Jimmy Grima & Ira Melkonyan
On the 31st of August 2019, jury of the international theatre festival Zurich Theatre Spektakel (Switzerland) awarded The Rubberbodies Collective with the Acknowledgement Prize for their performance-installation Upstairs Geology 50/50. The artwork takes ecology and climate issues as its starting point and inspires us to think beyond the idea of human as a conqueror of Nature.
As stated on the festival's website, The ZKB Acknowledgement Prize allows for additional recognition and support of an artist. It is awarded to a company or artist for extraordinary achievement in such areas as choreography, dramaturgy, audience participation or acting.
Ira Melkonyan and Jimmy Grima, the artists of the collective, are looking forward to sharing this and other works on their native island, which remains the source of their inspiration.
This is the website of the festival and the jury statement: Ira Melkonyan & The Rubberbodies Collecticv (Ukraine/The Netherlands) for «Upstairs Geology 50/50»
STATEMENT OF THE JURY
The forecast is not promising at all. The change has not reached us yet and at the same time it is happening in front of our eyes. We are sitting safely in a clean laboratory space consisting of human and non-human protagonists, witnessing their interactions and interdependence. It is a complex and colourful system that smells, melts, drips, leaks, freezes; it is being initiated and operated by humans but it vividly disobeys, breaking given frames and membranes. Liquids shift states and leave traces. Time goes through the materials and the materials expand in space.
In «Upstairs Geology 50/50», Ira Melkonyan and The Rubberbodies Collective give presence to the effects of non-humans, challenging the distribution of authorship in the theatre field. This performative installation is an outstanding example of a political art work. It does not «mansplain» nature but instead invites us to go along with the transformation of a leaking landscape and to experience it — with all its risk. The female gaze opens a new perspective on not only the liquid processes that take place around us, but also on how we address them. At the same time, it gives a fascinating outlook on what is yet to be done.