A large ball, inflatable up to 8 meters, fills the space and forms a backdrop and background for discussion, and a stand-in for the 'world'. Participants and the public are invited to respond to the work in a series of informal workshops and conversations, to actively contribute against the backdrop of this decor and fill the space with their ideas and imaginations about the current state and future of this world.
The world as object and site in relationship to which we, people, need to negotiate our actions in a wise way so that we will in the future be able to speak, and speak of ‘world'. While the current crises impact on a global scale, this question, has gained more and more momentum. What is this world? takes and makes time to listen to sounds and voices, to sense the space, hear each other, and talk back.
As a study object, a new montage of One to One, a video work by Bik Van der Pol, is used to reflect on abundance, discomfort, and loss. What is this world? is inspired by The Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch, and La Rabbia (Rage), a film in two parts by Pier Paolo Pasolini and Giovanni
Crucially, the Greek chorus was not made up of actors – instead male citizens were chosen to represent the city, drawn from the agora (marketplace, or place of assembly) and the forum. Their role was to speak for past and future generations of the city; ‘When they spoke of what the public had already recognised, they were grandparents. When they gave voice to what the public felt but had been unable to articulate, they were the unborn.’
Bik Van der Pol are interested in the potential of transposing the classical chorus into the present. Who is speaking, in the past, today, and for the future? What is this world? aims to be the arena for that multiplicity of voices that make up the chorus and deliberate with each other: How do we learn from what we see, or don't see, hear, or don't hear? Where is there room for change? What do you let go, what can we miss? And where do or should we head to?