We Are All Emotional
We Are All Emotional is a festival of performance art curated by the network of independent organisations tranzit.org and organized by Matter of Art. The event was supposed to take place in November 2020 but had to be cancelled due to the pandemic of COVID-19. At last, it will take place in December 2021 in Prague.
In the meantime we decided to connect with the artists through a series of interviews thematizing emotions in difficult times. The interviews will be published continuously throughout 2021. See below to read the interviews which have been published so far.
Emotion is an intensity which takes place between people, concepts, and objects. Both cognitive and sensory, it moves around and sticks. It arises in a crowd, originating from no particular consciousness. As it circulates in the world, it is difficult to define: #metoo, climate change, fascism, antifascism, racism, refugees, cancel culture. We feel empty, anxious, angry, fatigued, harmed, violated. It seems we live in an era of heightened emotions which are often labeled as toxic and appear not to lead anywhere. Emotions – be they high or low – are coded into the social media platforms on which we spend so much of our lives and which thrive on our emotional engagement as our own emoticons remind us everyday. The boundaries between the private and the public move too fast for us to track. We react emotionally to what is happening around us but sometimes it seems as if the ways in which we react make us incapable of dealing with the problems at hand. We shift from the political to the personal. Yet, can the two be separated? On what kind of emotions could politically meaningful solidarity rest? Are political passions that were associated with twentieth-century revolutions and social strife exhausted? Can we feel hopeful again? Can we forgive each other? And whom should we not forgive? What emotions can unite us and what emotions divide us? This programme of activities invites artists to question the agreed ways of thinking about emotions and think what gestures could create conditions for shared empathy. Emotional works may be difficult works in that emotions are messy, contradictory, complicated. Can we keep company with vulnerability, intimacy?
tranzit.org is a unique network of civic associations working independently in the field of contemporary art in Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Romania and across the borders of a wider Europe. Its main goal is to support and articulate emancipatory practices, establish connections between culture and society by moving across geographies, generations, and political realms. Since its foundation in 2002, tranzit has been a critical (and self-critical) platform, which challenged established canons of post-war European (art) histories. It has promoted contemporary art practices, theory and social discourses with an aim to contribute to present-day mobilizations of solidarity and community building in a Europe of narrowing nationalism, cultural essentialism, growing economic egoism, and social as well as gender inequality. Each tranzit works under its own conditions in a variety of local cultural and social contexts, using different formats and methods to contextualize, generate or host theoretical, artistic and activist debates around today’s urgencies. Activities range from exhibitions, thematic projects, seminars, publications based on long-term research and participatory interventions into the public discourse. ERSTE Foundation is the main partner of tranzit.org