Michiel Vandevelde

Human Landscapes—Book II (2019)

The abyss between rich and poor is what is at stake in Michiel Vandevelde’s new production for voice, choir, and video. This contribution continues his ongoing fascination with the epic poem Human Landscapes from My Country (1938–50) by Turkish communist poet Nâzım Hikmet. Vandevelde staged its first book as part of last year’s festival, offering a contemporary take on Hikmet’s panorama of Turkey in the 1940s through the stories of disconnected strangers sharing a journey in the third-class carriage of a train. The poem’s second book is largely set in the velvet grandeur of an old first-class carriage, where the rich and powerful impart their political opinions and express their frustrations. Vandevelde looks at Hikmet through the eyes of a digital native, probing the parallels between the poet’s time and our own. In his staging for voice, choir, and video, tales of turmoil as observed by the privileged appear out of the night, narrated by prerecorded voices in two languages. These are juxtaposed with landscape imagery and are periodically interrupted by a live choir singing songs of the working class, a reminder of the passengers in the third-class carriage from the first book of Hikmet’s epic poem.

21.9.19, 22.9.19, 23.9.19, 19:00

Duration: 80 min.

Großer Minoritensaal
Mariahilferplatz 3
8020 Graz
♿ Venue accessible for wheelchairs

Google Maps

In various languages with English, German, and Turkish subtitles

Free admission with Festival Pass
Capacity limited, reservation recommended, reservation fee: 2 Euro
Single ticket 16/12 Euro

Commissioned by steirischer herbst ’19

Produced by steirischer herbst in coproduction with Kaaitheater (Brussels)
Supported by Flanders State of the Art

Text: Human Landscapes from My Country—book I, by Nazım Hikmet
Direction, set, images, sound: Michiel Vandevelde
Voices: Lois Brochez, Maarten Degraeuwe, Begüm Erciyas, Anna Franziska Jäger, Bryana Fritz, Stine Sampers, Jeroen Van der Ven, Michiel Vandevelde, Mitch Van Landeghem
Choir: Vocalforum Graz
Dramaturgy: Kristof van Baarle
Sound engineer: Wederik De Backer
Technical support: Bregt Janssens
Graphic design: Ward Heirwegh
Financial Management: Klein Verzet vzw
International Distribution: Something Great
Surtitles: Handan Özbas-Uysal
Residencies: Kunstenwerkplaats Pianofabriek, Kaaitheater

22.9.19, 20:45

Landscapes of Decaying Luxury
Michiel Vandevelde in conversation with Dominik Müller

Duration: 60 min.

Großer Minoritensaal
Mariahilferplatz 3
8020 Graz
♿ Venue accessible for wheelchairs

Google Maps

In English

Free admission

Michiel Vandevelde (1990, Leuven) is a choreographer, curator, and writer. A common thread of political and artistic activism runs through his practice, which spans choreography, discourse, and performance, working within art institutions as well as beyond them. Vandevelde lives in Brussels.