Mednarodni festival
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The MFRU Festival and NAGIB questioning the meaning of Transhumanism today


The MFRU Festival and NAGIB questioning the meaning of Transhumanism today

13. sep. 2021

The MFRU Festival and NAGIB questioning the meaning of Transhumanism today

8.10. - 15.10. 2021, Maribor.

Exhibitions in the city and on online platforms.

This autumn, MFRU+NAGIB is organising an eight-day live festival, modulated through citywide exhibitions and digital online meetings, with the concept of transhumanism as its 'central motto'. On the one hand, MFRU will question the role of technology and the importance of the machine in the development of man as a thinking and conscious being, while in connection with NAGIB, performative gestures extend directly into the field of the biological and the human, thus creating the conditions for a reflection on the presence of the corporeal and the human.

The questioning of the meaning and role of human life and the irresistible drive to improve the conditions of life on Earth have, over the course of evolution, brought humanity to a point where it seems to transcend not only itself but also life itself. Desires for power, longevity, beauty, abundance and comfort fuel the need for constant progress. In the pursuit of what is promised, it seems that one's freedom is no longer important, but that belonging is. It is in this spirit that this edition of the MFRU is entitled "Transhumanism: a dangerous idea or a (bright) future?" With the current situation on Earth moving dangerously towards more and more natural, biological and technological disasters, it is imperative that we start to become aware of our own incapacities and seek new connections with nature. Technology and science offer us a wide range of possibilities in this regard, but their use must remain within the limits of free and conscious decision making.

NAGIB is based on similar but different premises. The creation of the first series of performative gestures, which started last year, was stimulated by the para-synchronicity of artistic developments and the inability to act, which led to a different world of performance and moved beyond the "traditional" dance-theatre halls, which in the current situation are also spaces of selection and distance. The spirit of the times does not allow us to stay in the old, familiar and well-trodden (creative) field that we have been used to.

In this edition of the 27th MFRU, which will be marked by technological transcendence and, in collaboration with NAGIB Exhibition #2, a series of performative gestures, we will all be present in the exhibition together: performers, actors, animals, robots, codes, images, screens, etc. The latter confront us and, at the same time, underline the inevitable digitalisation of society, as well as of artistic engagement and expression, and highlight the importance of being aware of extremes.

These new situations of action, creation and integration open up and require new communicative slogans or vocabulary, material(s), opportunities, transitions, coincidences, vulnerabilities, etc. that will be (re)recorded in the joint product of both actors. Therefore, our guiding motive, which at the same time determines the new collective creative process and permeates the whole event, is the dictionary of progress as a document of the articulation of different artworks and concepts - on the one hand through live performances and on the other hand as a means of external communication. To understand and see how it will all work together live (some content is also online), you are invited to visit the guest artists and groups who will be working in their own creative window/exhibition and testing and performing their concepts/ideas during the course of the event. Some of whom will be live for one day only, while some of the works will be re-experienced every day until 22 October. More details about the programme will follow soon.

For the MFRU, Programme Manager Aleksandra Saška Gruden,
for NAGIB, Programme Manager Petra Hazabet,
in collaboration with Miha Horvat ☺.