In August 2009, I facilitated a week-long workshop with a wonderful group of international, interdisciplinary artists. Working with prompts and triggers drawn from Yiddish culture and from our own lives, we spent the week generating performance material on themes of cultural memory and identity. Trace was a space in which to build on existing concepts, try out new ideas, and imagine new possibilities. At the end of that week we opened our process up to the public, performing a work-in-progress – a beautiful collection of individual and group relationships.
‘The myths of the last century are now inadequate to encompass these new experiences. We are living in the space between mythologies. It is the artists who will create a livable future through their ability to articulate in the face of flux and change.’ Anne Bogart, A Director Prepares
Trace explores the search for new mythologies, parallels and pluralities, and the (re)construction of cultural memory. As cultural memory becomes increasingly fragmented, I propose that young artists are constructing personal heritages through performance. There is a vibrant cultural scene full of artists – I include myself in this community – drawing on and from cultural traditions, remaking them with the colours of their own aesthetics. They are selecting fragments of tradition and heritage that are relevant to their aesthetics of self and incorporating them into their contemporary identities by performing them. These performances are the contemporary repertoire.
Trace 2009 was made possible by Other Music e.V., Weimar, Germany.