Holoscenes

London's Burning reflects as much on challenges faced by the City today as those that threatened to destroy it in the past

Holoscenes was a compelling six-hour underwater performance installation by Los Angeles-based company, Early Morning Opera, inspired by the widely-shared concern that our troubled relationship with water is set to become the central issue of the 21st century.

Individual performers struggled to continue their daily routines as water levels rose around them in a giant aquarium. Dressing, cleaning, reading the paper or tuning a guitar all became more and more challenging by the second. Swimming up for air, diving down, they were constantly adapting to their ever changing environment.

Accompanied by an other-worldly soundscape broadcast from within the tank, the piece - part of London's Burning - was a mesmerising display of human persistence in the face of unacknowledged challenges.  It was an elemental portrait of at best our ability to adapt and, at worst, a powerful demonstration of our collective myopia.

Holoscenes used water to represent the calamities facing our world – from rising seas, melting glaciers, intensifying floods and searing droughts. The piece embodied the trauma of flooding threatened by climate change. By weaving these occurrences into a portrait of everyday normality, Holoscenes revealed an apparently distant problem as a real and present danger.

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Early Morning Opera is a performance and art laboratory currently touring multidisciplinary installations Holoscenes and The Institute of Memory (TIMe). Founded by director, designer, writer and media artist Lars Jan, the company explores emerging artistic practices and performance styles.

Holoscenes is co-commissioned by the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. It has received generous support from the Surdna Foundation, The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts, The MAP Fund (a program of Creative Capital supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation), Awesome Without Borders, the Panta Rhea Foundation, the New York State Council on the Arts with support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and many individual donors. Additional research and critical residency support has been provided by Scotiabank Nuit Blanche (Toronto), EMPAC/ Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, NY), and the Center for the Art of Performance (CAP) UCLA (Los Angeles, CA).

A MAAP International Productions Project.

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