Nicola Gunn (15–26 Jan 2024)

Nicola Gunn is an Australian Bergen-based artist working across contemporary performance, choreography and the visual arts. At the studio she works on ‘Studies in Waiting (After Chekhov)’. Using Anton Chekhov’s play Three Sisters as a kind of protest activist premise to re-imagine 3 performers waiting through a series of crises: an endlessly changing series of scenarios, moving constantly between comedy and tragedy.

Waiting for Greta Thunberg to solve the climate crisis.
Waiting for Ukraine to win the war.
Waiting for Bergen to open a ramen shop.

Drawing on the themes of Three Sisters (such as class, change, disillusionment, work, inaction vs action, city vs rural) to reflect on my own experience of living in a small town on the periphery: feelings of longing, desire and disappointment on the one hand, and stagnation, ambivalence and a passive relationship to one’s circumstances on the other. Thinking about time and distance as it relates to comedy and tragedy, and exploring the notion of uncertainty through the psychological state of waiting. Chekhov thought he had written a comedy, but for the audiences of his time, it was unclear whether it was a comedy or a tragedy. How tragic does something have to be before it becomes a comedy? How long does tragedy need to persist before it becomes comic?

A critique of life in the provinces from a foreigner’s perspective as a large-scale choreographic performance event. Punk meets classic aesthetic, performed with old-fashioned virtuosity, Judy Chicago-style fireworks and Roman Signer-style explosions.