Cult of Signs

Mark Angelo Harrison

THE INVISIBLE FOREST TAKES ROOT

August - September
2020

I'm very excited to have been invited back to Portugal to work with A Bela, as co-creator and artistic director of their new project: The Invisible Forest.

A Bela is a cultural association that specialises in dance, theatre, music and the visual arts.


SPACE OF URGENCY

October – November
2020

I'm also very happy to announce that I will be an artist in residence at the Q21 Museum Vienna, in preparation for my installation at the Space of Urgency exhibition at the museum in spring 2021.

Space of Urgency is an international research platform whose goal is to ignite political dialogue, knowledge exchange and the realization of spaces of urgency in Vienna, Amsterdam, Berlin and beyond. The project is hosted by the department Social Design - Arts as Urban Innovation, University of Applied Arts Vienna.

Warm thanks to curators Bogomir Doringer and Liese Kingma and Q21 for the invitation, I'm very excited to be part of this great project.

 

The Invisible Forest Guerilla Theatre. Costumes, banner design and photo: Mark Angelo Harrison.

The Perimeters of Perception
Space of Urgency - Artist in Residency Q21 Vienna


I
am currently working as an artist in residence in Vienna's beautiful museum quarter, on the invitation of the Space of Urgency curators, Bogomir Doringer and Liesa Kingma, hosted by Q21.

My work here for the Space of Urgency exhibition (April 2021) is titled, 'The Perimeters of Perception'. It examines imposed culture and the inflexible architecture of our lives by questioning the boundaries that we often accept as the limits of our own perception.

My textile designs for this project, in the form of banners, are inspired by sound-wave harmonics. Resonating shapes that symbolise how a stimulated imagination can inspire us to have new attitudes which in turn can allow us to move into positions with wider view points and different perspectives. For me, imaginative insight is a crucial part of human development. I hope that by defining these 'other dimensions' my work can help materialise new ways of organising and planning society and our relationships with each other and the natural world.

The connection here with sound-wave energy is interesting. Just as music can help one's mind focus, stimulate deeper thinking and often help with problem-solving, so too can the resonances of a visual esthetic. This combined with the powerful statements that flags and banners provoke, my work invites you to open up new territories - beyond The Perimeters of Perception.

The video below is a short interview with me about the project.

The Invisible Forest Guerrilla Theatre - Portugal
 

In August and September 2020 I was working in Portugal with the A Bela Association as co-creator and artistic director of a new project titled: The Invisible Forest.

The Invisible Forest was a guerrilla theatre concept that opened up an autonomous space around some of Lisbon's ancient surviving trees. One Olive tree in Santa Iria de Azóia, stands alone in a built-up urban area and is an incredible 2,850 years old (see photo below).

The idea was to reclaim the area around each of the trees using performers dressed as faceless, hooded ninjas. These characters were both warrior-protectors and silent witnesses, who, by circling each tree, defined a new space in which various performances invited the audience (who were also asked to attend wearing a black hooded sweatshirt) to re-assess their perceptions and re-orientate themselves with the ancient tree as a new point of reference. And in this way, examine questions around the intrusion of dysfunctional hierarchies and extractive privatised economies into nature, into our communities and how these intervene in our personal relationships with each other and the world.

Originally designed as a democratically co-created project, the guerilla theatre events combined elements of performance, electronic music, song, video, costume and visual art as well as documentary statements (in the form of recorded interviews with members of local communities) and poetic rituals and abstractions.

The Invisible Forest project will continue across 2021, stay tuned for more updates.

Photos: Mark Angelo. Above, shows my 'Silent Witness' costume and banner designs for The Invisible Forest. Below, the 2,850 year old Olive tree in Santa Iria de Azóia. Invisible Forest video teaser (at bottom of page) by Vera Marques.

The Invisible Forest Crew

Artistic Direction: Mariana Tengner Barros in collaboration with Mark Angelo

Choreography: Mariana Tengner Barros

Co-creation and performance: Ana Rocha (dancer/perfomer), Bernardo Bertrand (performer/musician), Diana Bastos Niepce (dancer/ performer), Jonny Kadaver (musician, composer, performer), Mariana Tengner Barros (dancer/performer), Mark Angelo, Mee K (performer/musician), Sebastião Pinto (performer/musician), Tiago Rosário (performer/ musician), Vera Marques (singer/ performer/ musician/ video maker)

Musical Direction: Jonny Kadaver

Graphics and Costume: Mark Angelo

Video editing: Vera Marques
Cameras: Vera Marques and Mark Angelo

Technical Direction: Daniel Oliveira

Dramaturgical support: Nuno Miguel

Production: Excalibur / A Bela Associação

Co-production: Galeria Zé dos Bois

Support: Acesso Cultura, Ana Sousa Atelier

Financed: by the GDA Foundation

The Invisible Forest

Invisible Forest video teaser by Vera Marques. Original music Jonny Kadaver. Cameras Vera Marques, Mark Angelo and Tiago Rosário on GoPro

© 2017 - 2020 MARK ANGELO HARRISON