The exhibition Public Announcements takes over the screens at Arena and Orange Stage.
Who controls who?
Two fast-rising talents, Esben Weile Kjær and Maja Malou Lyse, have teamed up to create a brand new piece for the exhibition, subtly and humorously inverting the power dynamic between audience and performers. The festival screen shows the two artists fighting, playing and clinging to the surface separating them from the audience, as the scene is continuously interrupted by messages telling the audience what to do. Pressure Pictures asks a simple question: Who controls who?
Elsewhere at the festival, seemingly at random, the crowd is introduced to performance artist Filip Vest’s no less than 48 pop song suggestions. Imperfect Pitch: 48 Ideas for a Pop Song is a hesitant manifesto for a new alternative pop song for a changing world, The songs range from hopeful to cynical. One is about starting at the bottom and staying there. Another gives you back the time you have lost. And one never stops. Vest’s work reveals the troubled and enchanting nature of pop songs in the world we live in today.
A dystopian thought experiment
One of the exhibition’s two international contributions comes courtesy of the Apparatus 22 artist collective inviting us into a dystopian universe. In this thought experiment, bones are the last remaining vestige of imagination, since artificial intelligence has rendered human thoughts and feelings redundant. Deceptively humorous, We Found the Bones of FICTION is a rallying cry wrapped in 10 questions urging us to hold on to fiction and fantasy. That’s where hope is found in a tumultuous world.
Finally, the audience is confronted with statements by the Kosovar artist Driton Selmani. Liberatingly direct, his work Let It Be points at the contrast between human hubris and self-regard and our vanishingly small significance in the universe at large. In the face of these bleak facts, we realize that uncertainty and mystery are what make life exciting and worth living.