Back in the House of Nameless Storeys; part two, Satan’s Delirium

art, recent work, time-out

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accessing the Nameless Storeys

So, last year I joined the crew of 100+ artists who set the scene for Satan’s Democracy; a  piece of immersive theatre – equally playful & dead serious – based on Bulgakov’s novel Master and Margarita and inspired by Punchdrunk’s Sleep No More in New York… Three floors of a former office building transmuting in a creative flow of consumeristic debris, human-sized dolls, graffiti galore, UV-light installations and fresh asphalt (not to mention a minor forest of birch-trees)… The construction of my own contribution, the Passage Room, can be seen here. Once, it was a brightly-lit space where office workers gathered around the photocopier; distorted angles, muffling thick felt pieces, semi-transparent shadowscreens and black sand covering the floor turned it into a tiny maze where people actually get lost at times…

The project as a whole was conceived, produced, curated and directed by some truly courageous people: Jimmy Meurling, Py Huss-Wallin and Andreas Blom. They  couldn’t foresee it would end up a success, but it did – every single performance got sold-out. Furthermore, the  demolishment of the building (scheduled for the summer of 2016) got postponed… so why not keep on playing?

160817-02b“Woland” tag outside window

Woland Presents: Part Two: Satan’s Delirium…  The grand opening was couple of weeks ago, now playing until Dec 31st (a few tickets still available)… The public, provided with masks and flashlights, find their way through a darkness mimicking the satanic delirium of a Prosecutor run amok, haunted by Woland (embodied by Otto Milde and Angela Wand). As for the Passage Room; since four out of five spotlights were removed, it’s really dark… so I have adapted it a bit, mainly by adding more mirror shards.

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161005-14bfrom the Passage Room, reconditioned October 2016

Meanwhile,

art, recent work

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:
Satans Demokrati
facebook.com/satansdemokrati

And here’s one trailer, made by media students in the Shadow Lab, the space where I first tried things out:
Källaren, Satans Demokrati