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.

2016 so far: Beijing, Buenos Aires, Tractography & more

A rundown of recent publications, programmes, projects and performances from 2016 so far. 

Commission: BBC Radio 3’s The Verb
The Worm in its Core was commissioned as a new poem / performance by Radio 3's The Verb in response to Hearing the Voice - a project which explores, and demystifies auditory verbal hallucinations. www.stevenjfowler.com/theverb

Commission: Forumstadtpark Graz - Glory Hole
Manners Maketh Man was commissioned by the Forumstadtpark in Graz as part of their public art series Glory Hole, projected onto a screen in the city centre.  http://www.stevenjfowler.com/blog/gloryhole

Buenos Aires: Enemigos with El Tercer Lugar
One of the most extraordinary Enemies Projects so far, a week of collaborations and performances in Argentina; new collaborations with Julián López, Anahí Mallol, Camilo Sanchez, Leonce Lupette & Patrick Coyle. http://www.stevenjfowler.com/argentina

Beijing: CCTSS Conference & Festival
A poetry readings held in Beijing to mark the Chinese Culture Translation and Studies Support (CCTSS) global literary conference featuring poets from across the world http://www.stevenjfowler.com/beijing

Tractography, published by Pyramid Editions
A limited edition pamphlet of 50, the first of a new series of poems exploring neuroscience.

Forty Feet, published by Knives Forks & Spoons press
A new collaborative poetry collection written with David Berridge, 40 Feet is a poem in dialogue. 40 poems as 40 moments, 40 fragments, 40 conversation starters / enders. http://www.stevenjfowler.com/40feet

The Night-Time Economy Exhibition in Newport
A new collaborative exhibition in Newport with the photographer Kate Mercer, images & poetry exploring the often fractious energy of Newport's nightlife http://www.theenemiesproject.com/nighttimeeconomy

Lexicon: performance at Marsden Woo Gallery
Responding to the work of artist and sculptor Alida Sayer at the remarkable London gallery Marsden Woo http://www.theenemiesproject.com/lexicon

StAnza Festival
One of the UK's principle poetry festivals, a great week reading, talking, curating and collaborating in St.Andrews http://www.stevenjfowler.com/stanza

Cyprus: The Iskele Poetry Festival
A memorable week in Northern Cyprus reading at the 18th Iskele-Kibatek poetry festival http://www.stevenjfowler.com/iskele

The English PEN Modern Literature Festival
An amazing experience curating nearly 30 authors responding with new works to writers-at-risk supported by English PEN. http://www.theenemiesproject.com/englishpen Including my poems and performance for Khadija Ismayilova and appearing on BBC Azeri world service.

Reykjavik, The Library of Water and Ovinir: Icelandic Enemies
Ambitious Enemies Project collaborations in Iceland, a new self-drowning performance in the Library of Water in Stykkishólmur, and a remarkable London reading to a nearly 200 strong crowd. http://www.stevenjfowler.com/iceland

Kakania at Austrian Cultural Forum
A symposium and six new commissions at the Austrian Cultural Forum – contemporary artists responding to figures of Habsburg Vienna. All performances and my own on the great Robert Musil.

The Essex Book Festival
Great to curate a Camarade with 18 poets and one family performing new works for the day, from the Colchester area & beyond. http://www.theenemiesproject.com/essex Including my collaboration with David Berridge

& new poetry has appeared in Gorse magazinePoetry WalesKarawa (new translations into German), Poems in WhichBlack Market ReviewCountry MusicFor Every Year and Wazogate. Thanks to all the editors. And to everyone who has read this far down. Happy Springtime to you all, Steven

A note on: Kakania in London comes to an end with a 6th event & symposium

A lovely long day at the Austrian Cultural Forum in Knightsbridge wrapping up a brilliant 18 months with the Kakania project in London, before it goes to Berlin later this year. The amazing Theodora Danek helped me develop the project into something special, and the support of all the staff at the ACF has been really outstanding, Elisabeth Kogler and Zhuo Wang especially.

