Concept, performance and video: Joonas Lahtinen
trackings is a performance about urban identity building, navigating, and trying to locate ”home” in a foreign city. Basing on my life as a foreigner living in London and Vienna, on my experiences of loneliness and search for belonging, trackings interweaves autobiography and fiction, constantly moving back and forth between the lived and the imagined. Through performative and material acts of mapping fragments of memories and stories on stage, the audience is invited to take a peek at the rather eccentric world of the solitary protagonist.
trackings is told from the perspective of a social outsider. The performance illuminates his imaginative efforts to navigate within the urban social networks new to him; his search for recognition and communication with other people; and his various mapping acts as a way to create a sense of partial order and stability within the precarious situation which he is trying to make sense of. Rather than offering unambiguous answers, trackings stimulates its participants to reflect on identity and ”home”: what makes ”a home”, is it a mental state or a physical place, memories attached to material objects and events, an imagined site, or perhaps all of these?
trackings was performed in
3.11. Lust Gallery, “Home Sweet/Sick Home” event. See video
4.10. & 5.10. “Underground City 21 Vienna” festival at Theater Nestroyhof Hamakom
25.6. LABfactory, performingLAB
18.-21.9. Café Aaltopelti
4.9. “Leppävaaran raittikarnevaali” festival
17.5. “MAy Festival”, Boiler Room, Queen Mary, University of London
The ”underground” plays a significant role in trackings both literally and metaphorically. The protagonist tells the audience about a fleeting encounter he had with a mysterious girl – Natalie – at a London Underground station and hopes that the spectators can help him to find that girl again. The encounter at the underground station functions both as the nexus of the performance and as the motivation behind the protagonist’s search for ”home.” Underground corridors and tunnels are rational, they are planned to make travelling between places as functional as possible and to control the movement flows of travellers. But in practice, they are also used to other ends such as begging and busking. As trackings shows, these forms of misuse of the underground spaces can provoke coincidental encounters and experiences which may turn out to be crucial for navigating within the contemporary urban environment.
Photos: Franz Sramek (performance), Manuel Vason (portrait)