DISPLAY + ALEXANDER GERNER + FOKUDA + ROY LERVÅG
An experiment: sit down and try to think about all the friends you have had. Start with the friends you have now, write down their names. And then think back. Write down the friends from earlier, people you have lost contact with, people who are no longer your friends, people you started to dislike, people who will always be your friend. Make a map of your friends, who you met through whom, connections, friends of you that became friends through you, that became better friends than you ever were. Some people have almost the same friends all their lives. When they meet they don’t really have to talk, they know everything, they remember each other being children.
When I meet people I have an instinct feeling of who will become a friend. Like sitting next to a stranger in a bus, and getting this feeling that he will become your best friend for a while. And just to say something you ask where the bus goes, even if you have taken the same bus several times before. And then when you get off the bus he is standing there waiting for you.
display and Gerner were both participating at the urban research platform SONDE at the biennale Artgenda 2002 in Hamburg. After the biennale we started to create a new project together. We first started with links between Norway and Portugal and one of the most important links is the bacalao. Bacalao used to be food everyone in Portugal could afford - it was called fiel amigo which means a friend that can be trusted. From there our project developed into a performance about friendship.
The performance is a traveling logbook (stories, videomaterial, interviews, photos) and a memory space of personal links/friendships. It is based on video (interviews, documentations about friends), live electronic music by Fokuda, texts (e.g. pop-songlyrics, sayings) and minimal/concentrated stories about how someone became a friend, how people make part of your own history, how some others never will, about all the strangers you only meet for a short time, but who have stayed in your memory and the friends you have lost due to some reason or other over the years. The logbook is an ongoing process under development, growing and changing, where ever the performance is presented.
The atmosphere Fiel Amigo creates is like a workshop or studio. Fragments of memory material like stories and photographs are put on the walls or on the tables, as well as books and papers where people can draw maps of their friends and write down stories about friends and meetings with strangers, which we collect afterwards or integrate into the performance. Fiel Amigo always asks the local people about friendship before the presentations and include a video-documentation of this within the performance. The performance artist & chef Roy Lervåg takes part in the performance - serving a bacalao dish to the audience.
The theatregroup display was established in Bergen in 1999 and has done several art and performance projects both in theater venues and galleries. Members of display are Marius E. Hauge og Marie Nerland. http://www.bek.no/display
Alexander Gerner started writing text for theatre and as a director in 1997 with his piece Trance. In 1998 he won the dance/theatre price in Munich for the internet- live performance Zap through my life. He lives and works as a video and performance artist in Lisbon and has directed and taken part in projects at Kampnagel Hamburg, Moussonturm Frankfurt, Neues Theater/ I-camp München and the International Theaterfestival SPIELART 99 where he showed his piece CUT. His two latest projects 10 basic things and Tragedy 0:1 was shown in Lisbon.
Håvard Pedersen aka fokuda has made the music in the performance. He has earlier as a member of the electronica trio male:female created music to two of displays earlier projects Lost highlights og 24 songs.
Roy Lervåg, chef and performance artist based in Bergen.
Fiel Amigo - A Friend That Can Be Trusted was first shown at the Galery 3.14 in Bergen (Norway) on April 23rd and 24th, 2003. The performance was presented later in Lisbon on July 16th and 17th 2003, and at the JUNGE HUNDE festival Mladi Levi at Bunker in Ljubljana, august 26th and 27th the same year. It was also presented at the festival BASTARD at Teaterhuset Avantgarden in Trondheim, March 28th, 2004.
Fiel Amigo is co- produced by BEK, Bergen Centre for Electronic Art and supported by Arts Council Norway, City of Bergen and UD.