We had three hours of talks and screenings in the afternoon followed by six new commissions in the evening, including my first creative entry into the Kakania output which has included over 60 new works from artists and two books, over six events so far. All the videos are here www.theenemiesproject.com/kakania-events and my page has been updated too www.stevenjfowler.com/kakania

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.

A note on: The Enemies Project - Spring Programme 2016

The Enemies Project Spring Programme 2016 includes Icelandic, Argentinian and Georgian Enemies projects, Camarade events in Essex and St.Andrews, the return of Kakania in London and Berlin, a collaborative exhibition in Newport, a collaborative event involving five Universities and a one day festival celebrating English PEN and their writers-at-risk project. http://www.theenemiesproject.com/springprogram16/ 

January Sat 30thOvinir: an Icelandic Enemies project in London
Rich Mix Arts Centre : 7.30pm : Free entrance
Óvinir brings together two generations of Icelandic poets and writers to the UK to premiere brand new collaborations with British poets following events in Iceland. A unique chance to see some of the most interesting performers in Europe, feat. Valgerður Þóroddsdóttir & Jack Underwood, Eiríkur Örn Nörðdahl & Hannah Silva, Joanna Walsh & Andri Snær Magnason, Ásta Fanney Sigurðardóttir, Inua Ellams, Vahni Capildeo & more. http://www.theenemiesproject.com/iceland

February 3rd to 10th: The Enemies Project: Argentina
The Enemies project in Buenos Aires; an embedded collaborative program between a host of poets from Argentina and the UK, writing brand new collaborations over nearly a week in the Argentinian capital. Featuring Julián López, Anahí Mallol, Camilo Sanchez, Patrick Coyle & more. Co-curated by Flavia Daniela Pittella. www.theenemiesproject.com/argentina

February 29th: Respites: Wellcome Collection - London
Respites is a carefully curated series of day-long gatherings, exploring ideas and activities about rest, pleasure, contentedness, critical thinking and creativity. It is aimed at being a generative and respectful series of engagements with people who need and deserve more respite than they receive. Respites is curated by Ayesha Nathoo, Lynne Friedli and Steven J. Fowler, and is supported by, and part of, the Hubbub group, in residence at Wellcome Collection. http://www.theenemiesproject.com/respites

March Saturday 5th: The StanZa Camarade – St.Andrews
http://stanzapoetry.org/festival/events/stanza-camarade-performance
Camarade Workshop - 13:00 - 16:00 (The Town Hall, Queens Gardens - Upstairs Foyer) followed by the performance 15:55 - 16:10 in the Supper Room
The StAnza Camarade will see new collaborations written by poets both attending and participating in the festival, and a collaborative workshop beforehand. The StAnza festival are pleased to offer the opportunity to take part in the workshop and performance for a small group of attendees. Anyone who would like to participate in the project should email a short biography to stanza@stanzapoetry.org. http://www.theenemiesproject.com/stanza

March Sunday 20th: The Essex Camarade – Colchester
at the First Site Gallery - 1pm to 3.30pm - Free Entrance
Commissioned by the Essex Book Festival, this Camarade will see a series of brand new collaborations written by poets in pairs, from the Essex area or attending the festival especially. Feat. James Davies & Philip Terry, Vicki Weitz & Isabella Martin. Anna Townley & Lawrence Bradby, Jeff Hilson & Tim Atkins & more. http://www.theenemiesproject.com/essex

March Thursday 31st: Kakania at the Austrian Cultural Forum: London
Kakania returns to London after five extraordinary events in 2015, and two unique publications. Contemporary artists present new literary performance commissions, each responding to a figure of the Habsburg Era. www.kakania.co.uk (date to be confirmed)

April Saturday 2nd: The English PEN Modern Literature Festival
Over 30 contemporary English writers present works new works, each in tribute to a writer who is part of the English PEN Writer's at Risk programme, writers living under oppression around the world. The one day festival takes at Rich Mix, 2pm onwards, in 3 sessions throughout the day. All are free to attend but attendees are encouraged to join English PEN. Feat. Mark Ravenhill, Caroline Bergvall, Sam Winston, Emily Berry, Emily Critchley & many more. http://www.theenemiesproject.com/englishpen

