full-scale performance. They were equal collaborations with Mari-Novotny Jones, another Mobius Artists Group member. The performances were reacting to the newly established world power system where market-oriented, so-called individualistically based societies gripped the victory of "Cold War" over so-called collectivist societies. This performance project lasted for four years, and presented journeys through the idea of collectivism and individualism "as a social order", leaving the audience to decide about future models of society. They examined the extreme polarities that divide people of different philosophical backgrounds, encouraged the creation of a society of thinkers, and questioned how a society does or does not answer the needs of its people. Challenging history, the present and even the future, we wanted to present a number of stereotypical notions and categories governing the world before and after the fall of "collectivist" societies. Using performance as a vehicle, we wanted to prevent a situation in which communication between divided cultures is too often one of mutual monologue disguised as dialog, and where the notion of dialog is sometimes a farce. Martina Pachmanova wrote about the last Berlin Wall performance in ArtsMedia magazine: "When socialism collapsed in the East, most of the people in the post-totalitarian countries expected the overnight arrival of a capitalism which would transform their devastated lives into a kingdom of riches and spectacular consumerism. Even though some historians on both of the former iron curtain consider this historical break as evidence of the validity of the capitalistic system, the collapse of socialism coincided with a protracted global crisis of capitalism in the West. In this sense, the Oedipal figure in Milan Kohout and Novotny-Jones? performance should be interpreted, rather, as an eternal nomadic traveler, disenchanted by his fatal mistake of falling repeatedly in (Incestuous) love with one or other enslaving ideology. He is, thus, forced to wander endlessly between Good and Evil, Left and Right, East and West, in the realm where one's capacity to distingish between polarities leads either to extremism or to a cynical blurring of all values."

Milan Kohout


Photo author : Bob Raymond
Center for Contemporary Arts Prague www.fcca.cz 2006–2018
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