The Huggy Bears Days are coming up! From 26.11 to 28.11 at brut studio and from 29.11 to 30.11 at wuk.performing arts our mentoring program artists will celebrate their big opening nights. This year, we at Bears in the Park have had the pleasure of accompanying four very different, but all extremely exciting projects over a period of several months. The artists engage with diverse topics, from political activism/ apathy, consumption and decoloniality, gender fluidity and transformity. But all of them are united by a certain searching through our complex and often hard-to-digest time. Now we invite you to experience these distinct paths.
studio brut: Sunday, 26.11 – Tuesday, 28.11
Reverse Cowgirl β by Ariadne Randall
It’s a concert, it’s a nature documentary, it’s a piece about becoming who we want to be, and what we leave behind along the way. Our gender, for instance? It’s a way of asking what home means if they’d throw you in jail there for being who you are. Caution: includes sinful dancing and historical instruments. To ensure the highest performance quality, please exchange your identity with the Department of Performance Quality before experiencing the qualities of this performance.
Collective Action (a solo show) by Gudrun Schmidinger
Collective Action (a solo show) is a one-woman rally about the need to move past hyper individualism, towards solidarisation and communality. Inspired by podcast dudes, cottage core, affordable rent and real life magic, Gudrun Schmidinger is on a quest of defeating political apathy, taking the audience on a persona packed, banger blasting journey. After all, in these crisis ridden and tumultuous times, the world needs more… scratch cards.
WUK.performingarts: Wednesday, 29.11 + Thursday, 30.11
Elsewhere by The Needles (Nina Sandino, Daniela Hernandez, Andrea Vezga, Ragnheiður Erla Björnsdóttir)
The precipices of one’s own wardrobe, the wild world of supply chains, the bizarre balance of power between global north and south: The performance collective The Needles enters the spheres of virtual fashion – a universe full of digital rituals and cyberpunk avatars, where cotton is a currency and indigo an elixir of life. Digital fashion is a continuation of social media filters on platforms such as Instagram or TikTok and a signifier of increasing alienation. But do technologies that merge our physical and digital realms really challenge our understanding of mutual care? The performance Elsewhere plays with our craving for instant rewards and the need for new and old rituals while at the same time exploring the history of forced labour in the neoliberal world order and its roots in colonialism.
Neither Fish Nor Meat by Jannis Neumann
The title is a literal English translation of the German saying ‘weder Fisch noch Fleisch’ referring, often with a condescending undertone, to someone or something that is hard to classify: half-baked, immature. As a hybrid being between human and seal, Jannis Neumann attempts to learn more about this zone of vagueness, constantly looking for nuances, tensions, and different perspectives. In Neither Fish Nor Meat, he presents an embodied dialogue with his own physicality, identity, upbringing as a queer child, and society’s ideas of masculinity. Ancient myths of beautiful but terrible Tritons, luring siren songs and seal-like selkies who can shed their pelt are interwoven with stereotyping, queer narratives, and stories of petroleum as a post-modern prosthesis for virility, thus creating a loose fabric negotiating fins and genitals, social norms and sexuality.
About Bears in the Park and the Huggy Bears Mentoring Programme:
Since 2016, Huggy Bears has been a pillar of innovative performance art, supporting emerging artists in Vienna. Each year, the mentoring programme provides three or four individuals or collectives with comprehensive support in areas from production to administration, equipment and dramaturgy. In a series of different presentation formats as well as regular feedback sessions within the group, the young artists’ projects develop into very special pieces. At the end of the nine-month programme, the mentees get to present their performance projects for the first time on a big stage in Vienna. This year, the Huggy Bears Days will be held as a co-operation between brut Wien and WUK performing arts. The mentoring/supporting program “Huggy Bears” is funded by a program grant for the residencies from the BMKÖS and byStadt Wien MA7 as supporter of the initiative Bears in the Park. You may learn more about the program, here.