CLOUDS by Handa Gote Research and Development, with guest performance by Julia Pello & David Hall

CLOUDS by Handa Gote Research and Development, with guest performance by Julia Pello & David Hall

Handa Gote Research and Development, Prague, Veronika Švábová, Jakub Hybler, Tomáš Procházka, Jan Dőrner, Julia Pello & David Hall

Mon, February 5, 2018

7:30 pm

Links Hall

Chicago, IL

$10 - $12 online ($15 door)

“Handa Gote’s show, Clouds, is a terrific lo-fi aesthetic in which the performer, Veronika švábová, simply tells us about her grandparents. They, variously, founded the Czech communist party, were imprisoned in concentration camps, became high-ups in the secret police and were shot as traitors, which makes for a more exciting family album than most, and yet it’s lightly worn and beautifully executed.”  

--Andrew Haydon, The Guardian

Clouds is presented as part of an exchange between Chicago performance groups Every House has a Door, ATOM-r and Prague's Handa Gote. Performed by Veronika švábová, Jakub Hybler, Tomáš Procházka, Jan Dőrner. Clouds is funded by the Trust for Mutual Understanding.

Special thanks to The Trust for Mutual Understanding, ATOM-r, Every House has a Door, SAIC and Links Hall

“Handa Gote’s show, Clouds, is a terrific lo-fi aesthetic in which the performer, Veronika Švábová, simply tells us about her grandparents. They, variously, founded the Czech communist party, were imprisoned in concentration camps, became high-ups in the secret police and were shot as traitors, which makes for a more exciting family album than most, and yet it’s lightly worn and beautifully executed.” -- Andrew Haydon, The Guardian

In this piece major Central European experimental group Handa Gote Research and Development offers a glimpse into its ongoing work with “little histories“, this time turning to one of its own member‘s personal archives. Veronika Švábová sifts through the history of her family seeking both the fateful moments and seeming trivialities that have survived in family members‘ memories to this day, that are the fabric of family community. Clouds is a subjective study of one’s own family, a series of scenes without causal association, not unlike those fragments of past events that make up our own memories. Actress Veronika Švábová, exploring her family history, opens her personal archive to tell stories of fate and triviality. Who even knows how to bake real «Mraky» anymore? How did our ancestors influence our own lives? What have they told us and what have they kept secret? What happened in their lives and fates that repeats itself in ours? What mistakes do we make again and again without learning from them, just like they did? Which aspects of our personalities are inherited from them? What information from the past do we carry in the body? And just what will this body look like in twenty years, if it is still here at all? What results of what actions or events do we carry on into our lives? What do we really remember and what is just our imagination? What does family actually mean today? And who still knows how to bake “mraky“? Part of an exchange between Chicago performance groups Every House has a Door, ATOM-r and Prague's Handa Gote, funded by the Trust for Mutual Understanding.

Created with the support of: Motus, producers of the Alfred ve dvoře Theatre,, the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic, the City of Prague, Theatre 29 / Terra Madoda Pardubice, the Institute of Light Design Prague, and Institute of Intermedia of the Czech Technical University in Prague.

