DREAMING OF COCKAIGNE
PRISCILA FERNANDES with ABNER PREIS, ARVO LEO, ERIC GIRAUDET DE BOUDEMANGE and RIEKE VOS
SATURDAY 20 MAY
EVENT STARTS AT 20:30 PM
Doors open at 20:00
Imagine a land where skies rain with cheeses, rivers are filled with lemonade and pancakes grow on trees. Where the weather is always mild, sex is readily available and all people enjoy eternal youth. This is Cockaigne, the land of luxury and ease, where work is forbidden and physical pleasure always at hand.
Dreaming of Cockaigne brings an evening teeming with screenings, storytelling and performances around folk tales. Taking it’s title from an utopian medieval tale, the program gathers works of art that share an interest in these folkloric hyperbolas and curious topsy-turvy worlds, to consider the role of such narratives as triggers for reflection on the nature of earthly existence, as directives for social behaviour and transmission of knowledge.
Abner Preis performs The Mask Maker and the Tree, an appropriated chronicle about a group of villagers and their dispute with a tree from the nearby forest. While preparing for their annual spring festivities, the old tree confronts them with a voice of reason concerning their own pleasure and that of the world surrounding.
Priscila Fernandes will present her film Gozolândia (Cuckoo Land) that was commissioned for the 32nd São Paulo Biennial. Shot entirely at Ibirapuera Park, the film looks at notions of laziness and idleness by fictionalising the park as the Country of Cockaigne. It is an homage to the right to contemplation and relaxation, but also bearing the signs of the exploited and the pressures to perform in contemporary life.
Rieke Vos will read from the novella Illusions of a Frysian Landscape, based on a true account of the ventures of artist Eric Giraudet de Boudemange through Friesland. While delving into the local sports tradition of Fierljeppen (‘canal-vaulting’) he embarks on a series of weird and wonderful encounters, becoming increasingly enmeshed in the regional culture and getting to grips with the mysterious place of mankind within the universe.
Finally, in a surreal and joyful march, Arvo Leo’s Emperors of Ice Cream brings back the evanescent pleasures of life, the transience and enjoyment of its most vivid delights.
Dreaming of Cockaigne is part of the public program DISCLOSED initiated by the members of Het Wilde Weten. Every six weeks one of the members will host a public event that derives directly from their artistic practice. This will result in a lively series of talks, exhibitions, screenings, performances and more, disclosing the energy and pluriformity of the collective and creating public moments to meet and interact.
This program is kindly supported by the Mondriaan Fonds.
Image: Arvo Leo, Emperors of Ice Cream, 2010