A note on: Kakania in Berlin at Lettretage

A brilliant night of performances from contemporary European poets and artists, radically recreating and responding to figure of Habsburg Vienna, around one century past, at Lettretage in Berlin, supported by the brilliant Osterreiches Kulturforum http://www.theenemiesproject.com/kakaniaberlin

I had a blast putting this one together, it ended up being so easy to work with everyone from start to finish and the event was welcoming and dynamic in good measure. The performances ranged from playful poetic texts to tech savvy sound performances, and some conceptual performance too. I admire the work, and the generous personalities, of Lea Schneider, Rike Scheffler, Kinga Toth, Norbert Lange and Fabian Faltin, and they made it something special.

A note on: Kakania Berlin – May 9th at Österreichisches Kulturforum

A wonderful thing to be able to travel to curate something, to be able to leave my home and bring together artists who genuinely excite me, in Berlin. A chance to watch people who offer permission to push boundaries and to learn. Thanks to the generosity of the Österreichisches Kulturforum, I was able to put together a Kakania project in Berlin. I brought together 5 artists from across Europe and each presented a new work responding to a figure of the Habsburg Era, 100 years ago or so. We were in the grand performance space of the Österreichisches Kulturforum itself, just off Tiergarten, an imposing curved hall with giant curtains and high ceilings. The Österreichisches Kulturforum couldn’t have been easier to work with and the performances on the night had some real highlights, definitively making an impact on the audience with some of the best sound poets in the world interspersed with conceptual text performances. There was a really dynamic energy to the evening and a clear enthusiasm and intensity, as I’ve often felt in Berlin. Just great to spend time around so many artists I admire under such professional conditions, and to visit Berlin again, having time to bop down Kurfürstenstraße with old friends.

Kakania Berlin - May 9th : 7.30pm at Österreichisches Kulturforum

7.30pm at Österreichisches Kulturforum Berlin kulturforum berlin: kulturforumberlin.at 
ree Entry - May Monday 9th 2016
Stauffenbergstraße 1, 10785 Berlin. T: +49 30 202 87-114 E: berlin-kf (at) bmeia.gv.at

Very happy to announce that the Kakania project will debut in Berlin, with six new literary performance commissions from contemporary artists, each of whom will present a work that celebrates / responds to a figure from the Habsburg era. The event is free to attend if you're in Berlin, please share with friends in the city if you're not http://www.theenemiesproject.com/kakaniaberlin

Book your place here: http://www.kulturforumberlin.at/veranstaltung/kakania/

Max Höfler on Ludwig Wittgenstein
Maja Jantar on Lou Andreas Salome
Stephen Emmerson on Rainer Maria Rilke
Tomomi Adachi on Josef Matthias Hauer
Ernesto Estrella on Gustav Mahler
Ann Cotten on Otto Neurath

This is the first of two Kakania events that will take place in Berlin in 2016, supported by Österreichisches Kulturforum Berlin and follows six events, a symposium, two publications and over fifty new artist commissions in London from 2014 to 2016 thanks to the Austrian Cultural Forum. www.kakania.co.uk 

About Kakania

There has been no one city's culture, at one singular time in modern history, more widely influential on contemporary thought than that of Habsburg Vienna a century ago. A time so densely constituted with intellectual revolution in fields as diverse as poetry, fiction, journalism, music, composition, philosophy, psychology, art … that it seems it can often only be evoked through a wistfulness that belies the melancholy, the energy and the seismic change that constituted it.

With Kakania, decidedly contemporary, avant-garde, original works of text and art are presented in an attempt to be as complex and genre testing as the works, and the people, they are responsive to. This is a project where the past, and our understanding of it, is not be refracted through historical analysis, but the creative process, and one that is utterly contemporary. Kakania is an opportunity for audiences to discover the Habsburg era in a wholly new guise, as our era.

A note on: Kakania returns to London on March 31st 2016

Kakania in London – March 31st 2016: 7pm at Austrian Cultural Forum, London www.theenemiesproject.com/kakania2016

The Event: 7pm – Free Entry / The Symposium: 2pm – Free Entry / 28 Rutland Gate, London SW7 1PQ www.acflondon.org

The Kakania project returns to the Austrian Cultural Forum for a night of brand new performances, each from a contemporary artist or writer responding to a figure of Habsburg Era Vienna. The great, groundbreaking personas of 100 years past are made new by some of the most dynamic and innovative performers and thinkers of our day, without nostalgia, but with faithful invention and intensity. Visit www.kakania.co.uk for more information on the project.

