Gastspiel A TRANS curated by Isolde Nagel Birgit Kjaersgaard – Verdensrum, Japan: Ryōkai Resist


With our program for 2018, entitled A Radical City, A trans focuses with greater precision on radical forms of expression and appearance in social and spatial contexts. It is hoped that a return to the roots (Latin: radix), to the originary, to the experience of extremes, will contribute to an expansion of horizons and a transformation of existing orientations toward life.
What are the roots of radicality, and what do we mean by the “radical city”?
It has been a long time since radical urban utopias were widely discussed. Yet one often reads that urban residents have become radicalized, or that entire urban districts have developed into No Go Zones as a result of radical tendencies.
Generally speaking, radicality can be seen as a catalyst for change. And a retrospective view of such transformations can make radicalism appear inevitable, even conservative.
In this series, the invited protagonists will reflect upon and redefine certain historical and utopian topics. Interrogated in the process in ways that go beyond individual disciplines, and through a variety of artistic approaches and working methods, will be a range of stereotypes, dogmas, and assumptions.
A trans strives to offer a platform to researchers into consciousness and for a multiplicity of approaches to the investigation of experimental tendencies that incorporate contemporary urban practices and identities.
The aim of A trans is therefore to foster the “radical” reorganization of existing beliefs and concepts leading toward artistic-architectural approaches that transcends individual disciplinary boundaries.

For many years, the Danish architect Birgit Kjærsgaard has investigated the reception of the symbolic systems and metaphors of Asian cultures.

Verdensrum, Japan:_Ryōkai Resist is a unique 3D installation based on a Japanese meditation ritual and the Japanese idea that spirits are alive in nature. It unites Asian spiritual teachings and philosophy with expressive (Butoh dance) performance, film, sound, and contemporary 3D-technology.
Every culture has its own sense of time, which is related to myth and history as well as to daily experience and existence as such. This installation calls for a decelerated mode of reception. Interpreted here artistically is an Eastern tradition and philosophy that focuses on thought processes. In the case of Butoh dance, thought and movement are positioned on the same plane, spirit and body come together in harmony. United here in a contemporary staged context are an ancient Japanese meditation ritual (kept alive by the monks of Kōyasan Mountains, located south of the megacity Osaka) and the power of Butoh dance. As an explorer of consciousness, the beholder becomes a participant in a journey through landscape, mind, and space.