Special thanks to The Trust for Mutual Understanding, ATOM-r, Every House has a Door, SAIC, Links Hall and Ministry of Culture of Czech republic
Handa Gote Research and Development, Prague
Since 2005, Prague's famed Handa Gote Research & Development has worked on the boundaries between theatre, contemporary dance, the visual arts, music, performance and conceptual art. The ensemble is interested in the concept of post-dramatic and post-spectacular theatre, non-linear narratives, and the application of experiences from contemporary music and visual arts within theatre. Its performances involve the creative use of technology – both old technology and the most up-to-date available. In most of its projects, the ensemble works with media archeology; its documentary theatre works intensively focus on “small (personal) histories”. Nearly all of Handa Gote’s performances relate in some way to death, memory, and forgotten or disappearing things, phenomena, and habits. In this regard, Handa Gote’s dramaturgy is absolutely consistent, and the ensemble plans to focus on these subjects in the future as well. Besides theatre, Handa Gote Research & Development is also involved in music: actively through the post-Krautrock band B4 and the Federsel and Radio Royal electronic projects, and also through the Wakushoppu project, which provides a platform for the contemporary Czech improvised music scene. The ensemble is influenced primarily by the work and thinking of John Cage, which is also related to its inspiration in Eastern philosophy, in particular the Japanese aesthetic concepts of wabi-sabi and mono no aware. Other sources of inspiration include the artistic visionaries Joseph Beuys and Marcel Duchamp, as well as other cross-genre contemporary artists such as audio artist Gordon Monahan and Swiss visual artist Roman Signer. In terms of contemporary theatre, Handa Gote appreciates ensembles whose experimental work has helped to shift the boundaries of theatre in a new direction: Rimini Protokoll, Forced Entertainment, Russia’s AkhE ensemble, and Chicago's own Goat Island. Handa Gote Research & Development has presented its performances at various festivals and public events, including the Prague Writers’ Festival, the grand opening of the Railroad Kingdom exhibition, Design Match, Design Blok, the Prague Quadrennial, and various opening receptions. They have also appeared at numerous festivals at home and abroad, such as Unidram Potsdam, Łódzkie Spotkania Teatralne, Strings of Autumn, Malá inventura, Divadelní Flora, IF Theatre Pilsen, Off Europa Leipzig, Four Days in Motion Prague, Festival L1 Budapest, PAMS Seoul, ITF Varna Summer, Schlachthaus Theater Bern, Sibiu International Theatre Festival, A PART Katowice, Transitions Central Europe Athens, Norway Artway Bergen and others. Also worth noting are the ensemble’s activities in the visual arts (the exhibition “Semi-found objects, things and tools used in performing art”), and other exhibitions at Design Blok, the Prague Quadriennal, Places of Act, Školská 28, Window gallery and more.
Veronika Švábová
Veronika Švábová
Veronika Švábová (1974) Graduated from the Duncan Centre Conservatory in Prague in 1997. Following a study exchange at New York University in 1997, she studied dance sciences at HAMU, from which she graduated in 2004. As a dancer, she has appeared in numerous performances (Simone Sandroni’s Strappi Stuzzicanti, Jan Beneš’s Unfit for Habitation) and has also created her own choreographies (Obsessión, From Beginning to End, Mama Luna) She has collaborated with the Forman Brothers’ Theatre since 2000 (Crimson Sails, 2000), and did the choreography for the National Theatre production of Philip Glass’s opera Beauty and the Beast (2003) and The Klapzub Eleven (2005) at Divadlo Minor, all under the direction of Petr Forman. In 2004-08, she was a guest performer with the Krepsko theatre ensemble. She also worked as a guest choreographer at the National Theatre in Prague on the Giuseppe Verdi’s Requiem (2003) and Francesco Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur (2004), both directed by Jiří Nekvasil. For the Klicpera Theatre in Hradec Králové, she collaborated on director David Drábek’s staging of R.U.R. In 2005, she did the choreography for the Nanohách dance ensemble’s Softly. In 2005, Švábová joined with musician and sound designer Tomáš Procházka to found Handa Gote Research & Development. She has contributed to most of the ensemble’s performances as both choreographer and performer. In 2007, she created the choreography for the Forman Brothers’ production of the jazz opera A Well-Paid Walk at the National Theatre (directed by Miloš Forman). That same year, she co-wrote and choreographed the Forman Brothers Theatre’s Obludárium, which won the 2009 Alfréd Radok Award for Performance of the Year. Since 2009, she has created the choreographies for the opera-ballet adaptations Poor Rusalka Goes Pale, Enchantia, and Un beau matin, Aladin.
Jakub Hybler