Featuring Harry Man on Erwin Schrodinger  ~ Daniela Cascella on Hugo von Hofmannstahl ~ Steve Beresford on Arnold Schoenberg ~ Thomas Havlik on Walter Serner ~ SJ Fowler on Robert Musil ~ Declan Ryan on ...

The Kakania Symposium - March 31st at ACF London
2pm, 3pm, 4pm in 3 sessions www.theenemiesproject.com/kakaniasymposium

Address: 28 Rutland Gate, London SW7 1PQ. Phone020 7225 730 http://www.acflondon.org/

Preceding the evening’s performances there will be a symposium on Habsburg Vienna, through the kaleidoscope of Kakania’s inventive approach, led and curated by Dr.Diane Silverthorne, a leading voice in Habsburg Viennese studies. The Symposium will feature informal and academic talks about the era, interspersed with poetry and text art readings from poets and writers involved in the first year of the Kakania project, who will also give context to their process. The Symposium will also see a screening of the acclaimed film Altenberg: The Little Pocket Mirror. The schedule is thus: 

2pm - A talk by Dr. Diane Silverthorne on expressionist  landscapes in music and art and  talk by Dr. Leslie Topp, on madness, architecture and Vienna.

3pm - A talk by Jamie Ruers on Cabaret Fledermaus / A talk and reading by Eley Williams on Broncia Koller-Pinel / A talk and reading by Vicky Sparrow on Margarethe Wittgenstein / A talk by Stephen Emmerson on his multi-part performance art response on Rainer Maria Rilke. / A talk by Marcus Slease on writing a new poetry commission on Max Kurzweil. / A screening of Joshua Alexander’s experimental film on Paul Wittgenstein, commissioned for Kakania

4pm - A screening of ALTENBERG: The Little Pocket Mirror  A documentary by David Bickerstaff and Gemma Blackshaw  | 54 min

About Kakania

Following a brilliant first year in which 40 artists made 40 new commissions, 5 events in 5 venues took place in London and 2 original books was launched, Kakania returns with events in Berlin and London. The project is thoroughly documented here: www.kakania.co.uk and the project is only possible through the generosity of the Austrian Cultural Forum London.

Kakania III - the videos

The third installment of Kakania was held in the legendary avant-garde hub the Horse Hospital right in the heart of Bloomsbury London. It featured some of the most interesting live artists from across the continent, including Joerg Zemmler, Caroline Bergvall, Martin Bakero and Damir Sodan. You can watch the videos from the performances here www.theenemiesproject.com/kakaniaevents

 

Kakania at the Horse Hospital - February 19th

Another extraordinary lineup of contemporary artists presenting new works responding to figures of Habsburg Vienna one century ago marks our third Kakania event, this time taking place at the iconic Horse Hospital in Bloomsbury, London. A host of artists I am very proud to present, coming from Vienna, Paris, Zagreb & elsewhere just for Kakania. Doors 7pm, for a 7.30 start.
 
Caroline Bergvall on Gustav Klimt
Martin Bakero on Arnold Schoenberg
Colin Herd on Oskar Kokoschka
Marcus Slease on Max Kurzweil
Damir Sodan on Gustav Mahler
Joerg Zemmler on Karl Kraus
Stephen Emmerson on Rainer Maria Rilke

 
Tickets, at £8, on the door, with info available here: http://www.thehorsehospital.com/now/kakania-iii/

More news soon on the launches of the Kakania anthology and Oberwilding: on the life of Oskar Kokoschka, both original publications made for the project, now in print and presented for the first time at the Freud Museum. As well as our last event on March 26th at the Austrian Cultural Forum, who must be thanked for their generous support of this project. www.kakania.co.uk / www.acflondon.org
 
I would also like to draw your attention to the awful news that the Horse Hospital, an endlessly innovative and generous home for avant garde artwork in London, for 20 years now, is in the process of being sold off. There is a campaign against this http://www.thehorsehospital.com/horse-hospital-to-be-sold/ Please support the HH in anyway you can.

