The University of Birds: An Immersive Performance by Theater of Mutual Operations

Date

From 16 July 2021 to 17 July 2021

Schedule

22:30–23:30

Place

Garage Museum of Contemporary Art
The University of Birds: An Immersive Performance by Theater of Mutual OperationsThe University of Birds: An Immersive Performance by Theater of Mutual Operations

DESCRIPTION

The University of Birds is the latest project by the collective Theater of Mutual Operations, which includes artists Shifra Kazhdan, Lesha Lobanov, and Ksenia Peretrukhina and producer Alexandra Mun.

During the pandemic, members of the collective became fond of bird watching, got interested in the topic of nonverbal communication, and studied the history, life, and customs of birds. They now invite the audience to join a performance about ecology and the problems of the mutual coexistence of diverse communities. Theater of Mutual Operations typically tackles serious subjects in its signature and entertaining “patchwork” manner, mixing the genres of object, puppet, and drama theater and delicately merging mockumentary with documentary details.

The performance involves the active engagement of the audience. Viewers will be invited to participate in a liturgy on extinct bird species, attend a bird language lesson, support new art vying for the equality of birds and people at an artistic council, and, most importantly, try on wings and take flight.

As birds sing rather than speak, the artists invited musicians rather than actors. The project’s co-creators include composer and sound designer Aleksey Nadzharov, singer, and leader of the Praktika vocal and instrumental ensemble and the interaACTive vocal ensemble Olga Vlasova, and pianist and international competition winner Natalia Sokolovskaya.

The project is aimed at a wide audience, including junior, middle, and senior school students.

“During quarantine, the pace of life slowed down, allowing us to take a closer look at the world around us, something for which there was not enough time before. Like many other people, we became fond of bird watching during the pandemic and were able to carefully study our neighbors, the birds. We found out that they are not only our neighbors in the hood and the city but throughout civilization, as birds’ story developed in parallel to the history of humans and is very similar to ours. It is full of similar events, tragedies, wars, and there was even an avian genocide. The bird is both a metaphor for the human soul, with its eternal dream of flying, and food on the plate, which is becoming less and less edible. We wanted to learn bird language in order to obtain a better understanding of birds and people: of ourselves, the world around us, and how to make this world more livable, friendly, and ecological.”

Ksenia Peretrukhina (Theater of Mutual Operations)

The project has been implemented at Garage with the support of the Garage Live program, as part of the exhibition Assuming Distance: Speculations, Fakes, and Predictions in the Age of the Coronacene. The University of Birds is presented within the exhibition as an interactive installation.

  • Artists: Shifra Kazhdan, Lesha Lobanov, Ksenia Peretrukhina
  • Sound design: Alexey Nadzharov
  • Composer: Alexey Syumak
  • Performer, vocals: Olga Vlasova
  • Performer, piano: Natalia Sokolovskaya
  • Lighting: Elena Perelman and Stage Audio
  • Producer: Alexandra Mun
  • The performance features music by Olivier Messiaen

THE ARTISTS

Theater of Mutual Operations is a collective founded in 2016 in Moscow by artists Shifra Kazhdan (b. 1973, Moscow), Lyosha Lobanov (b. 1974, Leningrad), and Ksenia Peretrukhina (b. 1972, Rostov Oblast) and producer Alexandra Mun (b. 1983, Irkutsk). Performances include: Museum of Alien Invasion (2016), The True and Complete Story of Jack the Ripper (2019), and The University of Birds (2020). In 2018, Theater of Mutual Operations wrote the script for the first part of the exhibition General Rehearsal at Moscow Museum of Modern Art and took part in the exhibition Dear Visitors… at Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow. Participants live and work in Moscow. 

HOW TO TAKE PART

Free admission with advance registration.
This event is only accessible with a QR code (digital certificate of immunity) issued by Moscow Government.

Schedule

The University of Birds: An Immersive Performance by Theater of Mutual Operations

REGISTRATION

Date
Friday, July 16
Time
22:30–23:30
Place
Garage Museum of Contemporary Art

The University of Birds: An Immersive Performance by Theater of Mutual Operations

REGISTRATION

Date
July 17, Saturday
Time
22:30–23:30
Place
Garage Museum of Contemporary Art