C: Hello, it is really great you are going to work with our gallery. We are very excited to give an opportunity to an upcoming talent. I was wondering, what works will be exhibited? A: Hello. The work that I am going to present in this space, it is called Scripts for Failure. The project explores failure and its potentiality in showing different modes of (un)knowing. For me. failure is a way to exit grand narratives, normative structures and nationalism, a way to react against victory or territorialized and fixed collective identities that are being imposed and accepted by the citizens. The project is a continuation of another project that I did, about victory and since the project was about gymnastics, as a way to talk about victory and identity in regards to my country - Romania, failure starts from gymnastics as well, but the subject will shift through failure, because now, Romania is no longer a powerhouse of gymnastics and is failing to get medals, and now this become a struggle for Romanians, asking what happened with our values, and our morals, and in a way it shifts this understanding of being victorious to being a country that does not perform that role that was important for it's self identifying. The first work will be about falls and embracing them. C: Can you explain what a fall is? A: In gymnastics, if you fall, you most surely won't win, so it is the moment of failure, fall and fail when it comes to gymnastics. Another video will explore nationalism and gymnastics in the past. In the last century, if you needed to strengthen your lungs, you were supposed to do exercises and sing the national anthem, that will make you... C: Is this specific in Romania? A: No, no, in Germany. C: So you will sing the national anthem and...? A: ...whilst doing exercises, so you will strengthen your lungs C: And your moral fiber. A: Exactly. The second video will play on the idea of singing the anthem, EU anthem, which I totally do not know. C: Is that the European anthem? A: Yes. C: Beethoven, Ode to Joy? la-lala-la A: Yes, exactly. I am singing it but then I am going to fail in doing this, so I will start over again and again. C: It's a performance video? A: Yes. Both of the videos are performances. Is about the space of interrupting and repeating and not being able to strengthen my moral core. C: The European anthem - what language is that sang in? A: I am going to sing it in english. C: Is it available in every language in EU? A: I think that it is. C: And the lyrics, the lyrics are the same? A: I do not think they are the same, but the same idea. I only know it in Romanian a bit, we learned it in school, but I do not remember most of it. C: Ode to Joy, I think originally was a drinking song. A: I really do not know…. C: It was coopted. It's very interesting, how Slavoj Zizek talks about the fact Ode to Joy is used to every political and ideological stride. The right wing people use it as a very nationalistic anthem and the left liberals use it as a sort of universal pan national anthem, as an European anthem. A: Exactly. I feel the lyrics are so neutral that it makes it the best song for that. C: Is it because is an ideology, isn't it. If you are an extreme right person, you can take the lyrics as yours. If you are a more liberal pan nationalist you can take the idea of unity as your own. A: It is a song that has been used going to the fascism, in different situations. C: In Clockwork Orange, a film by Kubrick, is the anthem of the hooligan, who beats people up. It is a time where the EU is failing because of the nationalism, so is that part of it? A: When it comes to EU, Romania has been part of it for such a short time, but is not something that can be easily positioned, as good or bad, but it implies a lot of regulations, changes and interfering in people's life. It is also the idea of expansion into Eastern Europe, and creating this buffer area, integrating the countries to behave properly and be under control. Of course is also a conversation that has many layers today, because of Brexit.. C: … because there are a lot of nationalist parties in Italy, Germany, France, UK, Netherlands - that are extremely non-EU. A: I do not want through the video to imply any positions, but rather this moment of performing and not being able to fulfill this european integration. C: Can you tell me specifically, how are you going to position this 2 videos? Are there any other elements in the show? A: Yes - there is going to be another video, on which I am working right now, a script based on the Pied Piper of Hamlin, a story that can be traced to a specific history of colonization that is assumed to be the reality behind the story, and how this story can be transformed. It is also considered to be a story about the colonization of Transylvania, so it is interesting for me to subvert it. C: So remind me of the story? The piper is called in Hamelin to get rid of the rats, and he has a flute. A: ...yes, he has a song .. C: ...and he takes the rates away... A: ...the wealthy people do not want to pay him for the service. C: So, as a punishment, he takes the children away…. A: ...and takes them through a mountain where they found new land to settle in. C: So will you refer to other media as cartons, children story, films? A: Yes, it is going to be based on the “original” story and films - there are so many films made based on this story. C: But it did originate in the oral traditions. A: It is going to be a script that will be enacted by couple of non-actors in a neutral space, and each person will have a role and will go from one person to another. The idea is not to be a story of colonization, the pied will fail to get rid of the rats. C: This are the 3 elements. How they talk to each other? A: I think they do their own thing, since the first video wants to trace a history of falls, the second video explores developing the moral and physical core and the pied is fictionalised and radically changed. But it's based on body and performance, hinting to different moments and different narratives. They communicate with each other through failing. C: So you do not need to have explanations about the romanian gymnastics history or anything like that? A: The work will not be about romanian falls but falls in general, the lost promise of being victorious. It doesn't need to have such a big introduction, for the second and third, yes, there needs to be a small text next to the work just introducing the elements that are put at work. C: So how can that be conveyed? Through a title? Or what will be the minimal textual support that it is required? A: A short description or just on a A4 paper when you enter, just to give hints about the elements. C: What is the environment where you are going to sing the anthem? A: I have a nice terrace where I live, it's flat, behind are just trees and on the ground peebles. C: So you are going to be out in the open? A: I wanted to do it outside. The image that I have about gymnastics in the XIth century is outside. C: It is also a public pronouncement of your loyalty to the whatever authority. Are we going to feel you are in pain, you're going to exercise? A: There will be 2 kind of failures - first I do not know the anthem, and then I will allow myself to be stuck, and try to remember the correct words. The second is exercising and singing which can be quite hard especially when you do not know the lyrics. C: So this is what you are interested in, the small affects. How do you feel the audience will feel in relation to that, when you are breathing. How will this affect the audience, this collection of failures? A: When it comes to falls - falls are being treated like porn in way - so many videos, lolz, gags, it is funny for a large segment of the audiences - and I want to oppose that pleasure of watching it and exploring as being something quite haunting. C: How can this be evoked? A: Though reenacting some of the positions and stand in that position for a couple of seconds - I see it as meditative falls - almost look like yoga. C: It changes the temperature to the poignancy of failure. A: Yes, the idea is to embrace failure. C: So why value failure? A: For me, I feel like failure is the exit of a set of constraints, is an exit out of victory, out of nationalism, out of fixed identities. No longer normal, behaved, good citizen. You can become a body that does accept the things you are supposed to accept at face value. Opens a space to remove yourself C: Is there anything else you want to add? A: No. Just come and see my show and enjoy it! C; Thank you for chatting with me. A: Thank you for having me! C: We are all very excited.
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