Thoughts on Programming for the Olympics

What work is appropriate for large scale cultural programmes? What if this programme is for the world’s largest mega sporting event with a TV audience of over 4billion for its opening and closing ceremonies? Does this mean only the mega and mainstream can work? I was pondering this question as i witnessed street arts work in Kendal, for Mintfest which is part of Lakes Alive – one of our projects for the Olympiad in the Northwest.

Mintfest - Carabosse - fire gardenOutdoor work is good because it provides spectacle, it reaches people, it takes art to the community, its about celebration that is communal, public and collective – all the things that an olympic games is about. And of what type of outdoor work? Lets take Salamandre as one example which was one of the events that i saw at Mintfest last night.  In their work was athletism – of the body in motion, human power – of the body in performance and play with fire – the  symbol, of unity and of the earth. This piece embodied natural forces and struck me as a clear and relevant focus and theme for any olympic programme – the notion and expression of natural forces is at the heart of the enjoyment of sport, of both the doing and the watching. It is also the root of humanity and therefore part of culture and for expression by artists. Which leads me on to the view that programming  street arts for the Olympics promotes the LIVE,  the NATURAL and  the SOCIAL experience of life – essential natural forces.  When you play with  sculptural forms (like dance and installation) and fire and let them do the talking you get a very human form of expression  which is tribal. Simplicity should not be underestimated and for an Olympics programme, its a very nice strand of practice to present – tribal arts (?)

to be continued…..

~ by Debbi Lander on August 29, 2009.

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