Rites for a New Utopia



Utopias are by definition places that do not exist. Nevertheless the very real remains of past utopian projects are all around us and keep informing our imagination and aspirations. In the process of creating models of the world as it could be rather then of how it is, radical art practices have often reinvented social and material modes of production as a playground for broader social change.

Rites for a New Utopia is a theatrical event that responds to two aspirations: the dream of abolishing traditional social hierarchies, enacted by refusing to accept the rigid separation between composer, performer, instrument maker and audience, and the ambition of returning to an ancestral unity of the arts by combining image, sound, space, movement and the body within the continuum of aesthetic experience.

With works by: Lars Kynde, Ángel Faraldo, Matteo Marangoni, Mariska de Groot, Dieter Vandoren and Horst Rickels.

The program presented on March 28th 2015 in the  Grote Kerk in The Hague featured two new works for the 17th century carillon of the Grote Kerk by Lars Kynde and Ángel Faraldo and performed by Gijsbert Kok, exposing the particular overtone structure of the church bells from different spatial perspectives. Mariska de Groot, Matteo Marangoni and Dieter Vandoren explored new forms of interaction between performers, audience and the hosting space through a swarm of artificial creatures which mingled with the audience, and Matteo Marangoni presented a new site-specific iteration of his kinetic sculptures employing free aerophones to probe the boundaries of the heard and the unheard sound spectrum. The evening ended with a special performance of Partita for Variable Air Compression by Horst Rickels, a seminal work of Dutch sound art which was first presented in The Hague in 1989 and which was performed by Rickels on his self-made organ Mercurius Wagen.

Rites for a New Utopia was presented by the artist-run platform iii in cooperation with Het Nutshuis and Dag in de Branding and was part of the celebrations for the 25th anniversary of the ArtScience Interfaculty. The program was made possible with the additional support of the Municipality of The Hague, Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, the Creative Industries Fund NL and the Danish Arts Foundation.


photos: David in Den Bosch