Die YOU ARE GROUP ist ein Kollektiv von Künstler*innen aus den verschiedensten Ländern der Welt, die aktuell im Rahmen einer Residenz des Center for Literature in Münster und Havixbeck leben und arbeiten.
Aber obwohl es relevant ist, woher sie kommen – so wie Sozialisation immer für das Werk von Künstler*innen eine Relevanz besitzt – reicht ihre Arbeit weit über die Begrifflichkeiten Herkunft, Identität und was noch von einer sogenannten »internationalen Künstlergruppe« erwartet wird hinaus. Was für die YOU ARE GROUP zählt ist ihre Performance, die von improvisationalen Aspekten auf der einen Seite lebt, und von der mit der Zeit gewachsenen Gruppe selber, durch ihre Individuen und als Entität repräsentiert, auf der anderen Seite. Für free care des Center for Literature hat die Gruppe uns ein Video zur Verfügung gestellt, das ihren Probenprozess dokumentiert. Das alleine stellt einen essentiellen Teil der Arbeitsweise der Gruppe dar: im Gegensatz zu »klassischeren« Ansätzen der Probe, beispielsweise von Musikgruppen, die einzelene Songs oder gar ganze Konzerte durchplanen oder von der Regie geleitete Ensembles des Theaters, regiert sich das Kollektiv selber und lassen ihre Proben mit ihren eigentlichen Performances verschmelzen, um schließlich wahrhaftig Grenzen zu überschreiten statt nur Begrifflichkeiten zu theoretisieren und was sie als Gruppe aus einer wie-auch-immer-zentristischen Sicht ausmacht. In einer globalisierten Welt nationaler Erwartungen liefert die YOU ARE GROUP einen Lösungsvorschlag für die verschwommene Sicht auf Arbeit, Kunst und Produktionsmittel, nicht ohne die nötige Emotionalität zu manifestieren, die für uns nötig ist.
Vor ihrem Beitrag zu free care hier noch ein kleines Q&A mit der YOU ARE GROUP selber:
1. Why work?
Because it just seems to disappear. Because work was self- defeating. Because I will give just one example. Because I see her in my head. Because she changes that poor dog’s name all the time. Because it has raised suspicion in some quarters. Because the other big thing that's going on is whether or not this cop killed his...wife. Because those people who feel bullied or look like nerds I’m trying to make them feel like winners. Because I just want to make... Because they struggle against legitimate regimes in their own countries. Because we share so much all the time on the show. Because work is the idea of process, like the simple act of painting. Because it's worse every year. Because we were involved in both the idea and the object, not in the use of new materials or the process of action. Because you know my position. Because we have strict rules about the kids. Because I was trained in political economy and dance. Because I would share some of my thoughts. Because I could elaborate. Because you'd be surprised, or maybe you wouldn't be surprised. Because the system is the work of art; the visual work of art is the proof of the system. Because we usually have three months off between seasons. Because I MUST be here. Because it is not the answer to your question, it is just a conversation over tea. Because this time, there are only two weeks, so it does feel like we’re always filming.
2. Why words?
Because words are out of my mind. Because you've got these things going on which seem to me to be very substantive, that could affect all of us, and instead, you see a lot of this back-fence gossip. Because words tumble down the charts. Because all the Archives are bursting with intelligence. Because there is too much stuff in the world. Because I have mood boards of so many different things in front of me. Because words play in us a big chorused song. Because we're news junkies in my house. Because there must be people who understand where they are. Because it’s obvious why, in the twenty-first century. Because words make me able to be private. Because words are all we are thinking about right now. Because he's been doing what he does for a long time, and I've been doing what I do for a long time. Because I never will be out of words. Because I will not name them. Because my ambitions are more multinational than mom-and-pop. Because you really do learn about boundaries over time. Because that's my job, to take something like that, which is fairly generic, and make a story out of it that's unique. Because you know them better than I do. Because I can’t talk right now. Because the structure has a speculative feel to it, but it’s very down to earth. Because I can’t see you. Because there are some people who might really have gone through that. Because everything will depend on how the situation will develop. Because we're a bit radioactive. Because...Am I on ΤV?... Because we felt a certain liberation in writing a sentence that goes on for three pages. Because it is best thought of as interrogative art. Because it’s from my point of view. Because he has the option on a short story called "The Monkey.” Because I have just formulated my position. Because I can’t tell you everything right now. Because we wanted to bring back all our boys and have them there at the same time ... just for fun. Because it’s a link in my work. Because I have a lot of phone calls to make. Because that's all. Because it’s very rare that we take out real content. Because we weren’t quite ready yet. Because I was 14 and filled with idealism. Because you are a dangerous person. Because I love your viewers and everyone at home watching. Because there were a couple of opinions that other people might not have loved to hear. Because I don't try to maintain quality control. Because you are taking from my stomach everything that I am trying to hide.