Kakania at the Freud Museum - Jan 22nd

In just under two weeks time, on January Thursday 22nd, I’m delighted to say Kakania will once again feature contemporary artists and poets presenting original commissions on the life & work of a figure of Habsburg Vienna from one century ago. This time Kakania will be in the extraordinary setting of the Freud Museum, with the artists performing their works in the rooms of what was once the house of Sigmund Freud in north London. The audience will tour with the artists, going room to room, as each performance unfolds. 

Spaces are limited and the event is ticketed, so please do book using this link: http://www.freud.org.uk/events/75773/kakania/

 Directions to the Freud Museum can be found here: http://www.freud.org.uk/visit/

The lineup:
Emily Berry on Sigmund Freud
Esther Strauss on Anna Freud
Tom Jenks on Otto Gross
Jeff Hilson on Ludwig Wittgenstein

& Phil Minton on Carl Jung


I’m happy to announce the final details and lineups for the third and fourth Kakania events to take place in February and March. Please pop them in your diaries. 

Kakania III at the Horse Hospital - February thursday 19th
http://www.thehorsehospital.com/
Caroline Bergvall on Gustav Klimt
Martin Bakero on Arnold Schoenberg
Colin Herd on Oskar Kokoschka
Marcus Slease on Max Kurzweil
Damir Sodan on Gustav Mahler
Joerg Zemmler on Karl Kraus

Stephen Emmerson on Rainer Maria Rilke 

Kakania IV at the Austrian Cultural Forum – March Thursday 26th
http://www.acflondon.org/
George Szirtes on Arthur Schnitzler
Ben Morris on Ernst Krenek
Joshua Alexander on Paul Wittgenstein
Thomas Duggan on Ernst Mach
Fabian Faitlin on Otto Wagner
Stephen Emmerson on Rainer Maria Rilke
Jeff Hilson on Ludwig Wittgenstein
Emily Berry on Sigmund Freud
Colin Herd on Oskar Kokoschka


The Freud Museum event will also be the first time the two ambitious Kakania project publications will be available, with both books to have specific launches later in the program. Both have been designed by http://www.polimekanos.com as part of the Austrian Cultural Forum’s Occasions series. 

Oberwilding is a collaborative poetry collection, written by Colin Herd and I, with a poem marking each year of Oskar Kokoschka’s life - an avant garde exploration of the great painters century in collaborative, experimental poetics.

Kakania: an anthology is a groundbreaking collection of brand new works from 40 amazing artists and poets, that features poetry, portraiture, woodcuts, conceptual texts, photography, graphic design and a multitude of arts and artists. It contains work by: 

George Szirtes on Arthur Schnitzler, Martin Bakero on Arnold Schoenberg, Emily Berry on Sigmund Freud, Stephen Emmerson on Rainer Maria Rilke, Colin Herd on Oskar Kokoschka, Sharon Gal on Anton Webern, Jeff Hilson on Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tom Jenks on Otto Gross, Maja Jantar on Lou Andreas-Salome, David Kelly-Mancaux on Egon Schiele, Diane Silverthorne & Ariadne Radi Cor on Alma Mahler, Dylan Nyoukis on Raoul Hausman, Damir Sodan on Gustav Mahler, Marcus Slease on Max Kurzweil, Joerg Zemmler on Karl Kraus, Michael Zand on Hugo von Hofmannstahl, Jaime Robles on Ludwig Boltzmann, Alison Gibb on Bruno Walter, Pascal O'Loughlin on Wilhelm Reich, Vicky Sparrow on Margarethe Wittgenstein, Kim Campanello on Alban Berg, Jack Little on Peter Altenberg, Eley Williams on Broncia Koller-Pinell, Andy Jackson on Oscar Straus, JT Welsch on Hermann Broch, Fabian Peake on Franz Werfel, Aki Schilz on Hermann Bahr, Fabian Faltin on Otto Wagner, Iain Morrison on Alexander von Zemlinsky, Clare Saponia on Julius Wagner-Jauregg, Rhys Trimble on Felix Salten, myself on Robert Musil, Robert McClean on Max Reinhardt, Ryan Van Winkle on Ernst Weiss, Andrew Spragg on Koloman Moser, Peter Jaeger on Theodor Herzl, Nia Davies on Viktor Ullman and Esther Strauss on Anna Freud.