April Thursday 7th: The Night-Time Economy: an exhibition, Newport
The Riverfront Theatre & Arts Centre: Newport. 7.30pm. A collaborative exhibition of photography and poetry from Kate Mercer and SJ Fowler exploring the often violent environment of Newport's nightclubs and pubs. This special view event will feature readings and is supported by Arts Council Wales and Poetry Wales. The exhibition runs for three weeks. http://www.theenemiesproject.com/nighttimeeconomy

April Saturday 23rd: The University Camarade
Entrance is free. 7.30pm doors for 8pm start http://www.richmix.org.uk/
The University Camarade will present over 10 new collaborative works, premiered on the night, written by pairs of young poets, all of whom are undertaking study in Creative Writing departments at five different UK Universities including Kingston, Glasgow, Edge Hill, York St John. http://www.theenemiesproject.com/unicamarade

May Monday 9th: Kakania in Berlin
8pm at Österreichisches Kulturforum Berlin
Kakania debuts in Berlin, with new literary performance commissions from contemporary artists, each of whom will present a work that celebrates / responds to a figure from the Habsburg era. Featuring Max Höfler on Ludwig Wittgenstein, Maja Jantar on Lou Andreas Salome, Stephen Emmerson on Rainer Maria Rilke, Tomomi Adachi on Paul Wittgenstein, Ernesto Estrella on Gustav Mahler and Ann Cotten on Otto Neurath. http://theenemiesproject.com/kakaniaberlin

May Saturday 14th: The Enemies Project: Switzerland for European Literature Night
A night of new collaborations celebrating contemporary European poetry at Rich Mix, with a cohort of Swiss poets collaborating with British counterparts, amongst others. The event is part of the wider European Literature Night celebrations.

May 16th to 21st: Mtrebi: a Georgian Enemies project in Tbilisi
An Enemies Project in Tbilisi, three British poets visit the Georgian capital to create new collaborations with local writers. Feat. Luke Kennard, Sarah Howe & more. Co-curated by Davit Gabunia.

Supported by UNESCO Reykjavik City of Literature, The British Council, Norwich Writer's Centre, International Literature Showcase Fund, El Tercer Lugar, The StanZa festival, The Essex Book Festival, English PEN, Arts Council Wales, Austrian Cultural Forum London, Österreichisches Kulturforum Berlin, University of Kingston, Glasgow, Edge Hill and York St. Johns, Rich Mix & more.

www.theenemiesproject.com

< 2015

As the year dies off, it's a chance to reflect on a really remarkable 12 months past and say a few thank you's to those who  have been so generous as to make everything that transpired, mentioned below, so remarkable. Here is 2015 in review:

  • a launch for my latest book {Enthusiasm} this June past, published by the amazing Test Centre press. Gratitude to Jess Chandler & Will Shutes. A discerning review here by Richard Marshall.

  • debut solo exhibition, Mahu, took place across June and July, at the Hardy Tree Gallery in Kings Cross, a book handwritten onto the walls, with 11 events across the run. Thanks to Cameron Maxwell & Amalie Russell, and the over 50 poets and writers who contributed.

  • Throughout 2015, I was in residence with Hubbub group at Wellcome Collection, sharing the space with neuroscientists, social scientists and other researchers. I launched my Soundings project with Hubbub and Wellcome Library, performing with Emma Bennett, Dylan Nyoukis & Maja Jantar. Thanks to James Wilkes, Kimberley Staines & many others.

  • a debut play, Dagestan, was produced to scratch at the Rich Mix Theatre, thanks to an amazing cast, director Russell Bender and producer Tom Chivers, of Penned in the Margins.

  • I performed a new commission for Tate Modern in June, and then taught a course for the institution in November. Thanks to Joseph Kendra & Marianne Mulvey, and everyone who attended.

  • Really wonderful to join the faculty at Kingston University, as a lecturer in the Creative Writing department.

    With The Enemies Project, I had the pleasure of curating multiple international collaborative projects:

  • Gelynion, with Nia Davies, thanks to Arts Council Wales. Remarkable events from Newport to Bangor, finishing at Hay-on-Wye Festival.

