A U Danceweek Festival Zagreb
AU, symbol of Gold
au, symbol of astronomical unity
au, symbol of atomic unity
AU, Australia (IsO 3166-1 alpha-2)
AU, Austria (FIPs 10-4 & outdated Nato country code)
AU (stria) AU (stralia)
a code denoting Austria to one artist, and Australia to the other.
How can individuals from different cultures and places recreate a common landscape in which they can evolve and continue together?
AU is not a “representation” of diversity nor the juxtaposition of cultures, but the result of an overall of Austrian and Australian roots. In AU, traces of ancient times, known codes and residual clichés remain, but are not located in a conventional place. The clash of representations allows us to question the dogma of acculturation-adaptation. By digging around the concept of ‘elsewhere’ new artistic foundations emerge. It is elsewhere that the origin must be sought.
Together the artists question and try to create a new or perhaps a forgotten space. A place that does not belong to an identifiable territory and does not have a specific function. A place where power is neither expressed nor endured. This hybrid space is a refuge for diversity, composed of lost ideas, vagabond identities, forgotten cultures and exists at the periphery of the possible. A forgotten place ? A political negligence ?An unhoped-for space ?The collaboration between choreographers Christian Ubl –CUBe Association (FR)and Kylie Walters -Ornithorynque (CH) is by no means an incidental one ; the Austrian and the Australian first met in Switzer-land about fifteen years ago. Both strive to create interdisciplinary pieces, where the meeting of diverse perspectives lies at the heart of their work.
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For Christian Ubl, after two projects addressing the themes of folklore and belonging I’m from Austria, like Wolfi and SHAKE IT OUT, AU contributes the third piece to his “triptych” exploring what it means to live elsewhere. The themes of identity, gender and origin have also been explored by Kylie Walters in her precedent works Mutant slappers & The Planet Bang, and Not even Wrong (N.E.W.) and AU folds into these concerns for the choreographer.
By christening this shared creative venture AU, the artistic duality of the project is instantly established. AU is a shared journey, undertaken by two representatives of unique cultures, united through their status as expatriots living in France. Together, the two artists share a desire to weave the strands of their respective selves, built fortuitously along their individual journeys, into one, new, cohesive identity to be offered up to their audience.
Two cultures, two evolving artistic entities, two languages, two worlds… meld into one unique mouthpiece for articulating movements, moments, gestures, and impulses ; a performance of abstract, even off-beat, physical and theatrical choreography. The writing of AU is protean, polymorphic, focused and set in motion by the imagining of situations and body states verging on the absurd; obsessions, inconsistencies, rooted traditions and diverted cliches.
The artistic and human venture and vision of Ubl and Walters provided the catalyst for
AU. However, a dissection of otherness would not have been complete without the participation of “other” artists: the composer Seb Martel and landscape artist Gilles Clément. Together, they explore why “difference” is a crucial component of “identity”. The music, composed and performed live by seb Martel, is based on two instruments : the cithar and the guitar. The concept of a “third possible landscape” and the “vagabondage of plants” is the focus of the collaboration with Gilles Clément – landscape gardener, horticultural engineer, botanist and author of the inspirational and celebrated “Manifeste du Tiers Paysage” or “Jardins Planétaires”.