All Kakania events, including this next one at the Freud Museum, will also feature the beautiful books of Pushkin press, with a book table to peruse, accompanied by a Kakania flyer which offers a discount on buying their Habsburg era books online. http://pushkinpress.com/

www.kakania.co.uk / www.stevenjfowler.com

& with thanks to the Austrian Cultural Forum http://www.acflondon.org/

Kakania - the opening event

One of my happiest nights as a curator. One of the most gratifying, in having the extraordinary support of the Austrian Cultural Forum, I finally possessed the platform to bring together seven of my favourites artists across sound, visual art, poetry and the academy, all creating new work toward a notion I am excited by, Habsburg Vienna, in a beautiful, sprawling venue with amazing support. It was an amazing night, at times moving, challenging, profound and intense. & very much on point of evoking the dying Habsburg milieu eye to eye, rather than in sepia tones.

We began by laying out a beautiful array of Pushkin press books which had been generously made available for the evening, to root the audience into the space, with the literature of the Habsburg era, and I piped in Webern and Schoenberg over the speakers as people milled. Over a three figure attendance on a dark dank tuesday November night was pleasing.

Sharon Gal, resplendent on stage in an amazing headpiece and backed by morphing video art, took the work of Anton Webern, worked upon it, reworking it into an ethereal piece of sound and then adding her singular voice live, managed to create a moving and powerful song, both a technical and aesthetic achievement. Her absolute command of her medium and her great charisma gave the event its grand beginning.

Marcus Slease followed with some typically brilliant and idiosyncratic poetry that reflected in narrative sweep his experience of the London sunset against the artworks of Max Kurzweil, blending expressionist and existentialist syntax with a unique poetic vernacular.

Then Diane Silverthorne & Ariade Radi Cor collaborated to evoke the milieu of Alma Mahler, Diane excerpted Alma's diary while reflecting on the vivacity and wry innocence of this Habsburg exemplar while Ariadne wrote live calligraphy which both accentuated and evidenced Diane's beautiful words, before propping those artworks up for exhibition.

Dylan Nyoukis was immense in his loyalty to the energy and intensity of Raoul Hausmann, using pure sound poetry alongside feedback tape loops to beast the audience into place, to remind them the breaking of artistic ground is not always cushioning, and that bourgeois platitude has a janus face.

Stephen Emmerson brought his conceptual exactitude and wit to bear with a thrice translations of Rilke. The first, a pill. The second, a seedball, from which Rainer flowers would sprout, And finally, a Rilke cake, baked in poems to translate the great Habsburg poet into human faeces.



& finally the astounding Maja Jantar, with the countenance of of a countess and the force of a cannon finished the night on the highest of notes, a moving, deeply felt rendition of the lives and loves of Lou Andreas Salome in sound.

It made me feel quite proud to be part of this project, to have begun this endeavour with such an exciting group of artists and performances which left me assured that this was a powerful time, this moment now, in London, that reflected upon another from the past. This was always the idea, no nostalgia, little history, no lectures - just vibrant artworks and brilliant artists.

Sharon Gal on Anton Webern https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6agxQkIffE
Marcus Slease on Max Kurzweil https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4SbgvuJxV_Q
Diane Silverthorne & Ariadne Radi Cor on Alma Mahler Kakania - Diane Silverthorne & Ariadne Radi Cor on Alma Mahler
Dylan Nyoukis on Raoul Hausmann https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFvV3WAb2WM
Stephen Emmerson on Rainer Maria Rilke https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i0SHAWPzENE
Maja Jantar on Lou Andreas Salome https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKXjFQ-LFvo

Kakania on the Austrian Cultural Forum

Kakania

Kakania http://www.acflondon.org/literature-and-books/kakania/

Tuesday 25 November 2014, 7.00pm | Rich Mix
Kakania celebrates the culture of Habsburg Vienna a century ago, with commissions of contemporary artists from 21st century London.
With an array of contemporary artists working in poetry, visual art, sound & conceptual art, Kakania aims to not just to evoke the Habsburg era, but to envelope it, to transpose it, to avoid nostalgia and in its stead bring the intensity and innovation that marked the last days of the Habsburg era. Curated by SJ Fowler and supported by the ACF London, this is the first in a series of four events. Find out more at kakania.co.uk 
Featuring brand new commissions from:
Sharon Gal on Anton Webern
Marcus Slease on Max Kurzweil
Caroline Bergvall on Gustav Klimt
Ariadne Radi Cor & Diane Silverthorne on Alma Mahler
Dylan Nyoukis on Raoul Hausmann
Stephen Emmerson on Rainer Maria Rilke
Maja Jantar on Lou Andreas-Salome