  • Feinde, with Austrian poets, thanks to the Austrian Cultural Forum, including multiple events & an exhibition celebrating concrete poetry.

  • Croatia, with Tomica Bajsic & co, thanks to Croatian PEN and others, a wonderful mini-tour of Croatia and an event in London.

  • Enemigos, with Mexican poets, thanks to British Council, Conaculta and the London bookfair.

  • Wrogowie, with Polish poets, thanks to Polish Institute London.

  • Nemici, with Italian poets from across Europe.

  • Kakania, celebrating Habsburg Austrian culture, supported by Austrian Cultural Forum, saw memorable events in the Freud Museum, the Horse Hospital and the ACF, with over 40 new commissions. It also produced two books – an anthology of the project’s work and a new collaborative collection written by Colin Herd and I, about the life of Oskar Kokoschka.

  • a launch of the 2nd edition of my book Fights, published by Veer Books, at Apiary Studios in October. Big thanks to the publishing committee at Veer and the authors who celebrated the sport of boxing with me on the night.

  • A World without Words, curated with Lotje Sodderland and Thomas Duggan, saw 4 events in 2015, including at Somerset House and the Frontline Club. A remarkable success exploring the human brain, language, neuroscience & art with some amazing thinkers, not least Lotje & Tom.

  • I spoke at the School of Mind and Brain, Humboldt University, Berlin, thanks to Daniel Margulies, and became a Salzburg Global Fellow, for a conference on creativity and the brain. also attended the International Literature Showcase in Norwich thanks to the British Council and Writer’s Centre Norwich, and contributed to a panel on technology and literature.

  • attended the Berlin Poetry Festival in June and curated a Camarade with Lettretage while visiting the city. The same organisation kindly hosted me for their Literary Activists Conference in February.

  • attended Festina Lente in Paris in March, hosted by Martin Bakero and collaborated with the brilliant Zuzana Husarova.

  • curated many stand alone events, including the European Camarade, which brought together 18 poets from across the continent, the Norwich Camarade, thanks to Writer’s Centre Norwich and UEA, Global Cities for Southbank Centre & the London Literature Festival, European Literature Night in Edinburgh and a Cemetery Romance, thanks to Czech Centre London. Pleased to be a part of the Globe Road Festival too, leading an artists tour of the road.

  • had the privilege of being hosted by Edge Hill University, thanks to James Byrne, and co-curate a Camarade in Liverpool, which included a launch of my collaborative book with Tom Jenks, 1000 Proverbs, from Knives forks & spoons press.

  • amongst readings / performances: at Whitechapel Gallery for the launch of the New Concrete, edited by Victoria Bean & Chris McCabe, at the Stoke Newington Literature Festival & at Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge, on Henri Gaudier-Brzeska’s The Wrestlers, thanks to Sarah Victoria Turner & co.

  • Wonderful to again teach for the Poetry School, sharing my passion for European and world avant-garde movements in the courses Maintenant and Mondo

  • continued in residence with the brilliant J&L Gibbons landscape architects and had the pleasure to share the stage with them at the Garden Museum, London for the Big Tree Debate.

  • Amongst some lovely conversations / interviews documented this year, this one on Sabotage Reviews with Will Barrett really stood out and I was grateful to the response of many to my short article on the passing of Tomaz Salamun. 

  • Poems in Modern Poetry in Translation, Poetry Wales, Test Centre, Gorse, Long Poem magazine, Lighthouse & others, thanks to the editors. My work was also included in the Poetry Archive.

    And knowing no one is reading at this point, simply, it was a great pleasure to collaborate in one form or another with so many extraordinary artists in 2015 - Noah Hutton, Rebecca Kamen, Tereza Stehlikova, Endre Ruset, Alessandro Burbank, Joe Dunthorne, Eurig Salisbury, Zoe Skoulding, Rhys Trimble, Daniela Seel, Anna Cady, Amanda de la Garza, Harry Man, Prudence Chamberlain and Tom Jenks among them.

I'm grateful to have met and worked with so many generous people throughout this year. There is more to come in 2016.

A note on: upcoming in 2016

Thanks to everyone who has made 2015 so special, a few highlights, upcoming, for 2016

The final a World without Words event takes place January 9th at Apiary Studios featuring a host of neuroscientists and artists.

