The performance takes its primary inspiration from the self-portrait project God Nature Toil of the Latvian photographer Vika Eksta. From 2013 to 2015 the artist pictured herself with a photo camera in an abandoned house in the Latvian countryside. Using the clothes and objects found in the house, she staged various situations, in order to re-create her own perception/understanding of the life of the previous inhabitant. The photographies also reflect on traditional Latvian countryside lifestyle and it's an actual state.
Direction - Tone Haldrup Lorenzon (DK) Vita Malahova (LV)
Interpreters - Aude Lorrillard (FR) , Vita Malahova (LV)
Photography - Vika Eksta (LV)
Music - Alberto Barberis (IT)
ASK THE BREAD is a documentary performance that investigates themes such as the presence of isolation in rural lifestyle, migration from rural areas, and the connection between nature and humans. The project combines physical theater with photography, sound, and video art and will take place in Latvia and Denmark in the form of a 12-hour performance in the village Susēja (August 2022) and in Silkeborg (Autumn 2022).
ASK THE BREAD is telling the most insignificant story, about the most insignificant woman, in the most insignificant village. The question may raise; why tell it? Because in this insignificance, lays the imprint of urbanisation and a picture of a country which has moved to the center and forgotten its periphery. In this insignificant story, lives traditions soon to be forgotten, lives a past that has seen and felt the impact of the future, a past glorified and condemned, a future feared with the belief for better.
The first steps of the project started in June 2019 in Riga when artists gathered in Riga Circus residency to reflect on the traditional values of living in farmsteads and the current situation in rural Latvia. Since then, the artistic team continued to develop the project by collaborating with several artistic residencies such as Interdisciplinary Center SERDE, Gertrudes Street Theatre residency, Residency center Rucka and Sansusī Well - Being residency program.
During the Sansusī Wellbeing Residency Program, the artists collaborated with Aknīste elderly people's home, where artists guided creative workshops and linked tasks with the research for the performance. Artists also visited farmsteads in rural areas and their inhabitants. They interviewed elderly people asking the question: what does “work” mean to you? And what does the body mean to Your work? The creative team was exploring how the conception of the body has changed in the past years and what impact it has on our life today.
Project is supported by VSIA Riga Circus, Residency Center SERDE, Residency center RUCKA , Kurzeme Culture Program, Sansusī Wellbeing residency and Nordic-Baltic Mobility Programe for Culture.