Contemporary art, a form of art that can sometimes be very hard to understand and therefore is not that popular among the majority of people. To promote this kind of art Associazione Hangartfest every year organizes in collaboration with a number of local and foreign organizations a festival named Hangart Fest. This year from the 6th of September until the 5th of October visual and dance artists from around the world came to Pesaro to present their art. Art performances were held in Conservatorio Rossini, Scalone Vanvitelliano, Teatro Sperimentale, Parco del Furlo and many other indoor and outdoor locations in Pesaro.
Every year Associazione Hangart Fest receives applications from many (foreign) artist that are willing to perform during this festival. The association makes a selection, based on which they compile a diverse program, including performances, workshops, exhibitions, video screenings, etc. Under the name ‘ESSERE CREATIVO’ emerging choreographers and performers from Germany, Switzerland, Colombia, Spain, The UK, Greece and Italy gave beautiful performances.
We, the EVS volunteers, got the chance to actively participate in the festival, see all of the performances and interview the artists as well. In my role as a reporter I got the opportunity to make photos and interview the artist. I will share a few highlights with you.
Artwork – the hidden beauty of contemporary art
One of the most interesting pieces of art, called Tette Katodike, was made by the Fratelli Magiagrigio, an artist duo from Italy. The art pieces were exhibited in Scalone Vanvitelliano, which is a beautiful staircase . The bottom of the staircase represented hell, the middle represented purgatory and the top as heaven. On the wall of the staircase were pictures in which the faces of famous people of this generation were projected on the faces of the artists (such as, Bill Clinton and Arafat downstairs, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg in the middle, and Wu Ming and Subcomandante Marcos at the top). The pictures themselves were confusing in the beginning, as you saw two faces and didn’t really know what it meant. However, after the explanation of the artists, it turned out to be a very inspiring piece of art.
What the Fratelli Magiagrigio were trying to show was an autobiography of the current generation.
They projected pictures of the faces of important figures of our society on their own face, because they wanted to show how we are influenced (in a good and bad way) by these people and that they are also a part of our identity. As a spectator, it made you realize how much your being influences on a subconscious level. How representatives of heavy capitalism (Bill Clinton) make us more selfish, how inventors of new technology (Steve Jobs) give us new opportunities but makes us more lazy as well and how philosophers (Wu Ming) make us think about our responsibilities towards society.
The beauty of the art was that it made you think about something you normally take for granted or something you believe stands far away from you. For example, you don’t really think about how the former president of America influences you on a personal level and most of the time you take having an iPhone for granted. Being at this art exhibition certainly gave me more insight on our generation and the actors that mainly influence our mindset.
It also showed the beauty of contemporary art, where it might appear as something that is abstract and unrecognizable, but great beauty and insight can be found when you go into more depth.
Contemporary dance – Nomad’s Land
A group of dance students from Trinity Laban, an art university of London, came to Pesaro to present their final assignments. Every student prepared a dance performance. One of the most interesting performances for me was a performance called ‘Nomad’s Land’. The dance was performed by a group of dancers. The performance seemed to portray different situations. At first the group danced around in a circle, while one of the dancers was constantly getting in and out of the circle. After this part, the dancers started a sequence where they jumped and caught each other. The dance itself was very impressive and the dancers really showed their flexibility and technical skills, however it was a bit hard to figure out the message that they were trying to give.
In an interview with one of the dancers she explained to us that the dance was about the life of nomads. The choreographer of the dance piece travelled a lot and lived in several countries. She never really had a home. This was shown in the circle where one dancer was dancing in and out of the circle. She was constantly trying to fit in an be at home, but either felt that she was too different or had to move out to another country, which is why she constantly in and out of a community (a circle). It represented her finding a way to be part of the group, but also staying herself. The second sequence where the dancers jumped and caught each other was about overcoming fear. One of the dancers was afraid of heights, so she had to jump very high and the others had to catch her. Another dancer was afraid of losing her family and her support system, so she had to jump from one dancer to another, keeping her balance. This sequence of overcoming fears was related to the life of a Nomad. While travelling you are facing a lot of new situations and a lot of fears. Overcoming them is part of the life of a nomad.
Besides the performance being put together beautifully in a technical way, the beauty of it to me was the concept of trying to fit in and be yourself at the same time as well as trying to overcome your fears. It is something that most probably everyone can relate to, even if you’re not travelling a lot. In that sense we are all a bit of a nomad, always on the road of trying to find a balance and a way to be happy.
I saw many performances at Hangart Fest and in each of them the message of the choreographer was so well translated to dance that it left me astonished and inspired. I learned that the story being told in contemporary dance might not be simplistically in front of your eyes, but if you dig a little deeper, there is so much emotion, philosophy and artistic intellegence to be found. The only thing there is left to say for me is that if you didn’t visit Hangart Fest this year, it would be nice to take the chance to go in 2015.