I'll be on BBC Radio 3's The Verb with a new commission responding to the Hearing the Voice project in January. 

Ovinir - The Enemies Project: Iceland, includes a big Camarade reading in Reykjavik where I'll be collaborating with Valgerður Þóroddsdóttir, supported by Reykjavik UNESCO city of literature. Then a reading in London, on January 30th, with over 30 poets, where I'll be presenting a new work with Ásta Fanney Sigurðardóttir

February sees a reading in Buenos Aires, hosted by El tercer lugar, curated by flavia pitella, thanks to the British Council.

The Soundings project will continue with 7 new collaborative performances including works with Tamarin Norwood (February), Sharon Gal (March), Patrick Coyle (April), Phil Minton (June), all responding to prompts from Wellcome Librarians.

I'll be attending the StAnza festival on the weekend of March 5th, speaking at an event on the body and poetry, responding to a film about bp nichol and leading a workshop / curating a Camarade collaborative event.

I'll be curating the English PEN Modern Literature Festival over one day on April 2nd, featuring 50 writers writing new works responding to some of PEN's writers at risk cases. Free to attend, but signing up for membership encouraged!

Very happy to be attending the Tbilisi International Festival of Literature in May 2016, thanks to the British Council, Writers Centre Norwich and the International Literature Fund, beginning a Georgian Enemies project: Mtrebi, which will return to the UK in July, where it'll visit the Ledbury Poetry Festival and the Rich Mix in London.

I'll be curating a Camarade for the Essex Book Festival on March Sunday 20th and I'll be curating further innovative Camarade events, including the University Camarade, on April 23rd, where students from five different creative writing departments (including my own at Kingston) create new collaborations across institutions.

Alongside both Croatian & British collaborators I'll be attending Vicenza's ArtBox reading series in May, curated by Marco Fazzini.

I'll be attending the Milosz Festival in Krakow in June, writing new collaborations with Polish poets / artists, thanks to UNESCO Krakow City of Literature, The British Council & co.

The Kakania project will return with readings in Berlin and London, from February to September 2016, all featuring new commissions of poets and artists responding to figures from Habsburg Vienna.

I'm happy to be part of the ambitious CROWD project, which crosses Europe next summer, travelling from Finland to Cyprus, over many months, with lots of interchanging poets on a bus. I'm doing Graz to Belgrade in June 2016.

Lots more publications, events and projects to be announced next year.

the end of Kakania, for now...

In uploading the videos of the 4th and magisterial final act of the Kakania project I waded through all the Kakania webpages to change the tense from future to past. Not too sad a labour as I have stated so often, especially in the light of such an amazing final act, how satisfying the project now seems, how complete.

You can read all my past tenses here www.theenemiesproject.com/kakania

Kakania at the Austrian Cultural Forum - March 26th 2015

The end, for now. But as Kakania ended with war, perhaps our hopes should be too high. This incarnation of the time certainly ended with a beautiful, graceful, varied and dynamic evening of works in the appropriately resplendent salon-like surroundings of the Austrian Cultural Forum. A night for me personally to appreciate just how extraordinary the project has been, and how much this is owed to the generosity of the artists and the almost unheard of support, trust and enthusiasm of the Austrian Cultural Forum itself. Theodora Danek and her colleagues have been remarkable, and this was a night where I able to thank them.

The final event was not to be a culmination, it was, as each event has been, it's own entity, curated with it's own rhythm and feel, relative to the venue and artists. Yet, there was a natural build towards it. It was built on language works, poets, both new to Kakania and those who have acted as a sort of creative spine to the project, read - Stephen Emmerson so beautifully engaging with Rilke (his son is called Rainer), Colin Herd so brilliantly evoking Kokoschka, George Szirtes born to write about Schnitzler. These poets were complimented with some radically different mediums, Josh Alexander with his abstract film on Paul Wittgenstein, which when screened in the dark of that room genuinely moved me, Fabian Faltin with a conceptual performance on Otto Wagner which was utterly unforgettable and witty and energetic, and finally Ben Morris, a sound art beast, on Ernst Krenek. 

