Festival Lutke 2020

29. 9. 2020

The 15th International Festival of Contemporary Puppetry Art LUTKE 2020 is rethinking its character. Every single day, the task of festival programming has led us to tackle new challenges brought upon us by the new social and theatre reality. The festival form was constantly changing and the programme was made and remade based on the continually changing epidemiological situation and border-crossing possibilities. We had to forgo the mysterious visual masterpiece The Great He-Goat, performed by the Cie Mossoux-Bonté dance and theatre group from Belgium, which we should have hosted together with Cankarjev dom Cultural and Congress Centre and the Maribor Theatre Festival. Together with the City of Women festival, we should have staged the bold puppet feminist manifesto Chambre Noire by one of the most promising and many-sided puppet artists Yngvild Aspeli. To be staged sometime in the intangible future are also a brutal version of Shakespeare's classic play about the ruthless pursuit of power entitled Macbeth Muet, performed by the Canadian La Fille du Latie group, and the visual discourse entitled M.A.R by the Spanish visual artist Andrea-e Díaz Reboredo. 

The LUTKE 2020 festival will leave its mark in a time defined by uncertainty, and the imperative to tone down all ambitious art concepts and established programme strategies. The parameters of meeting art criteria are being taken over by qualities such as tremendous goodwill, instant flexibility, instinctive efficiency, and constant openness, but above all faith in the indispensability and purpose of making and celebrating theatre (the word “festival” derives from the Latin word festus, meaning festive, solemn, celebratory). 

So here we have it—a truncated programme, intended mainly for adult audiences, but still one that brings a plethora of innovative performance delights. We are lifting the limits of how the space of puppetry art and animated forms is perceived, and we are expanding this space with superb creations of contemporary new-media art at the Kino Šiška premises. The audio-visual performance Beambreaker by the Slovenian inter-media artist and creative coder Tadej Droljc is based on continuous changes and manipulation of spatial audio-visual objects composed of broken light beams and sounds. The Last Temptation by Vlado Repnik substantively links a light park animation with a sort of topical discourse about the destruction of natural habitats. It is our great pleasure to substitute the originally planned production of the multidisciplinary French team Adrien M & Claire B, who bring together in their performances and interactive exhibitions real and virtual worlds with information technology developed and adapted specifically for them, with the Acqua Alte - Crossing the Mirror experience—a pop-up book in augmented reality. 

With its diverse visual performance expressions, this year’s festival responds to the current social issues, opens a reflection on the contemporary period, and sets up new aspects of the current intangible theatre reality. The festival contemplates the issue of anthropocentrism or the impact that humans and technology have on ecosystems, freedoms of the individual, dystopian scenarios, and the complexity and disorderliness of the world. But will a mere critique suffice to co-create changes in society and new opportunities? It seems that we have found ourselves at a point where theatre has the possibility to rethink its mission. Art, the arena of creation, is one of the fundamental factors to give meaning to the human longing for constant transformation, and the longing to be in touch with endless intangible beauty. But it also demands of humans to step down from the predictable automatism and enables a space and flow to make sense of the new reality. Let’s step boldly into it!