I WAS HERE. WE WILL BE THERE. AND SOMEWHERE ELSE. EVENTUALLY ∞ritual∞
A performative ritual to appreciate a space’s past, where individual memories merge into collective future imaginaries, as the beginning of a healing practice to include in our future lives.
4 Nov Sat 21:00 CEST
“I WAS HERE” marks a person’s presence in a certain location at a certain moment in time. I had first seen it written on high school tables and walls. Later, I recognized it on toilet doors, playgrounds, carved in wood, benches, bus seats, memorials, etc.
“I WAS HERE” can be multiplied on a small scale on the very same wall and at the same time spread globally.
“I WAS HERE” alludes to the Uroboros festival’s location at Petrohradská Kolektiv, “just before the venue gets demolished to soon re-emerge as a residential complex.” A situation that is happening a lot in Amsterdam, where I am located. “I WAS HERE” – disappearing space from market-driven housing agencies, physically in dust particles and imaginary as spectral traces.
I WAS HERE. WE WILL BE THERE. AND SOMEWHERE ELSE. EVENTUALLY is an effort to counter a “tireless fragmentation that has penetrated the very language in which subjects express themselves in the first person, carefully guarded by emphatic appositions (‘for my part’, ‘in my view’, ‘as far as I’m concerned’). The tolerance of difference becomes repressive when the function of saying ‘we’ in the context of a social vision has been debilitated“, as performers and researchers Bojana Cvejić and Ana Vujanović describe in their article The Crisis of the Social Imaginary and Beyond.
I WAS HERE. WE WILL BE THERE. AND SOMEWHERE ELSE. EVENTUALLY is a rite de passage to appreciate the space’s past, where individual memories merge into collective future imaginaries as the beginning of a healing ritual to include in our future lives.
S†ëfan Schäfer (Let Death Dance Again)
S†ëfan Schäfer is an Amsterdam-based designer and researcher investigating the power of death and commemorative ritual in relation to environmental devastation. All projects result in various media and are declared D.E.A.D. (Death. Environment. Anthropocene. Design). They have been internationally exhibited and are close collaborations with people and institutions of different fields: for instance anthropology, poetry, music, film, hacking, dance, theatre, music-theatre, funeral industry, green funeral activism.