The Rimini Protokoll 

Do’s & Don’ts 

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Last sunday, we took part of the Rimini Protokoll. We were about thirty at the checkpoint where a big truck was waiting to us. We go inside and take place on the seats. In front of us on the left side of the car, the picture of some red curtains are projected : the show – and the car – can start. Welcomed by the words from the young actor, Fiona, we enter without really knowing in which direction we will go, we just have the words of a child. The moment is intriguing and we are somewhere between reality and fiction.

20180812_155914Fiona takes us discover the city of Hamburg. Neighborhood school, new constructions, temporary habitations from the futurs areas…

When the curtain is down, the real city let place to the films, the visual creations, the music. When it is raised, we are immersed in the city, sometimes in the middle of the road.

We are behind our window like observers sometimes cheated and observed by the bystanders. Some of them will never see the big glass-truck, other will have fun with it. Where is really the show ? Are we not the show from some passerby also ?

An interaction between public space, actors, and an audience.

How can we call this piece a protocol ? Because they are repeating the experience almost every day. A protocol or a method is an ensemble of gesture and rules than function and can be repeat. I do recognize that they have create a place between reality and fiction, materialized with an alternance of the real portrait of the city and a screen projection of a montage of videos and music.

So I wondered, when we talk about performance and artistic method in the public space, they are two schools. The one that doesn’t believe that a public really exist. They said : « Public doesn’t exist, because public is already in -public space-, so the public is already present, we’re just working with the coming passer-by. And the other one, who tells that public exist, starting from a point when the artist is needed for the artistic work can be activate and functioning.

In which school does « Do’s & Don’ts » goes. I would say, the second one, because without Rudi the conductor, Fiona and Oskar the performers, we couldn’t activate this work. But I admire this piece also for the place allowed between the stage and the public. Actually, they were 3 publics, the one who’s inside the box/truck, the one who’s outside and seeing the box, and the one who’s also observing the performance of Oskar for exemple. Also there is a place for amateurs, and the best of it, the artistic place, due to the creation and the acting performance, that one children, and one teenage does.

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An Urban Work : No Futur with Humour

What kind of relationship our societies have with they own spaces ? It’s a very good question, that exposed « Do’s & Don’ts » with the Rimini Protokoll, by exposing us to a few part of the city that does not have a voice or a visibility in huge city like Hamburg.

The exemple of « Hafen City », when we are visiting the port, and this area, they talk to us about this new neighborhood they are creating, and the obligation they have as an urbanistic new plan, to creat public spaces. But on the other hand, they explained that this kind of new neighborhood is a springboard for new Microsoft or Google experimentation on a social group and a territory for exemple testing cars with radars without conductors. The spector of the city of tomorrow is hard enough tomake us realize in which way the city is going on. With asking us question like « Does this is the city we will living in? ». Released by children mouth, this is a tough question to ask us.

That also can be on of my negative critique. Are they using children to make us guilty about is going on with our world ? I thought a lot, few times, that the rules that Fiona adore, and admire that much, the ones we need to respect, like the red light in the street, was that much important for her, without any critical distance between the society rules that we need and the control of the population by a national estate and these institutions.

So, it was sometimes disturbing how she talk about « feeling secure » in the street. Even If, as a woman living and moving into a city I know how it can be insecure late at night. I mean, she is a children, so we can apologie pretty much everything from a child, but anyhow the univocal rol of the police that she was advocating for, was very disturbing for me. A puritain moral that we forgive from a child voice, cannot make me forget that police aren’t always the one that protects us, but like political science have told that police is the armed arm of the government.

The political Dimension of space

They are new way of perceiving and design the public space of tomorrow. The malls for exemple, provided with them, a so called public spaces. Are they real public spaces. When Fiona says that she love and used to go there, because its not cold when the winter punch your face, of that hot when summer is unsupportable, she is hanging around with her friends and may even load and upload her cellphone.

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In this kind of public space, there is an ideologic and a political dimension. You was born to consume, so « JUST DO IT ! ».

We, the Start-up nation, can realise your most profond dream, let it be, and just do it, just do it …
I remember a lot of this song of this Pink Floyd Album, « Another brick in the Wall ». Most of all, because of the children choral singing and singing « We don’t need no education… ».

The political nature of space is well known as a knowledge, but somehow this political dimension of space, is too rarely explicit. And I was touched and very content that this artistic work puts on the discussion of the futur of our city, that we can  already saw when we observe the public space changes. Thinking about space, in political terms, is a way of thinking for example how public space are devastation sign for environment as the fact of having a public space in contact with natural element as water, sea, river, forest or parcs…

A mall and a forest are twice about the spatial dimension of the politic, and also about the political dimension of space. The question are relevant and appeared to me another time with different aspect thanks to this Rimini Protokoll. With this experience I was thinking with tree dimension of space. The first is about how you can appropriate yourself the space. The second was about how the agencement of space are a cursor to see how goes human control. And the third was about the spatial strategies and the social resistance.

One of my answer that make me more confident about the future, is that Art, have a role to play in this political context, and a position to take. I though that Rimini took one.

When It comes to public space, a place where we aestheticizing et security contribute to a euphoric denial of a social split that penetrate our society without any project. The relation between space and politic argue the position that space isn’t a simple container of the politic but also a motor of transformation always in movement. Take a look and being interest by the different manifestation and implication of the spatial constitution of politic is one of our most important duty. 

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