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The Wailing Walls

Maribor, Slomškov Trg and SNG Maribor, March 9th - 23th 2012

The Wailing Walls is a piece in which Janez Janša further deals with walls as temporary constructs in public space. It originates from the political notion of a wall as an object/space of separation. A wall has always been a cut in the space, a cut that makes two (or more) spaces out of a single one. A wall is a formation which divides, delineates, threatens… A wall is one of the most potent manifestations of (political) power: the Chinese, the Berlin, the Israel-Palestinian wall. It is always constructed by one party that wants to be separated from the other party no matter whether the other party agrees to the wall construction or not. The same as in the most part of the Western world, the political space in Slovenia is still most often separated by the view of the past charged with ideology, taking historical credits and accusations of historical injustice. The matrix of the political is still determined by red and black.

The Wailing Walls is an installation composed of two ice walls, a red and a black one. The walls will be set up on a slightly inclined ground so that the ice will slowly (most likely 14 days, depending on outdoor temperatures) melt into a fountain made in a form of a map of Slovenia. Together with the dirt on the street, reddish and black water forms a brownish puddle. On one hand, this gives an image of community in which we live whilst on the other it is a poetic way of showing what forms such an image. Following the example of the Jerusalem Wailing Wall, The Two Wailing Walls invites the visitors to insert their notes in the holes of both walls. It is their business whether or not they will take an ideological stand and pick one of the two walls.

At the same time, The Wailing Walls is a performance of two "actors" that slowly and persistently, through constant metamorphoses, through tears they shed, through icy silence, through red and black glitter transform into nothing. The walls/"actors" will disappear just like they disappear after any performance; they will leave behind nothing but a memory of a fourteen-day durational performance.

The second part of The Wailing Walls refers to an intimate crying performance. The venue of crying or the venue of tear donation event is comprised of three lacrimatories: the individual in which the individual attempts to cry over his personal memory; the collective  in which the spectator has a possibility to choose from the scenes that can make them cry, and the physiological where they can cry with the assistance of an irritating agent. The spectator readdresses his/her own emotions and memory as well as memory of notorious local and global events. He is isolated and not being observed. He becomes a terminal spectator: author, performer and witness at the same time.


Author: Janez Janša
Design and construction of wailing wall: Miro Rismondo
Lacrimatory design: Peter Šenk
Film editing: Darko Herič, Brian McKenna
Producers: Tina Dobnik
Public Relations: Urška Comino
Design and fabrication of spectacles: Boštjan Poljšak, Matjaž Izlakar
Credits design: Gašper Brezovar
Graphic design: Sandra Hrovat
Lacrimatory construction: Janez Šporar
Photo: Borut Peterlin & Damjan Švarc
Technical manager: Igor Remeta

Maska Ljubljana (Slovenia)
APT Novo mesto (Slovenia)
Huis en Festival a/d Werf, Utrecht, Nizozemska (The Netherladns)
Maribor 2012: European Capitla of Culutre (Slovenia)
The project is co-funded by
the European Union within “External Actions of the European Union” (BCC Programme)

— 09-03-2012 : The Wailing Walls - Instalation & tear donation event
Maribor, Slomškov trg and SNG Maribor
Maska & Maribor 2012: EPK