Every year, for one weekend, the TodaysArt Festival transforms the city centre of The Hague into an inspiring stronghold of creativity and audiovisual experiences. In just a five years TodaysArt developed into one of the foremost art festivals in Europe.Its growing success is showed by the expansion of its annual line-up of events and worldwide co-operations.
TodaysArt has provided an annual setting for artistic and creative encounters with cultural phenomena that are the upshot of social change. Concerts, exhibitions, performances and interventions carry these inquiries beyond the confines of conventional festival spaces and cultural venues and take them out into the public sphere and throughout the cityscape.
In this process of pervading public spaces and staging festival activities in interesting and appropriate physical settings, TodaysArt has consistently displayed extraordinary imaginativeness. From the train station to the clubs, from churches to the City Hall, unusual locations have repeatedly served as sites of performances and interventions, and have, in turn, been reinterpreted by them. TodaysArt is organized by The Generator Foundation.
The fifth edition of the TodaysArt festival will invite to explore your thought lines, emotions and senses. Expect a concentrated, physical experience. We are all sense-full beings, and as such we are increasingly exposed to an immense amount of incentives on a daily basis. Can we still really feel? Do we remember what it means to be submerged in emotion, thoughts and overwhelming physical elements? Are we still able to evaluate impulses from the outside in order to act rationally?
The natural instinct to anticipate effects of external conflict and to enter into or to strive for adaptation, many years may have been stunned by a period of unbridled urge for growth and an emphasis on material existence. The question whether we can identify, and then on the basis of a clear consideration if we can and want to intervene must be answered. Is society still open to incentives, both visually and in words and sounds and how does it manifest physically? Can we break numbness? What is our response to these incentives and we are still able to act instinctively? To what extent do we still dare to intervene on what we experienced, and to what extend are we capable to explain what is happening?
“Conflict” is therefore a red line through the program of TodaysArt 2009, which through multidisciplinary creative processes explores this possible rebirth of consciousness. TA 09 creates awareness, shakes awake, opens eyes, generates feelings, will give answers and raises new questions, examines how conflict can lead to new insights and solutions, and explores the ability of the visitor to re-open to impulses from outside. Furthermore, the reaction and expectations of visitors will form a focal point during the festival.
This year’s program will offer new and contradictory approaches which interact with familiar approaches that TODAYSART has cultivated over the past four years. Whether external, internal, moral, physical, ideal, abstract, concrete, constructive or destructive, the red thread of conflict stitches TodaysArt 2009 together this year as we put friction, opposition and ambivalence under the gun. The program proudly presents works that challenge and provoke; works that present ideas and concepts that may not be easily understood or quickly digested. The best ideas are dangerous; they confront the established order and conflict with the status quo.
For the opening night, Hiroaki Umeda brings his ‘Adapting for Distortion’ project to The Hague, for what is certain to be an exceptional highlight. By using projections, Umeda becomes one with his environment, controlling sound and light with his movements. We are very proud to welcome visual artist Olaf Nicolai with his site-specific installation ‘Samani’, as well as Jonathan Schipper with his installation that captures a car crash in slow motion, all relating to this year’s theme. Artificiel’s new production ‘POWEr’ – An audiovisual performance based on acoustic phenomena and the striking imagery that offshoot from high-voltage emissions – will see it’s European premiere at TA09.
The Heart Chamber Orchestra, a project by TERMINALBEACH and 12 classical musicians, will present a very special audiovisual performance where the musical score is generated in real time by the heartbeats of the musicians. Daito Manabe will present his physical project ‘Face Stimuli’, where he converts music into electronic impulses to stimulate the facial muscles. The installation ‘ALLWEKNOW’ by Teletekst is dood will see it’s first daylight at TA09, providing the visitor with an innovative and radical new tool to experience the festival.
For the music line-up the curators have made a selection of fine concerts as well as radical experiences and club nights. One of the highlighted concerts is the Dutch premiere of Stonephace, featuring eclectic jazz radical Larry Stabbins on sax and flutes, Portishead’s Adrian Utley on guitar, Helm DeVegas on keyboards and inscrutable aural sorcerer Krzysztof Oktalski with the down and dirty drums on vinyl and laptop. Farley ‘Jackmaster’ Funk, the producer of the first house-hit ever will present his classic cuts. Guilty Simpson’s testosterone charged, inner city themes will be given a large space this year’s hip-hop program, next to the talented female producer Pursuit Grooves. The TOUCH label will showcase amazing atmospheric sounds from Hildur Gudnadottir, electronic legend Philip Jeck and Jana Winderen ‘s enchanting soundscapes.