2019 saw the fifth edition of Bergen Kunsthall´s adventurous one-night festival POEKHALI!
With contributions from Bergen Kunsthall’s long-time collaborators, Poekhali! kickstarted the new season at the Kunsthall activating all its spaces in a polyphony of sound, film and live performance.
Curated by Maria Rusinovskaya.
Producer: Sofia Marie Hamnes
Technical production/live sound: Jonas Skarmark
Live sound: Michael E. Bjørnaali
Light design: Ana Jorge
Production assistant: Oda Førde Braanaas
Production assistant: Henrik Skauge
MARK FELL & MEYER-CHAFFAUD
NATACHA DIELS, SAM SCRANTON & DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE
BENEDICTE MAURSETH & LEE PATTERSON
Poekhali! 2019 was inspired by “A Feast in Time of Plague” written in 1830 by one of the greatest minds of Russian classical literature, Alexander Pushkin. The play proposes a joyful gathering as a manoeuvre to overcome the horror of total decay. Over one night we draw inspiration from the play, celebrate and gather to speculate over various strategies for surviving a catastrophe.
Poekhali! 2019 traces a line from love and compassion to death through Carmina Escobar’s evocation of the Aztec goddess Coatlicue to Natacha Diels and Sam Scranton´s intimate, personal ritualistic work “I Love Myself Fully and Unconditionally”, performed with the ensemble Down the Rabbit Hole. On the way we meet a hyper-frenetic version of Ugandan wedding music by Otim Alpha colliding with the algorithmic structures of Mark Fell’s “Hominin”. The disruption of muteness by Lee Patterson’s hand-built instruments overlaps with the vibrational energy of Benedicte Maurseth Hardanger fiddle and the hypnotic drones of Pip, surrounded by soft sculptural landscapes by Roos Dijkhuizen. The night ends with a polyamorous dancefloor style of Crystallmess, juxtaposed with geometrical and idiosyncratic patterns of Rian Treanor´s live set and with Ida Nerbø´s cold-hearted techno throbbing in the darkness of the Kunsthall´s basement.
Poekhali 2019! was arranged in cooperation with Borealis – en festival for eksperimentell musikk, Ny Musikk Bergen, Playdate, Bergen Art Book Fair, After School Special, and Fett magazine.
Co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union as part of Re-Imagine Europe project.
*”Poekhali!” (meaning ‘Let´s Go!’) – is a famous take-off phrase by the first man in space Yuri Gagarin, pronounced on 12 April 1961.
Film, photo and edit by Ben Speck, 2020.