The rave has been a defining part of Berlin since before the wall came down. As a major force for unification in what was a country divided by political and social oppression, the city is now famous for a club culture built on these organized parties in abandoned railway warehouses, electrical substations, defunct department stores. “E-scape. Breaking the Trance” transforms the former postal bank office of Postscheckamt into an exhibition space, and for a brief moment, its own kind of critical rave.
As early 00s ravers themselves, 3hd Festival’s organizers aim to reconnect with what made the places they inhabited so vital in the past, while acknowledging that some of Berlin’s most famous spots have been subsumed by capitalist logic in the present. As club and techno culture is codified, corporatized and institutionalized, “E-scape” explores new ways of re-accessing and re-annexing these already occupied spaces.
The focus on liminality and permeability will play out from day into night starting with a panel discussion, moderated by Lou Drago, on the search for decolonial, queer feminist longings, rituals, gestures, artistic debates and theoretical approaches within the club and rave culture in Berlin. There will be a DJ set by Brussels-based musician Malibu to follow, as well as a dance piece by choreographer and multidisciplinary artist Michele Rizzo. Including a hypnotic electronic soundtrack by Lorenzo Senni, “HIGHER xtn.” considers the power of dance by focusing on the nightclub as a site of community building and radical self-expression. Drawing on theorist Julia Kristeva’s writings on the form and its ability to accelerate the process of transhumanization, the performance examines the cathartic and transformative power of technoid music cultures, whose repetitive rhythms can temporarily detach the dancers from their sense of self by inducing a state of trance. It’s here in this very symbol of ever-changing utility and function—of the postal bank, come temporary gallery, come transient club—that “E-scape” creates an autonomous space within a space; of transgression and transcendence, movement and contortion in time.
Concept and choreography: Michele Rizzo
Original soundtrack: Lorenzo Senni
Dancers: Michele Rizzo, Max Göran, Juan Pablo Cámara, Antonia Steffens, Reza Mirabi
With thanks to: Stedelijk Museum/SNDO / ICK / Mondriaan Fonds / Prins Bernhard Cultuur Fonds