Where have all the art manifestos gone, and why have the artists stopped writing them? The Norwegian theatre group Verk dove into the deep ocean of manifestos and discovered hidden treasures. They now present Manifest United – a cacophony of theories, poetry and megalomania.
Whoever starts digging in the art manifestos of the latest hundred years will soon be surrounded by hundreds of eccentric voices and bizarre ideas – but also by deep wisdom, prophetic warnings and intentional (or unintentional) humor. The most fertile soil for cultivating Utopia is found in the arts, where humanity expresses its humanism. Art is our best alternative to egotism and apathy.
Verk was established in Oslo, Norway in 1998. They are known for creating improvised and narrative theatre with aspects of vaudeville, often satirical and political. Their working process always begins with extremely open-ended research, in which failure is the most important component. The copious material is then boiled down to the core, and the performance is just the tip of an iceberg.
By and with: Saila Hyttinen, Fredrik Hannestad, Anders Mossling, Signe Becker, Per Platou, Tilo Hahn, Solveig Laland Mohn, Espen Klouman Høiner, Håkon Mathias Vassvik, Lea Basch, Kjersti Alm Eriksen, Jon Refsdal Moe, Pernille Mogensen. Supported by: Arts Council Norway. Co-produced by: Black Box teater (Oslo), Teaterhuset Avant Garden (Trondheim), BIT -Teatergarasjen (Bergen).
Texts: Dogme 95, Manifesto (1995). Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, Futurist Manifesto (1908). Mina Loy, Futuristiske aforismer (1914). Antonio Artaud, Manifesto for a Theatre That Failed (1926). Gilbert & George, What our art means (1970). Lebbeus Woods, Manifesto (1993). Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Maintenance Art Manifesto (1969). Claes Oldenburg, I Am for an Art (1961). Stanley Brouwn, A short manifesto (1964). Andy Warhol, Interview (1963).
Music: Alvin Lucier, Antonio Vivaldi, Edvard Grieg, Freesound, Hans Zimmer, Henry Purcell, Jean Sibelius, Joxaren, Per Platou, Pete Seeger, Talleiv Roysland.
Thanks to: Iver Findlay, Yolanda Cesta Cursach, David Giese (Joxaren), Antti Bjørn, Anders Hamre, Rom for dans, KHiO, Teater Manu, Ida Uvaas.
Photo: Camilla Jensen, Verk Produksjoner