The limited-capacity event will take place on October 1st & 2nd at Trauma Bar and Kino.
Working in collaboration with visual artist Theresa Baumgartner on stage design, the project is an extension of the Berlin crew's Off party series, which was launched earlier this year. The limited-capacity event will comply with Germany's event hygiene regulations, which require attendees to wear masks inside and while not seated, keep a distance of 1.5 meters and provide contact-tracing details at the door.
The shows will take place tonight and tomorrow at Trauma Bar und Kino at 7:30 PM CEST.
Resident Advisor spoke with the artists about the impending premiere and gained some insight into their continuing collaborations.
Can you tell me about the concept behind the project?
Juliana Huxtable: For me, it's been less of a rigid concept and more of an opportunity to experiment. We started with the idea of Off License because loosely it made sense given the time we're in. There's a lot of time that's spent at bodegas or off-licenses. Also the idea of something being off-license because a lot of our creative and social activities have been happening outside of a legal paradigm or the paradigms we would normally take for granted because they're either shut down or inaccessible. That was a launching point for it.
But it's also been nice to experiment and not be beholden to a strict idea of what it has to be. A lot of it has just come from the process of playing together. There are emotional tones that come out of that which aren't necessarily related to a specific concept. The concept was more of a launchpad for an experiment.
I've been reading about your Off party series which launched in February. Would you call this an extension of those parties or its own separate project?
Ziúr: We're trying to continue with the theme of Off. We actually had two others lined up that were cancelled because of corona.
JH: We already had plans of also doing more live music and performance programming with that series, something isn't strictly a club environment. So this made sense in that context.
Z: We also recently did a film together, so we were already collaborating on artistic material. You just have to use all your resources to book artists that are based in Berlin. There are little money and little resources right now.
What sparked the decision to incorporate poetry into the performance?
JH: I'm always writing. I write poetry and perform poetry, so it made sense that that would be part of the contribution. What I also really liked about the first Off and Trauma Bar as an extension, is that it's not such a strict approach to what a party has to be. It's not just a space like, "This is a place to dance to techno and get drunk." It's a bit more expansive. It felt very open, in the spirit of experimentation, to what it could be.
Theresa Baumgartner: There's a lot of room for experimentation, and it comes really naturally to bring in other things. It's still a club night, you work around that and change a few parameters, and all of a sudden it's something really special. This collaboration comes really naturally, this project just comes out by us hanging out, and also in us being in the space.
How did each of you contribute to the project?
JH: Ziúr's been working on the music, I'm working on all the text, and doing a lot of vocals but Ziúr is also singing. All the installation, lighting and stage design Theresa is contributing. But it's also going to keep growing. We've talked about doing video, as an extended experiment, it will continue to grow, because this all came together in less than a month!
How will the night comply with social-distancing regulations?
Z: The venue is huge. The seats are counted, and the audience is strictly limited.
TB: The ventilation in here is also amazing.
Z: When you have the club full of people smoking cigarettes, you can technically empty the air completely out of the whole space.
With some clubs reopening in Berlin, how did you feel like the city's scene has responded to the pandemic?
JH: Outdoor clubs have reopened, but those are already on the way out. These are the last few weekends where that's even possible as it gets colder. I think it's going to go back to a question mark until there's some kind of policy.
TB: There haven't been any proper club nights without an illegal context. In winter something like what we're doing with a limited audience is probably the maximum of what we'll be able to do.