GO EAST blog

this blog follows the road movie research of estonian performance artist katrin essenson and swiss performance artist matthias ruettimann across the former states of the sovjet union. mai - july 2016   

perm, perm 2

Bridge over Kama river perm

Tuesday evening, just after sunset your train stops in perm 2. Yes, perm 2! Whatever this 2 means. You tried to get tickets to perm 1, but impossible, no trains to perm 1. The Kama river is lying as a fat, well nourished serpent from the Uralic mountains, you only know from the school maps. At 20:13 it's 6 degrees and you smell the heavy odors of an industrial city that was closed in earlier times for visitors.

how to improvise in trains

Babajevo station 30.05.2016

st.petersburg Ladozsky station, train leaving 15:30 on a Monday.

27 hours in a train. Open any magazine you can get. Cut out whatever attracts your attention, clue the cutout in your diary, don't try to make it, don't choose, just enjoy cutting and clueing 27 hours. Invite Xenia, a ten year old girl to join you in cutting and clueing.

add some sleeping, drinking tea, sitting in the restaurant wagon, eating piroshki with cabbage and potatoes, hopping in and out the train whenever it stops, admire the stoic discipline of the trains stewardess in their light gray uniforms standing besides the entrance door of their wagons during any stopp and enduring the bites of the mosquitos which take their supper after sun setting at the platform in Babajevo.

perform the unknown -stoppover st.petersburg

Performance stoppover st.petersburg

saturday 4:30 pm, meeting at Ligovskiy prospekt 99, Konstantin shows up, the front door to the performance space is locked. Who has a key? Sergey strolls over from ligovskiy metro station, his red hair swings in the rhythm of the walk. We have to enter the performance spacae by the library next door, climb down a narrow stairway to a dark cellar, creep through an installation, which reminds you to some woody Allen movie as the installation seems to be a huge narrow sticky birth canal where you have to go through to arrive finally in the performance space. Half an hour later the door is open and a bunch of people gathered. There were Sergey Kostyrko and Konstantin Samolovov, who made up the venue, Igor, a jazz musician, you just met the day before in the streets playing the trumpet in front of the Resurrection Church, a young painter, who came with Igor, Katerina Tchadina, a student in contemporary dance, and Tania Gordeeva, a teacher at the school for contemporary dance and performance, Oksana and Pavel, two actors from a group called teatr labor, a tall girl, who heads for improvised music, Ilia Belorukov, a musician and founder of a label for experimental and improvised music called Intomena, further a silent enigmatic guy, who reads Stanislaw Lem, a photographer in a black outfit, and some others, sixteen in all. 

what starts as a structured performance turns into a wild and playful happening. Five videos taken from our week in St.Petersburg form the basic structure of an open improvisation with various participants. The videos, between 3 and 15 minutes long, are projected on the wall. Sergey and the tall girl bow over their laptops and electronical equipment, the audience mutes into actors, the whole space becomes a stage, you are joining Pavels movement, yelling Russian words offered by Oksana, you are listening the tapping of Katerina's feet on the linoleum, you become a statue, formed by changing actors, you see a bottle rolling over the floor, you receive a cherry tomatoe, you hear the waves of the swelling sound flooding the space, on the wall visitors of the ermitage are passing by and Konstantin adds a tableau to the exhibition.

five hours later, after some talking and sharing the experience, the room empties and the last once find themselves on the Ligovskiy prospekt in the unceasing grumble of the traffic and the upcoming lights of a city in a state of tender fatigue.

improvisation could be ...

Performance stoppover st.petersburg

"Meeting other artists in a collective playfully improvisation. could become a model for a nonviolent and no hierarchical Communication in the future."


road movie - stoppover st.petersburg

performance with katrin essenson, matthias ruettimann and local artists

28.05.2016 17:00 ligovskij prospekt 99, st.petersburg

public performance and round table talk 

Invitation: local artists who like to participate in a improvisation together with katrin and matthias are welcome to meet them already at 14:00 in the same place for preparation