What do we celebrate? Why do we celebrate? How do we celebrate?
Das Fest (2012) is a performance/dinner in which invited guests are equipped with tasks for the night and a Lebkuchen (a cookie in the shape of a heart) personalized with their name. Once everyone has arrived a video speech is played on open intelligence, in which the importance of being in the moment is emphasized. After this, the audience meets their hosts in the dining room, in order to eat, play group games, negotiate rules, select winners and expose their own positions. After the dinner, the event transforms more and more into a party.
While reflecting on formulas of celebrations, we started merging different types in order to find our essence of celebration, to arrive at something more naked – while at the same time trying to understand grammar and ingredients inherent in the kind of celebrations we know.
While working on Das Fest, we started to focus on three different themes: power, praise and play. These themes were reflected in three different rooms, through which we ate, danced and communicated throughout the night with our guests.
If we should make a collection of words which seem for us inherent in Das Fest, we would say: social groups and social roles, watching and being watched, finding ones role, games, embarrassment, to break the ice, hide and seek, competition, humiliation, family, masks, seduction, manipulation, fragility, exposure, the Buddhist idea of Dana, gifts, rituals, ghosts, the absence of loved beings, feeling alone and celebrating a moment.