Jakub Hybler (1974) is an enthusiastic “amphibious” jack-of-all-trades; an engineer and programmer who works for numerous theatre projects in the Czech Republic and abroad; an idiosyncratic artist and inventor capable of sharing his knowledge and talent with others through workshops in the area of physical computing and lighting design. As a systems designer and software developer, he has contributed to creating technical designs for artists throughout Europe. Hybler is a founding member of Handa Gote. He is currently active at the Czech Technical University’s Institute of Intermedia (IIM), and is completing his doctoral studies at the FAMU film academy.
Tomáš Procházka
After attending the Secondary School of Mechanical and Traffic Engineering, Tomáš Procházka (1973) studied at Prague's DAMU academy, where he graduated in 1996 from the Department of Alternative and Puppet Theatre. He has participated in various experimental theatre projects, often as a technician, musician, audio engineer, and actor all in one (with Russian Derevo ensemble, the Forman Brothers Theatre, Japanese butoh master Min Tanaka, and the Netherlands’ Grifftheater). A member of the Buchty a Loutky (Cakes and Puppets) ensemble since 1999, Procházka has directed three of the group’s performances (Gilgamesh, The Hound of the Baskerville, and Kabaret KaKa) and has performed in most others. In 1998, Procházka founded the band B4, with whom he released five self-financed CDs. In 2005, he founded the Handa Gote Research & Development theatre ensemble. He has participated in all of the ensemble’s performances, acted as dramaturgist for the Still-Life Festival in 2009, and has also contributed to several exhibitions. As a musician and sound designer, Procházka works with various dance and movement-based ensembles, including Vertedance, Nanohách, and Stage Code. He has also composed the music for several films (Chcípáci, Pohyby tance, Cinémensonge/film-lež, Sedmnáct). As a musician, he also performs with Gurun Gurun and Radio Royal, and appears solo under the name Federsel. He is the dramaturg for the Wakushoppu music series. He also contributes to the sound documentation project Favourite Sounds of Prague.
Jan Dőrner
Jan Dőrner (1975) is a theatre artist, amateur filmmaker, lighting designer, scenographer and occasional actor. He studied at the Institute for Educational Fundamentals, worked as an assistant film set designer, as head of production and graphic artist at an advertising agency, and now works full-time in lighting design and theatre in general. He has collaborated on projects for MATAPA, Nanohách, Carmen and La Traviata in Besseto, Opera Seoul, the Central Bohemian Theatre in Kladno, The Nutcracker at the Karlín Music Theatre (stage and lighting design), the Kolouchův sen ensemble, and more. Dörner has also shot several short films and has created dozens of his own theatre projects. He is the co-founder (2005) of the popular monthly hit parade of dance and movement theatre Homework out of Diligence (Duncan Centre, Nosticovo divadlo, Divadlo v Řeznické, Alfred ve dvoře). In his theatre work, Dörner aims for a combination of antiquated machines with modern technology while endeavoring for an unconventional lighting design and reshaping junk, scrap metal and leftover electronics into unconventional spotlights. He is a member of both the Handa Gote and Wariot Ideal groups.
Julia Pello & David Hall
Julia Pello & David Hall
Julia Pello is a Russia-born writer and film/video maker. Pello’s video work engages emptied sites of historical memory to investigate possibilities of encountering what is no longer materially present. In attempting to formulate a visual record of historical disappearance, she explores eroded materialities, abandoned cityscapes, and interstitial spaces—paying attention to the interplay of collective and individual desire upon those sites. A hauntology of the moving image in all that it can and cannot contain within its frame. Slow-elapsing and durational, Pello’s videos mediate a space between the actual and the virtual. David Hall writes in sentences and often works with materials already charged with significance. His practice and process often take shape in the form of presentational modes, performative lectures, curatorial labor, and heavily mediated performances. He has exhibited and performed his work in the U.S. and abroad, and received an MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

"Stuttering Images" is a presentational and spectral performance that circumscribes the responsibilities of the constructed image, pictorial representation, and narrative frames. Taking sites of media, literary, and natural histories as material and conceptual forms, Stuttering Images attempts to depart from didactic content-form relations in order to move laterally in a constellation of relations between image-history fetishism, anthropomorphized others, figural and literal repetition, and the articulations and fabrications of desire. These specific concerns are both made manifest and contradicted through examining the aporias and blockages in the relations between texts and images.
Venue Information:
Links Hall
3111 N. Western Ave.
Chicago, IL, 60618