The point was to create a specific energy and experience throughout the evening that rested upon complimentary and responsive artforms, artworks and artists. And more than that to show how powerful the connection is in 21st century London to the iconoclasts of early 20th century Vienna. Each work spoke to the next, as together they were far more about the artists through the ghost voices of their Habsburg predecessors, than the details of the individual artworks themselves. It was like all of Kakania, unique, and warm hearted and brilliant.

considering Kakania before the IV at the Austrian Cultural Forum

http://www.acflondon.org/literature-and-books/kakania-iv/ Book your place
March 26th Thursday 7pm!

Kakania has been one of the most satisfying curatorial experiences of my career, perhaps the most satisfying. It's not just that the concept was so lovingly taken up by all the artists I approached, and that there was such a groundswell of positive responses from the extensive audiences and readers and creative folk involved, but because it began ambitious, almost intimidatingly so, and yet is coming to a close feeling intimate, careful and thoroughly realised. It's hard to marry one's ambition to reality in these kind of art projects, but four events in, two books, 40 artists each with a new commission and it feels I've barely broke a sweat. Without being cloy, the genuinely amazing support of the Austrian Cultural Forum is a huge part of this.

The final event is not a culmination, it is, as each event has been, it's own entity, curated with it's own rhythm and feel, relative to the venue and artists. Yet, there is a natural build towards it. It is built on language works, poets, both new to Kakania and those who have acted as a sort of creative spine to the project, will be reading - Stephen Emmerson so beautifully engaging with Rilke (his son is called Rainer), Colin Herd so brilliantly evoking Kokoschka, George Szirtes born to write about Schnitzler. These poets are complimented with some radically different mediums, Josh Alexander with his abstract film on Paul Wittgenstein, Fabian Faltin with a conceptual performance on Otto Wagner and Ben Morris, a sound art beast, on Ernst Krenek. 

The point is to create a specific energy and experience throughout the evening that rests on complimentary and responsive artforms, artworks and artists. And more than that to show how powerful the connection is in 21st century London to the iconoclasts of early 20th century Vienna. Each work will speak to the next, as together they are far more about the artists through the ghost voices of their Habsburg predecessors, than the details of the individual artworks themselves. It'll be unique, come along

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 IV at the Austrian Cultural Forum – March Thursday 26th 2015

The Kakania project closes its program for now with a grand event at the Austrian Cultural Forum, just off Hyde Park, in London. Four new commissions, and four new iterations of previous commissions blend poetry, avant-garde music, performance art and video art, all from contemporary artists and poets each responding in their own unique way to a figure of Habsburg Vienna around one century ago.

George Szirtes reads poems on Arthur Schnitzler
Ben Morris offers experimental music on Ernst Krenek
Joshua Alexander screens his video art on Paul Wittgenstein
Emily Berry reads poems on Sigmund Freud
Colin Herd reads poems on Oskar Kokoschka
Fabian Faltlin performs in response to Otto Wagner
Stephen Emmerson shares things in response to Rainer Maria Rilke
eff Hilson reads poems on Ludwig Wittgenstein

The event is completely free, but please do use this link to book your place
http://acflondon.org/literature-and-books/kakania-iv/

Both Kakania publications, the Kakania anthology with over 40 contributors, and Oberwildling: On the Life of Oskar Kokoschka by Colin Herd & I, will be available to buy at the event.

Once this phase of Kakania is complete, the remaining copies of the books will be available online and the anthology will have a special reading launch in June at the Hardy Tree gallery in Kings Cross, London.

Also in situe at Kakania IV will be books from the imitable Pushkin Press, who have generously supported the Kakania project and who publish some of the finest authors of the era we are emploring. http://pushkinpress.com/kakania/

Thanks too to Theodora Danek, Elisabeth Kögler and the team at the Austrian Cultural Forum and all those who’ve helped make the project so special. www.kakania.co.uk

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 - January 22nd 2015

A more beautiful, more fitting setting could not be found for Kakania than the house of Sigmund Freud during his last days in London, now a museum. The Freud Museum showed us the same generosity so many have around the Kakania project and we were allowed to commission five new works, each by a contemporary artist, each taking place in a different room of the house. It's very rare to be able to present works in such a rarified space, one curated so carefully, but also one that maintains a fluency that would us to walk nearly 60 people from room to room on a tour of performances.


