02.2018 - present
Public Space, Athens, Greece
Nomadic performace in public space
1915. In a permanent state of sleep deprivation, oppressed by his working environment, Franz Kafka writes The Metamorphosis. About a century later, the idea of a Kafkaesque world designated by externally imposed, non-negotiable powers, emanated through a fuzzy institutional pluralism, is clearly a reality; Irrational and disorienting, with citizens bound to a power structure that renders them powerless to even hope towards a slight change, no more their escape.
CAUTION [...] starts with a disruption from the Kafkaesque universe, when the protagonist of The Metamorphosis escapes from his reality and finds refuge in the sewage system of Athens. Having found himself in a familiar environment, he chooses to observe the world that he has left behind and uses his previous experience among the people, to open a dialogue with the passersby. The public space of the city acts as the performative space. The project is developed through site-specific research, based on rigorous documentation of everyday life in the city of Athens. The hero, employing word improvisation, re-adjusts his story according to the passersby and surrounding area. The spoken word is combined with digital media for its transmission and reproduction, in order to achieve an unexpected intervention.
CAUTION [...] attempts to create an heterotopia within the urban fabric. By employing dialogue, as a socio-political tool, the work interrupts the passerby from the mundanity of everyday life. Dialogue, as a tool, is used by ReCompulsive Behaviours to create a common narrative ego: The performance of a ‘’shared self’’ that emerges from common points of reference, common experiences and is aimed at creating a common identity through a speech collectively articulated but individually self-interpreted. The character created through this process, observes the world and tries to understand it through interpretations of passersby. For this reason, the repository of experience and future interactive actions of the performance, constantly grows.
This is how it works:
We place a diy system of a microphone and a speaker into the sewages, trashcans, rainwater drains etc. of the city (wherever someone can actually meet a cockroach), and talk through this to the passersby, as a cockroach who is frustrated by the state of its living conditions. the sewage system of athens is full with drugs and antidepressants after the crisis, you know (a study from the university of athens proved it). We are positioned 20 meters away so that nobody can connect the voice from the sewage to us. We listen, we talk back. After that it's up to the people we meet and how willing they are to have a discussion with a bug. the more they ask, the more they learn. it's a completely different performance every time, we never appear at the same spot twice.
NEXT TIME YOU ARE WALKING AROUND AND HEAR A VOICE FROM A TRASHCAN, PLEASE DO ANSWER BACK, COCKROACHES CAN FEEL LONELY TOO, YOU KNOW
Original Concept & Development: ReCompulsive Behaviours