PA2013 INTERVIEW #6

HAS POTENTIAL

I am Meg Rollandi, Thomas Press is the other half of the collaboration, we are Has Potential.

Hannah McDougall talks with Meg Rollandi about her collaboration with Thomas Press on Karaoke Stories II, in The Performance Arcade 2013.

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Give a bit of a background on the work.

Our work is called Karaoke Stories II.  It is the second iteration of a piece that was created by Thomas and Willem Wassenaar and first ‘performed’ at the 100 Grad Festival in Berlin in 2012.  Thomas approached me to work on developing the piece for The Performance Arcade.

How did the collaboration between the two of you come about?

Thomas and I have worked together on a number of theatre shows, specifically with Java Dance, a slightly isolated dog, and on The Performance Arcade 2011. This is our first collaboration together as the drivers of a project both creatively and logistically.  It is very exciting! (maybe don’t put that bit).

I will put that bit. Talk a little about the intention of the work, the practicalities and its technical aspects.

The idea for the work came from a discussion about how music could be used as way to encourage people to share their stories with each other.  The project extends beyond The Performance Arcade into the city, with screens located throughout Wellington playing the footage that we collect. These will be updated everyday.  We also have an online component, which will serve as an archive of the stories that people have shared.  After participating in the installation, audience will be given access to the story section of this site.  We would like to tour the work and collect stories from people in different locations.  There is great to potential to create a sense of community between all the participants. 

What are your ambitions for the arcade and what do you hope to achieve?

I think the Performance Arcade and our piece are a great match.  Both have a strong sense of community or a desire to create and enhance one as central values.  There is something to be said for the accessibility of the Performance Arcade. It is an opportunity for artists from a range of disciplines to come together and present their work in a very public space.  This exposure to an audience who may not usually visit the theatre or gallery are one that we are excited to meet and have participate in the work.  I can’t wait to hear the stories people share with each other and to have them experience the work. The karaoke aspect of the piece also has an inherent sense of fun that we hope will translate in the work and make people feel comfortable and happy to participate.

We hope to continue to re-present the work in new spaces, cities and countries to capture a snapshot of the community in each place we visit.  All that sounds a little serious, at the end of the day the work is a way to get people to talking to each other and sharing their stories in an environment that can be both private and thoughtful as well as a lot of fun.

Karaoke Stories #2 will be open from 10am-11pm, 14th-17th February, in The Performance Arcade on Wellington’s waterfront.

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