Rakete 2023

Curator Lewon Heublein on TQW’s emerging artists festival


Curator Lewon Heublein on TQW’s emerging artists festival

Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick once wrote that ‘desire’s fundamental ruthlessness is a source of creativity that produces new optimism, new narratives of possibility’. So, it’s not a coincidence that desire is often the source for many young artistic practices of any kind, but noticeable in dance making. According to Paz Rojo, it could be a good idea ‘to practice a lack of future, which may turn out to be an opportunity not to guide the body towards a predetermined direction’. The lack, you also could call it a ‘glitch’, looks to me as a solid location to try things out ‘with the possibility of embodying the not-yet-produced’: You dance because you want to dance. By leaving the norms of a functioning body behind, in the act of moving just out of euphoria, dance per se becomes a motor for a journey into unknown and exciting territory.

The emerging artists festival Rakete uses this lack as starting point to navigate through these times, in which every trend, every nostalgia, and utopia is too often trying to be readable and instead offers aesthetics – sometimes bold, sometimes cautious – with the pleasure of not being transparent all the time. Sometimes it’s more about leaving you with a feeling that you need to explore for yourself. Pleasure and all its contradictions – without leaving out the pain and the drudgery of creating these spaces – runs like a red thread through the work of the assembled artist. Equipped with their interest in the different facets of sound, pop- and subculture, kitsch and camp, intimacy and transformation, they share an audacity to transform their stages into ‘desire machines’.

While Luca Bonamore finds inspiration in the cruising scene, Magdalena Mitterhofer and Shade Théret explore the concept of anger with all its physical but linguistic components and follow a downward spiral with Pier Paolo Pasolini and Anne Sexton straight into hell. On the opening night, there is also the opportunity of witnessing an intervention by Anna Rimmel and a concert by Lau Lukkarila.

On the second weekend – shortly after a Zoom lecture by McKenzie Wark and a reading circle moderated by adO/Aptive reading group on her new book Raving Catol Teixeira dances at the intersection of poetry and queer thought, decoloniality and feminism, followed by the beautiful dissonant vocals of Lara Dâmaso, creating an emotional acoustic landscape full of intimacy and sadness at AIL / former Postal Savings Bank. Nana Dahlin, currently a student at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, is also dedicated to sound, but more in the form of melodies and pairs them with poetry and gestures of hiding.

Sound is also one of the main burning points in week three, where Magdalena Forster and sound artist Milena Georgieva aka Yuzu, will host a space dedicated to a particular organ: the liver. Suutoo – invited in cooperation with Hyperreality – explores the poetics of audio-visual performances as a practice from which radical new myths can be generated.

The last weekend, maria mercedes, a collaborative project by Camilla Schielin and Julia Müllner, will create a new performance about the sunset and all that comes with it: romance but also the desire for adventure. And far away from Disney fantasies, Snorre Elvin dives into the leaking and fluid world of the mermaid, which can also be understood as a queer icon and diva. The beauty of failure and radical surrender will be celebrated at the end of the festival edition at a sweet karaoke party hosted by Luca Büchler. The motto: There is no guilty pleasure. There is only pleasure.

Lewon Heublein (curator Rakete)