Media Library


Communion of the Absent

2021-06-17, 8:00 PM

Poetry is continually being made through language and bodies, production and reception. But in the pandemic performances, readings, concerts and discussions can no longer be experienced. Is there a danger that poetry will disappear from the collective consciousness if we are not listening to it together, discussing it, teaching it, translating it and continuing to write it? Where can we hear the voice and the silence of poetry today? Where are the round tables at which multilingualism, the musicality of language and translatability are discussed?

Performance with poets Yoko Tawada (JPN/DEU) | Marion Poschmann (DEU) | Ursula Krechel (DEU) | Ulf Stolterfoht (DEU) | Jan Wagner (DEU) | Dance: Yui Kawaguchi (JPN/DEU)| Music: Aki Takase (JPN/DEU)| Installation: Chiharu Shiota (JPN/DEU)

If there is no more exchange of ideas we will gradually lose the diversity of the present and of the past from our view. The dead no longer have anything to say, neglected corners of the city remain sunken in shadows, sad people are shut out and far-off countries slip further into the distance. We need to make what is absent present again. To make present what is absent, what cannot be missing from our lives, we need the corporeality of language – we need poetry.

The artist Chiharu Shiota asked people in different countries to write down their wishes on red slips of paper and send them to Berlin. She fixed these wishes of those who are absent to a multitude of threads, which above and below connect closeness and distance with each other. The poets Marion Poschmann, Ursula Krechel, Ulf Stolterfoht, Jan Wagner and Yoko Tawada read their work in this installation, among the wishes of those who are absent. The pianist Aki Takase and the dancer Yui Kawaguchi respond to this poetry and interact with it so that the art forms that are separated in the time of pandemic come back together again.

The shooting for the film took place in Chiharu Shiota’s studio, the place where art is produced, and it is transmitted from the place of production into the private sphere of the audience.

Performance in German.

Curation: Yoko Tawada
Project leader: Jutta Büchter