Leja Jurišić: RED FOREST
“The action persists in the effort to awaken the viewer from the stupor of all constructed social trappings, to bring him to a state of sensitivity and vulnerability, which can be said to be one of the truths of our existence… The journey, which is set as an initiation, settles into the viewer as a sustainable experience and a holistic art event.” Petra Tanko, Radio ARS
We, humans, encroach on the forest, but the power of the forest to shape people is also inevitable, says Leja Jurišić about the conceptual impulses that drove the creation of the Red Forest. In the forest we heal our wounds, in the forest wounds are created, the silence of the forest is not non-violent, and neither is the loudness of the world. A forest is mystical, fantastic, dangerous, wild, powerful, elevated, lonely, idyllic, natural, an animal kingdom, a place of retreat or longing, and also a place of exploitation and destruction.
The attempt to stand out from the everyday realities of capitalism, its ideological and material catastrophes, and the desire to rest in the forest turns out to be an illusion: “Each subject who is sent to the forest considers it an important obstacle. Even though the forest is never conquered, the subject still has to travel through it. There is always a forest between defeat and success. In fact, it is the forest that makes the subject’s success possible,” says Jurišić, loosely quoting Erica Spelman.
Five dancers and choreographers are faced with the Red Forest: Urška Centa, Žigan Krajnčan, Gašper Kunšek, Kristýna Šajtošová, and Veronika Valdés. What is coming to life is an omnibus of confrontations with the forest and the red, a series of individual entries that are infused with collective actions but require strong and sensitive individuals, the forest is complex, and all despair and disgust must be raised to the sun, they must be potentiated and irradiated so that the human gloating over the disaster would finally end. The human forest is a field of empty, consumer-oriented signals, empty political pamphlets, and likewise empty promises. It is also a field of perception of these signals, pamphlets, and promises; participation in the choreography of one’s own destruction. But not that of instant annihilation, because the human forest works continuously, according to the principle of inexhaustible dripping and devouring. Acceptance of horror is there fueled by one’s own pleasure in horror, all in order to silence sensitivity, receptivity, and vulnerability, and to glorify a false sense of endurance. The Red Forest, on the other hand, does not silence sensibility but instead welcomes its glow and constructive potential in which we devise how to withstand the intensity of the world. The Red Forest tries to establish a situation where conventional social arrangements, which are most often also social arrangements of destruction, lose the charm of instant pleasure and the sense of insufficiency that follows it. Our direction is thus not turned towards the human forest but to the Red Forest.
Idea and choreography: Leja Jurišić
Co-authorship and performance: Urška Centa, Žigan Krajnčan, Gašper Kunšek, Kristýna Šajtošová, Veronika Valdés
Scenography, lighting, costumes, dramaturgy, photography: Petra Veber
Music: Eduardo Raon
Songs: Žar Ljubezni (Žigan Krajnčan), The Age Of Love (Charlotte de Witte & Enrico Sangiuliano Remix)
Technical director: Igor Remeta
Producer: Žiga Predan
The Pekinpah art program is co-financed by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia and the City Municipality of Ljubljana – Department for Culture.