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Let us ask ourselves a naïve question: why are there no sounds of crying being played in TV series or TV films (that is, fictional material intended for individual viewing) at moments that could arouse emotions in the viewers, make them cry? The answer to this question can be direct and clear: fiction uses different means, different tricks, first and foremost, music (usually a violin or a piano), to manipulate the viewers' emotions. But crying, wailing, is not an expression related only to one type of emotion. It can be brought about by sadness, sentiment, euphoria and, last but not least, comedy.

The Wailing Wall is a public performance of crying. The wall is an ice construction placed in public space in late winter which means that it will start thawing with the approaching spring. The wall will literally start crying and will drown and disappear in its own tears.

The Wailing Wall is a mythical place in Jewish religion and culture. It is part of the outer wall of the demolished Jerusalem Temple. Throughout history, the Jews started gathering in prayer along the Western Wall. According to their religion, they have to visit the temple at least once in their life. But an error is inscribed in the very name of the Wailing Wall. Because of their erroneous interpretation of the Jewish prayer, the Europeans thought that the Jews came to the wall to cry and that is how the wall got its name.

The Wailing Wall project turns the logic of the ritual and the sacred. It does not expect anything of the spectators, since it does for them that which is inscribed in the name itself - the wall is crying.

One part of The Wailing Wall will draw on the intimate performance of crying. Janez Janša will reconstruct the Cabinet of Memories, the 1998 installation- performance of memory for one visitor by Emil Hrvatin. The reconstruction of the Cabinet of Memories will be a completely new construction of spaces and will, among other things, examine the memory of remembering.

The Wailing Wall will re-contextualise the relation between an individual and their emotions expressed during an artistic event. The idea of a terminal spectator, a spectator that is at the same time a creator, a performer and a witness is here brought to a wholly intimate situation in which the theatre changes from the institution of a public event into a situation of an intimate questioning of emotional memories.


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Author: Janez Janša
Design and construction of wailing wall: Miro Rismondo
Lacrimatory design: Peter Šenk
Film editing: Darko Herič, Brian McKenna
Producers: Jasna Dokl (APT), Tina Dobnik (Maska)
Design and fabrication of spectacles: Boštjan Poljšak, Matjaž Izlakar
Credits design: Gašper Brezovar
Graphic design: Sandra Hrovat
Lacrimatory construction: Janez Šporar
Photo: Borut Peterlin
Technical manager: Simon Žižek
Technical crew: Jana Vovk, Gašper Brezovar, Boris Bukovec

APT Novo mesto
Maska Ljubljana
Huis en Festival a/d Werf, Utrecht, Netherlands
Supported by: Novo mesto Municipality

— 17-03-2010 : THE WAILING WALL
Miran Jarc Library, Rozmanova ulica 28, Novo mesto, Slovenia
Janez Janša

— 25-05-2011 : THE WAILING WALL
Huis en Festival a/d Werf, Utrecht, Netherlands
Maska & Huis en Festival a/d Werf

— 15-12-2012 : The Wailing Wall - instalation & Lecture
Brut - Künstlerhaus, Vienna (Austrija)