Now in its second iteration, vs. Interpretation is a festival of adventurous art, part of an ongoing transdisciplinary project promoting innovative improvised artistic projects and research. This year's festival will continue to focus on sound improvisation and offer performances, discussions, and workshops on the subjects of movement, sound art, film, visual art, and new concepts in music composition.
Visit the official festival website.
Overview and Featured Performers
Festival events are connected through a number of conceptual threads. One thread will forefront the growing scene in Lebanon as a mirror to our own growing Czech scene, bringing to Prague one of the pioneer improvisational musicians of the Middle East, Mazen Kerbaj. Kerbaj is famous for his duet with the sounds of the 2006 bombing of Beirut, an example of minimalist improvisation in which he develops a startling variety of sounds through his experimental approach. In addition to his musicianship, Kerbaj is also an established visual artist and author whose drawings, short stories, and books have appeared in numerous magazines. Kerbaj’s work often offers sharp commentary that speaks of the hardships of living in wartime, even as he struggles to express the sounds of intense events.
Kerbaj will take part in two concerts (solo and group) and also exhibit artwork during the festival. Sharing the stage with him will be Christine Abdelnour, Sharif Sehnaoui, Raed Yassin, and Paed Conca. Yassin and Conca will also present their project Praed Plus, a collaboration with a local brass band, supporting vs. Interpretation’s goal of bringing together international artists to work with local art communities. In addition, Christof Kurzmann will premiere a new composition during the festival in collaboration with an expanded international line-up of the Prague Improvisation Orchestra. Similarly, respected dancer Julyen Hamilton will present new work using international and local performers.
vs. Intepretation is excited to present new work from groundbreaking intermedia artists Jérôme Noetinger (France), well-known for his 'expanded cinema' group Metamkine, and Lloyd Dunn (US), stalwart of the zine-cassette underground of the 1980s-90s and member of the tape collage group The Tape-beatles. Martha Mooke (US), an improvisational electroacoustic violist who will make use of 3D visualizations conceived by software artist Scott Draves.
The festival also showcases the intersection between experimental music, sound art, and the public space via events, installations, and performances. On 29 April, the International Day of Dance, there will be a special performance parade from Ponec Theatre via Alfred ve Dvoře, ending at Studio Alta, with several public interventions on the way. Exhibitions will be on display at Studio Alta as well as the Centre for Contemporary Arts Prague.
Hans van Koolwijk of the Netherlands has been invited to perform his piece Helium ballonnen.
At HAMU, there will be a series of public talks, where Bob Ostertag (US), Andrea Parkins (US) and Lê Quan Ninh (France) will share their methods of composition and improvisation, also discussing the works they will present during the festival.
The confirmed artists for vs. Interpretation 2016, aside from those mentioned above, will also include Marcel Bárta, Theo Bleckmann, Tony Buck, Audrey Chen, Sabine Ercklentz, Andrej Gál, HandaGote, Hanna Hartman, Boris Hauf, Steve Heather, Jan Jirucha, Hans Koch, Lisa Mezzacappa, Phil Minton, Andrea Neumann, Ana-Maria Rodriguez,Martin Siewert, Michael Thieke, Miro Tóth, Ute Wassermann, Christian Weber, and Pavel Zlámal, among many others.
For the 2016 edition of vs. Interpretation, the Agosto Foundation will partner with academic and foreign institutions such as HAMU, IIM, the Austrian Cultural Forum, and the Slovak Institute, as well as media partners Czech Broadcasting, HIS Voice, and others.