Erna Ómarsdóttir & Valdimar Jóhannsson

Tomorrow Is Another Day of Wants and Needs (2019)

The desires and necessities driving consumption are the theme of Erna Ómarsdóttir & Valdimar Jóhannsson’s physical concert performance, as they call it. Adding physical action, peculiar primal sounds, and piercing screams to music, they search for a language to break through the daily routines of today’s consumers. Their performance is partly inspired by public relations pioneer Edward Bernays, the nephew of Sigmund Freud and author of some of the 20th century’s most influential books on herd instinct and crowd psychology. Bernays engaged with the same consumerism that his contemporaries at the Frankfurt School were criticizing and considered it as an expression of the real chaos of existence and nature itself. Most people consume to attain happiness, he asserted, but they do not know what they want and would even prefer others to make their choices. Today’s world seemed to have mastered Bernays’s principle. Algorithms relentlessly tell us what to believe and what to enjoy—an intellectual outcome of the endless feedback loop of negative analysis and ineffectual critique. Ómarsdóttir & Jóhannsson look beyond that feedback at all of the unfulfilled requirements and needs, calling on the audience to embrace the chaos like Bernays. Better than spending yet another evening on Netflix watching the exciting lives of tax consultants.

19.9.19, 21:00

Opening Extravaganza

Duration: ca. 60 min.
(starts right after Past, Present, Present, Past by Gernot Wieland)

Congress Graz, Stefaniensaal
Albrechtgasse 1
8010 Graz
♿ Venue accessible for wheelchairs

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Free admission with Festival Pass
No single tickets, no reservations, no late admission 

Commissioned by steirischer herbst ’19

A coproduction of SHALALA and steirischer herbst ’19
In cooperation with Iceland Dance Company

Performance: Hannes Egilsson, Lovísa Ósk Gunnarsdóttir, Charmene Pang, Sigtryggur Berg Sigmarsson, and Felix Urbina Alejandre
Dramaturgy: Bjarni Jónsson
Music: Valdimar Jóhannson
Drapes: Signe Becker
Musical inspiration: Aphrodite’s Child and Roy Orbison
Thanks to Kristinn Hermannsson and Eddie Bernays

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Erna Ómarsdóttir (1972, Reykjavík) is a dancer and choreographer collaborating with composer and musician Valdimar Jóhannsson (1976, Ísafjörður, Iceland) since 2008. Together they develop dark, mystical performances that mix storytelling with absurdity and horror. Ómarsdóttir and Jóhannsson live in Reykjavík.