We began with Emily Berry reading beautiful new poems appropriated from Sigmund Freud's beautiful correspondence before moving onto Tom Jenks new conceptual work on Otto Gross, read in the exhibition room, Eros around him. We then moved into Anna Freud's study, where the remarkable performance artist Esther Strauss was asleep on Anna's original couch. Esther had stayed up for a whole day to make herself tired enough to sleep, to dream in Anna's room. It was a mesmerising and unforgettable performance. We then moved downstairs where Dylan Nyoukis resurrected Raoul Hausmann in the dining room before Jeff Hilson finished the event, reading his Wittgenstein poems in the landing. 

A major highlight for me, as the first Kakania had been, as a curator. To be able to work with such a calibre of artists, thanks to the Austrian Cultural Forum's generosity, and to launch our two new original Kakania publications too, it was a satisfying feeling. I've long wanted to perform or organise in the Freud Museum also in fact it was a motivation for me to develop Kakania to work in that space, having had a long relationship with Freud's text. In the light of these artists works, the museum became something new to me, and Im sure the audience too felt this was a special evening.

Thanks to Lili Spain for all her support. Pictures below by Wanda O'Connor.


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

announcing Kakania! a brand new project begins Nov 25th

Thanks to the Austrian Cultural Forum, I’m delighted to announce a new project that celebrates the culture of Habsburg Vienna a century ago, with commissions of contemporary artists from 21st century London. Kakania - over 4 events, each in different venues, 4 original publications and an array of contemporary artists working in poetry, visual art, sound & conceptual art - 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. www.kakania.co.uk

Each artist is creating new work based on one specific figure from that time. The website features an artists section where you can see the full list of commissions, which include Emily Berry on Sigmund Freud, Colin Herd on Oskar Kokoschka, Caroline Bergvall on Gustav Klimt, & George Szirtes on Arthur Schnitzler, amongst many others, including, in time, works on Stefan Zweig, Robert Musil, Egon Schiele, Gustav Mahler, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Alma Mahler, Joseph Roth & many others.

The first event takes place in just over two weeks and is completely free to attend.

Kakania
November Tuesday 25th – 7.30pm
the Rich Mix Arts Centre – Main space – Free Entry
Featuring brand new commissions from:
Sharon Gal on Anton Webern
Jeff Hilson on Ludwig Wittgenstein
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
The following three events will take place on:
January thurs 22nd at the Freud Museum
http://www.freud.org.uk/events/75773/kakania/
Featuring brand new commissions from:
Emily Berry on Sigmund Freud
Damir Sodan on Gustav Mahler
Jeff Hilson on Ludwig Wittgenstein
& many more

February thurs 19th at TBC
Featuring brand new commissions from:
Caroline Bergvall on Gustav Klimt
Stephen Emmerson on Rainer Maria Rilke
Tom Jenks on Otto Gross
Colin Herd on Oskar Kokoschka
Martin Bakero on TBC
Morten Sondergaard on TBC

March thurs 26th at the Austrian Cultural Forum

Featuring brand new commissions from:
George Szirtes on Arthur Schnitzler
Joshua Alexander on Paul Wittgenstein
Jeff Hilson on Ludwig Wittgenstein
Emily Berry on Sigmund Freud
Marcus Slease on Max Kurzweil
Stephen Emmerson on Rainer Maria Rilke

Kakania is an ambitious project which explores the legacy of the Habsburg past through decidedly contemporary, original works of text and art, which will attempt to be as complex and genre testing as the works, and the people, they are responsive to. Please come out to support the endeavour.


Kakania is also partnered by Pushkin Press, who will have books to sell at the events & who publish vital Habsburg figures like Stefan Zweig http://pushkinpress.com/ & the website is ever growing with new works of art and poetry published online, as well as information on the project and its commissions, so please check back regularly www.kakania.co.uk All thanks go to the Austrian Cultural Forum http://www.acflondon.org/