3. Why YOU ARE?
Because we want to disappear. Because there ought to be some serious discussion by smart people, really smart people. Because your fears are not groundless. Because I haven’t showered for three days. Because i’m very conscious of it. Because we simply work. Because I have a good time. Because I like it somehow. Because You Are is more funny. Because I decline to travel by air. Because we also talk about it with my niece. Because this is not a bad life. Because I think I’m a bitch. Because I love that. Because we would like it to happen but unfortunately our partners did not formulate their proposals in this part. Because sound comes first. Because sometimes there's stuff. Because I need a little bit of noise around. Because hard can be good. Because we will keep working. Because sometimes it gets you down, but, mostly it's good. Because i think that’s all you can do. Because what objections can one have? Because maybe I just got tired of this giving and doing system. Because it’s usually me starting a group chat. Because it's still a story about people in prison. Because I think that’s what I am destined to do at the moment. Because I am ungentlemanly, very crass. Because there are no fools. Because there are a lot of fools out there. Because I have the world's smallest specialty. Because we have family chats that happen all day, every day. Because we are constantly deceived. Because we cannot do it alone. Because these aliens did an experiment to see what fear did to human beings. Because I know it’s frustrating. Because I got rid of my place in the previous city I lived in. Because one hour suffering and one second big joy. Because particularly the disaster was just totally inexplicable. Because it should be on the basis of coordination and it should be a good concentrated decision. Because there’s a very good chance that they would quarrel with everything. Because you are everything to me. Because what does it mean? Because if it’s another drama, I go to one of my best friends. Because I try to get good people involved. Because I want so badly to be good. Because you put the best team you can on the field, and you know that, more times than not, you're gonna win. Because there was no real path. Because your body becomes alive when you sing or tell a love story. Because that doesn't mean you're going to have the occasional thing that's just a train wreck like Dreamcatcher, because that happens, right? Because we’re only going to do one season.
YOU ARE GROUP is a collective of artists from several countries of the world currently working and living in a residency for the Center of Literature. But although where they are coming from matters as socialization always matters the focus of their work reaches far beyond terms of origin, identity and what one might expect from a so called 'international' group of artists. What matters is the group's performance living from the improvisational aspects on the one hand that are being contributed by the grown-over-time group itself, represented by their members individually and as an entity on the other hand. For free care by the Center of Literature the group is providing us with a video of a performance documenting a rehearsal – which itself forms an essential part of the group's work. In contrast to more classical setups of bands rehearsing songs and potentially entire live sets or theatre ensembles being directed to perform at a director's will YOU ARE GROUP are directing themselves and letting their rehearsal routines influence their actual performances – finally really crossing borders and overcoming boundaries in a more practical way than theoretizing what constitues themselves or their work from a what-so-ever-centristic view. In a globalized world of nationalized expectations, YOU ARE GROUP delivers a way to also overcome opaque views on work, art and means of production while keeping it as emotional as needed – for themselves and for us viewers to cope with.
Die Residenz von You Are Group wird ermöglicht durch die Förderung des Ministeriums für Kultur und Wissenschaft des Landes NRW, in Kooperation mit der Kölner Kunsthochschule für Medien.