here’s – finally – a process diary from my residency at Satan’s Democracy, September to November 2015.
Building the passage room scenography. Materials used: paint, concrete, stone, rebars, wool (black), tree trunks, reeds, ashes, mirror glass, felt, wood, linoleum, tarpaulin, bubble plastic, butyl rubber, non-vowen fiber cloth, silk fabric, blastering sand (black). Also, you may spot Captain Grumpy unplugging fluorescents, two views of freshly asphalted corridors with some graffitti, and Woland’s tag above the backyard parking. All photos: HHW.
As one of nearly one hundred Artists in Residence, I contributed to the morphing of an abandoned office building from the 1970’s into a dreamlike scenescape – where, later, Bulgakov’s novel Master and Margarita was reenacted (with diabolic updates such as digital surveillance, authoritarian nationalism and mass consumerism). Well over five hundred people have been involved: actors, mime and performance artists; architectural, music-hall and art school students; artists from street art and graffiti scenes, as well as designers, dressmakers, make-up artists, sculptors and traditional painters. Thoughout the whole process, the presence of playfulness, skills and dedication was as intense as projections of ego were absent. I really don’t know how this came to be… Most likely, project leaders Jimmy Meurling, Py Huss-Wallin and Andreas Blom found a magic portal to a future where confidence and creativity rules.
Not to ruin the visitors’ explorative experience, we (happily) agreed to a restrictive photo policy from the very beginning. And that’s why I wouldn’t share the construction process – until now.
The play took place on three storeys simultaneously, the audience were invited to make their own journey during three hours of events unfolding (while wearing masks and keeping dead silent). The concept – inspired by earlier projects such as Sleep No More in New York, but unique in Sweden – obviously had a strong appeal; every single performance got sold out.
For more about Satan’s Democracy, see:
And here’s one trailer, made by media students in the Shadow Lab, the space where I first tried things out:
Källaren, Satans Demokrati