What's So Funny?
August 23 - August 27, 2001
CESTA, Cultural Exchange Station in Tábor, Czech Republic

Festival Program

Festival Statement

We all appreciate a good joke, a laugh, a smile, but not everything is funny to everyone. Humor is as private as it is public, as cryptic as it is ubiquitous. Comedy plays one of the most important, and yet uncelebrated, roles in social definition. We use humor to relieve one and insult another, to identify and exclude. We know our wit can be as healthy as it is dangerous. How do we tell the difference? What do we learn about each other and ourselves when we laugh?
For What's So Funny? we ask artists from different cultures and artistic media to collaborate using the humor in their work to discover our boundaries. Which ones can we cross safely? Which ones not? And perhaps most importantly, how can we laugh in the process, and at the results?
CESTA's festival themes and parameters of cross-national interdisciplinary collaborations represent the center's commitment to improving communication through creative expression. In many cases, participants who have collaborated at CESTA festivals have gone on to work together again in the future, under different circumstances, in different locations. This year we have invited artists to arrive at CESTA throughout the month of August to continue their collaboration on-site, a collaboration which began in the spring of 2001 via internet, post, and in some cases, in person. We find just as much value in the working process as we do in the final presentation, and hope the audience will engage in discussion with the participants during the Open Forum at the beginning and end of the festival weekend. We welcome you to our 7th Arts Festival of cross-national collaborations, What's So Funny?

Festival Program

Thursday, August 23 and Monday, August 27

20,00 Open Public Forum
The public and press are invited to an open discussion about the festival theme and the work in progress with the participants and staff.

Friday, August 24

20,00  arr.dep.arr {Emily Field (UK) / Mette Karlsvik (N)}
Book and Film
Aspects of the absurd are represented in our everyday life. This is materialized through the experience and effort of our journey where we record the curious and banal. The journey continues. It is cyclical. The juxtaposition between the origin and destination is represented by book and film.

21,00  Catherine Lipscombe (CAN) / Punctum for Art Experiment (YU)
Dance/ Performance/ Installation/ Video/ Audio/ Photograph/ Objects/
The performance deals with juxtaposition of violence and innocence contained in children's culture. The authors chose children's songs which are playful and naïve and paradoxically frightful. The artists' aim is not to criticize the violence at its roots but to focus on what makes people (children) laugh and be frightened.

Saturday, August 25

20,00  Zoja Smutny (CAN/CZ/GR) / Catherine Lipscombe (CAN) / Stephane Gauthron (F)
"There's something I want 2 tell you!"
This performance is an exploration of movement through film, body and different languages.

21,00  Ryuzo Fukuhara (JAP) / Matthieu Salvetat / Tracy Susheski(CAN)
Butoh Dance/Site Specific Environment
"I am standing on the ground and observing the layer made from air,light,sound,temperature,view from people and other many elements of environment around my body.In this layer,my body is bent,twisted,pressed,and has spasm" -Ryuzo Fukahara

22,00  M21 {Lena Lapschina (RUS) / Hugo Engelbrecht (A)} plus additional participation by Czech art critics and theorists
"The Influence of Alcoholic Drinks on the Social Intercourse of the Intelligentsia"
Large scale photography/Performance/Video

The project should demonstrate the process of intellectual discourse and development of new ideas. When a few people from the art-world: artists, curators, theorists, etc. sit (as usual) in a comfortable atmosphere by the bottle of vodka and something small to eat, having a discussion about the ways of developing contemporary art- What , and How is this done, and is this process necessary ? The process will be doubled by web-cam, connecting this discursive-round with the parallel discourse-round in Siberia with artists and curators from Novosibirsk Center for Contemporary Art.

Sunday, August 26

20,00  Ned {Nico Poisson, Nikko Fenouillat}(F) / Seb Sanz de Santa Maria (USA)
"It's More Fun Staying at Home (A Journey into Your Gloomiest Afternoons)"
Music, theater and video showing the relationship and the very special kind of love-hate feeling we all have with the stupid programs on television, especially in the afternoon

21,00  Oleg Soulimenko (RUS) / Deborah Boardman (USA)
"Playing Dead"
Pedestrian and Everyday Movement / Text / Performance
Children derive great amusement from pretending to die or to be dead or delight in getting the shivers imaging possible death scenarios. We will play from this remembered place of childhood imagining.