Mixing fiction, fact, memory and interpretation, and bringing together personal and collective (hi)stories The Voice of a City by Nada & Co. focuses on subjective perceptions on everyday life around Europe. Names and dates build a puzzle in which history, the present moment and a foreseeable and less foreseeable future flirt with each other. The audience is invited to join the three makers Nada Gambier, Mark Etchells and Thomas Kasebacher in an intimate encounter around a big table. During the performance, some of the stories they collected around Europe are shared, creating links and looking at differences between people and places. Between 2015 and 2018 the group travelled around Europe and met with a wide range of local inhabitants. Together with them, they reflected on such notions as belonging, change and wealth. These encounters inter alia with cooks, policemen, farmers, lawyers, political activists, teachers, taxi drivers as well as the immersion into specific local contexts for up to a month at a time, have given birth to a book, a performance and an exhibition that are now presented together. The book The Voice of a City consists of texts and photos from Zagreb, Tbilisi, Athens, the Southwest of Finland, and the Eurometropole region of the French-Belgian borders. The performance invites the audience to follow a proposed path, in which they not only get familiar with the people and their stories, but also reflect on the topics of change, history, displacement, and social inequality in Europe and beyond. The exhibitiontakes the viewer on a journey through a fictional city in decline, transmitting a feeling of absurdity, transformation and the passing of time.
Nada Gambier was born in Turku, Finland. She has a BA in Contemporary Dance from the University of Kent, United Kingdom. In 2002 she completed the two-year research cycle at P.A.R.T.S, the renowned dance school in Brussels, Belgium. In 2015 she founded the company Nada & Co. that today produces most of her activities. She is an eclectic artist whose work is linked to theater, dance, performance and the visual arts. The repertory of Gambier consists of, among others, installations, stage pieces and works made for various public and private spaces. Apart from making her own work that tours across Europe, she also regularly collaborates on other artist’s projects as an artistic advisor and a performer. In recent years she has worked among others with Forced Entertainment, Phil Hayes, Maria Jerez, Kate McIntosh, Simone Aughterlony and Jorge Léon. For the past twenty years Gambier has lived in Brussels, Belgium. www.nadagambier.be
Thomas Kasebacher was born in Innsbruck, Austria. He studied Comparative Literature at the University of Innsbruck, Austria, and Directing/Performance/Devising/Community Arts at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, United Kingdom. He is currently doing a masters at the University of the Arts in Stockholm, Sweden (New Performative Practices). He is an actor, performance maker and visual artist. In 2007 he founded the company NOTFOUNDYET together with his partner Laia Fabre. They make work for gallery and public spaces as well as theater venues. Kasebacher also regularly performs in other people’s work (Forced Entertainment, Phil Hayes, Sarah Vanhee, among others) and engages in various collaborative projects all over Europe. With Nada Gambier, he has been working since 2015. Currently he lives in Vienna, Austria. www.notfoundyet.net
Mark Etchells was born in Hilton, United Kingdom. He has a colorful professional background. He originally studied Fisheries and Ocean science with Marine technology at the Plymouth University, United Kingdom. He has also obtained a Garden design certificate from Bicton College, UK, and completed a TESOL, an English teaching qualification at Trinity College Cambridge, UK. Etchells’ artistic engagements go back as far as thirty years. Through his brother Tim Etchells, the director of Sheffield based experimental theater company Forced Entertainment, he has been involved in various projects over the years. Since 2014, Etchells has also been collaborating with Nada Gambier, mainly as a performer and a writer. Today he lives on the countryside in Devon in the UK where he makes roofing, builds dry stone walls, fish ponds and water falls, and works with a tree surgeon. Alongside this, he continues his multifaceted involvement in the arts.
Consept and direction: Nada Gambier in collaboration with Mark Etchells, Thomas Kasebacher, and all the people who generously have shared their time and stories in the process.
Technical direction: Joshua Vanhaverbeke
Book edited by: Nada Gambier in collaboration with Mark Etchells. Based on original writings by Nada Gambier, Mark Etchells and Thomas Kasebacher
Book cover design by: Nada Gambier
Book published by: Brave New Books (Netherlands)
Thanks to: Tim Etchells, Kristien Vanden Brande and Jeroen Peeters
Exhibition conceived and realized: Nada Gambier and Mark Etchells.
Thanks to: Thomas Kasebacher for his input during the research phase of the process, creating and collecting source material and to Ant Hampton for his feedback in the early stages of creation.
Production: Nada & Co. (Brussels, Belgium)
Co-production: Next International Festival / Kunstencentrum BUDA (France/Belgium), C-Takt, Neerpelt, Belgium
Supported by: WpZimmer (Antwerp), La Bellone (Brussels), SAS Parenthèse (Brussels), Kunstenwerkplaats Pianofabriek (Brussel), Gallery Nectar (Georgia), Saari Artist’s residencies and Kone Foundation (Finland), Mind the Fact festival (Greece), Tanzhaus Zurich (Schwitzerland) and Flemish Ministry of Culture.
Writing Aid: IN SITU platform (in the frame of the ACT project, co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union).
Visit supported by: Austrian embassy, Finnland-Institut in Deutschland, The Finnish Institute
Visit in collaboration: Caisa
Photo: Nada & Co.