Somewhere in Europe there’s an animal audience!
Venue: The headquarters of the Union of Steel and Metalworkers of Hungary (Vasas)
1086 Budapest, Magdolna u. 5.
Marvin Gaye Chetwynd is one of the best-known performance artists today who realizes her work through creating bonds between various groups of people. She builds for her performances, among others, vibrant imagery, backdrops, and hand-made costumes, all of which invites participation from the audience. Her performances confront serious subject matter through a disarming and compelling method.
Chetwynd’s performance produced for OFF-Biennale is an adaptation of Géza Radványi’s film Somewhere in Europe (1948) with children and young adults from Budapest taking the roles of both actors and interlocutors for the audience to actively engage with the play. The film’s scenes and serious subject matter are re-enacted—based on how the children interpret the film—through the combination of mime, colorful animal costumes, and projections. The collaborative performance project also involves a workshop and a private presentation of the play with a foster home in Budapest.
The performance reworks the Hungarian film Somewhere in Europe, which follows the aftermath of World War II. The story unravels through the lives of a gang of orphaned children, from their brutal situation to finding a sense of freedom, empowerment, and belonging. The film is based on the true and exceptional story of Gaudiopolis, an orphanage that worked in the form of a children’s republic (1945–1950), which was founded in Budapest by pastor Gábor Sztehlo. Many of the orphanage’s children also participated in the film as actors. Chetwynd’s performance transforms the narrative of the film into a communal experience.
The main cooperation partner of this year's OFF Biennale is GfZK – Museum of Contemporary Art Leipzig. The cooperation project is funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation.
Hope Scott Trust
Project Partners: Giovanhill Baths, Glasgow; Glasgow Women’s Library
Cooperation partners: Alternative Secondary School of Economics, Budapest
Special thanks: Gergely Vaskuti and the Bokréta Center for Group Homes, Foster Homes and Elementary School, Budapest