XXX [turning principles into actions]

XXX was a performance advertised as an intensive course in citizen integration. Such courses are compulsory in the Netherlands, their aim being the harmonious co-existence of a multicultural society.We took the model of the familiar naturalization process for XXX, and customised it to result in a no less harmonious outcome. The idea was to transform our audience into an orchestra, who will play the Dutch national anthem, using objects they had in their bags,i.e. keys,credit cards,plastic bags, etc.

On their entrance in the gallery, each persons bag was searched and depending on what objects were found in it, he/she would be directed to pre-designated areas in the space (sections A,B,C etc) .After the group was distributed, we revealed to them the aim of the upcoming activity,and then placed the matter in the hands of a proffesional conductor Koen Nutters. He proceeded to orchestrate the ensemble, section by section through the anthem, until they were ready to perform the first part of the national hymn for an official recording.

You can listen to the result here (mp3 file).

Original announcement:

May 7th 2005, 18:00 till 20:00

XXX [turning principles into actions]

A practical guide to integration by Zhana Ivanova and Uta Eisenreich

XXX refers to the 3 crosses in the coat of arms of Amsterdam, which, in their turn, correspond to the three words in the city's motto: Heroic, Resolute and Merciful (Heldhaftig, Vastberaden, Barmhartig). Everyone coming to live in Amsterdam is expected to develop these three virtues, as they are essential for successful integration and naturalization of new citizens. Salon Ivanova has proved that the above-mentioned virtues are not necessarily something one is naturally born with: they can easily be trained.

The artists' duo, famous for their playful interactive performances, suggests an intensive training programme for integration. In two hours, Zhana Ivanova and Uta Eisenreich will train their audience to be heroic, resolute and merciful, by means of a supervised step-by-step guide. The trainees will be introduced to all the standardised techniques they might need in order to undergo the process of naturalization. The skills they will be provided with are applicable to a wide range of situations: once the program is completed successfully, the trainee will be able to integrate into any group or community. For taking part, no previous integration experience is required.

Eisenreich and Ivanova have been collaborating on a regular basis since 2004 and have produced a number of performances together. Their collaborative projects explore formats of game structures, and the construction of simulated environments, where audiences are removed from a position of a passive spectator. Aspects of human behaviour, social structures and modern living are often subjects around which they create worlds of obsessive fantasies and playful representations.

Uta Eisenreich was born in 1971 in Friedberg, Germany. After a year of doing documentary photography in Mexico she studied photography and design in Dortmund and Amsterdam. She co-organized several festivals, exhibitions in Germany and the Netherlans (the 'Yupf' Festival in 1995, the 'Focus '96' Symposium 1996, 'The World We Grow Into' 1999) and took part in various photography exhibitions (e.g. Foto Forum Frankfurt 1997, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam 2003). From 2000 she developed a second line of work in live art. Produced performance pieces in a number of collaborations which toured in various European cities. Uta Eisenreich also teaches at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. She lives and works in Amsterdam.

Zhana Ivanova was born in 1977 in Russe, Bulgaria. She studied languages and theatre in London. Since 2001 she has been producing solo and collaborative works, which took place in galleries and public spaces. She engages predominantly within the format of live performance, yet readily shifts between disciplines in order to achieve her artistic goals. Works by Zhana Ivanova have been shown in Ellen de Bruine Projects (Amsterdam),Gallerija Nova (Zagreb), Raid Projects (LA), as well as at festivals internationally. She is currently based in Amsterdam.

The project is made possible with the support of Mama Cash.

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