press release

Directions by Wolfgang Spahn is a Poem Performance Film based on the homonymous poem by famous Zimbabwean poet Chirikure Chirikure.

In the video Chirikure performs alongside Mando the beatboxer who has earned himself the title of „Deutscher Beatbox-Meister“ twice. The setting is in a chemical lab which emittes vapour, fountains and smoke. The director and media artist Wolfgang Spahn created projections which are generated by sound. Thus spoken word, beats and projections are forming a thrilling mélange.

The poem uses the idea of directions to highlight how certain political instructions create absurd effects on everyday life or may even force the human body to give in. Thus the poem can be read as a comment on the „Look East“ policy by Robert Mugabe, which aimed at orientating Zimbabwe towards Asia. It was initiated in 2003 after his government was put under sanctions by the EU. But it also refers to the (post-)colonial education system, which forced African pupils to adopt and continue the western style of writing from left to right. The question arises if against that solid western background an Asian oriented experiment can work?

The film not only captures this idea but also adds the dimension of globalization and brain drain. By using the laboratory as a metaphor for experiment and creation, it refers to the shared experience of the involved artists and staff: none of them currently stays in their country of origin.

Kuration: Ricarda de Haas

Wolfgang Spahn

Ricarda de Haas