0,2012: Last Futurist Lab

March 16-April 8 2012 at The Bushwick Starr

In early 20th century Russia, young poets, directors, dancers and artists of every kind brought thrilling new challenges to the arts: Wave after wave of experimentation and rebellion produced the highest gross tonnage of creative steel worldwide. 0,2012: The Futurist Lab explored the Russian avant-garde, aiming to find the literary hooligan in us all.

Featured performances:

Pozhar! (or Time Machine Ignition)
Lead Artists: Maia Karo & Kate Marvin
Mayakovsky and Meyerhold combine and combust, burning the wreath of cheap fame made of bathhouse switches! Manifestos, plays and poems set aflame by a movement of movement. What’s a Futurist? I don’t know. I never heard of such a thing.

Karma Kharms (or Yarns by Kharms)
Lead Artist: Eliza Bent
A bizarre physical score is set to the equally strange micro-fictions of Russian avant-gardist Daniil Kharms. This movement heavy adaptation creates a Russian village while investigating the absurdities of life in Stalinist Russia (and other totalitarian states) with deadpan cheek and aplomb.

The Gray Notebook
by Alexander Vvedenksy
translated by Matvei Yankelevich
Lead Artist: Corinne Donly
“If we experience wild non-understanding we will know that no one will be able to counter it with clarity.” A bringing to life of Vvedensky’s dense (but transcen-dense) musings on death and time.

The What Dance
Lead Artist: Eben Hoffer
Packed up: Daniil Kharms, and a lifetime’s desire to live without talking, and we set forth all astride a small camel towards home. How clearly can we tell a story without being clear about what the story is? Rooted in physicality and live sound, strange masks and sailing expeditions, three tales of growing up in specific bodies.

(The 2012 Puppet Re-enactment of the 1920 Bolshevik re-enactment of)
The Storming of the Winter Palace

Lead Artist: Kathleen Kennedy Tobin
Toward the end of the revolutionary year of 1917, the Bolsheviks overthrew the provisional government in Saint Petersburg and took control of the nation. Three years later, they commemorated their triumph with a massive on-site spectacle in front of and inside the Winter Palace, which we recreate here in miniature form.

Man in a Black Coat
by Inessa Zaretsky
after a story by Daniil Kharms
Lead Artist: Philip Shneidman
An original chamber opera about a private encounter between a man and a woman that is interrupted by a mysterious man in a black coat. First developed in 2009 by little OPERA, the story exemplifies the terror and uncertainty of the Soviet Era.

The Bedbug
by Vladimir Mayakovsky
Lead Artist: Maggie Robinson
Check your sheets! Check your mattress! Check your government issued work visa Comrade in order to prepare for the coming of THE BEDBUG. Spoiler alert: It travels through time.

Words Express
Lead Artist: Kristan Seemel
How about a cubosupremofuturistbeyondsense theater-machine cranked all the way up to 11? The blurring speed of abstraction? The speed of the Future? Buba. Buba. Buba. Ui. Just don’t let it get you bent out of shape!

Time and Death… A Dream Play
Lead Artist: Chinasa Ogbuagu
Death Variations or Everybody Hangs! or It’s All Fun & Games Until You Die From Hanging OR Something About Theater… AND We All Get It In the End.

A Futurist publication performance
by Alexei Kruchenykh
Lead Artist: William Burke
A ZAUMy pistolly, bombidity punkidity concertidyish performadity designed to bring claridity and calamidity to your life force. You’re Welcome. DRAVD BAR PA!

The Puppet Show
by Alexander Blok
Lead Artist: Carolyn Mraz
A poet, a scholar, a pregnant woman, and GOD walk into a lyrical symbolist drama…

Troika, A Concert-Play
Lead Artist: Kristine Haruna Lee
Inspired by the weirdo imagination of OBERIU, which gained notoriety as the Soviet’s last literary avant-garde. Boys prance and play in mythic dress-up alongside an original score, and Daniil Kharms himself unwinds into a nonsensical world of dreams trying to answer the question, “What is TROIKA?”


Photos by Suzi Sadler