SCARECROW / Every house has a door (USA) & Essi Kausalainen (FIN)

performance length: 60 min

Founders of legendary post-dramatic performance group Goat Island return to Prague as guests of the Alfred ve dvoře Theatre and Handa Gote Research & Development, thanks to the Trust for Mutual Understanding.

The deleted dance of the scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz, the Pink Floyd song Scarecrow, original poetry, humour, elaborate costumes and choreography inspired by the movement of snails. These diverse elements converge to offer a visionary performance about communication between different species.We stop seeing animals and plants as “things“ to be used, it’s now time to work with them on a higher level.

Performance on Thursday, January 25th will be followed by a public discussion (in English) led by Karolina Plickova.

“My ten-year artistic collaboration with plants has redefined my relationship with artistic ‘materials,’ my own body and those of others. I have learned to see myself as a community, an open process that is constantly taking place relative to another,” says Finnish artist and performer Essi Kausalainen, whose work provided a starting point for this collaborative performance.

Scarecrow is a interdisciplinary work that allows audiences to experience the potential of inter-species communications. Chicago’s Every house group focuses on “post-human“ themes, furthering the steady artistic practice of its director Lin Hixson and dramaturg and performer Matthew Goulish (ex-Goat Island). The acclaimed duo returns to Praguewith a live performance at last, following their appearance here at the 4 + 4 Days in Motion festival (with It’s an Earthquake in My Heart), among others.

The scarecrow of the title presented itself in the writing of contemporary American philosopher Alva Noë who proposed this human replica as a humble form of inter-species communication. “There were magpies in my landscape and there were scarecrows. The scarecrows on the ground are the same thing as the magpies in the sky, they are a part of the landscape.”– Gertrude Stein.

Czech children will assist with this multigenerational performance.

Directed by Lin Hixson
Co-devised and performed by Matthew Goulish and Essi Kausalainen
Other performers: Eliška Boloňská,
Julie Dušková, Michael Juránek
Technical Direction &Company Manager: Christine Shallenberg
Project Development & Communications: Sarah Skaggs
Social Media Manager: Erica Moran
Scarecrow song performed by Madeleine Aguilar
Hand-cut leaves by Max Guy

Every house has a door was formed in 2008 by Lin Hixson, director, and Matthew Goulish, dramaturg, to convene diverse, inter-generational project-specific teams of specialists, including emerging as well as internationally recognized artists. Drawn to historically or critically neglected subjects, Every house creates performance works and performance-related projects in many media. The company is based in Chicago and presents work for local, national and international audiences. Before forming Every house, Hixson directed the group Goat Island (1987 – 2009), which performed in Prague at the 4+4 days in motion festival (It’s an Earthquake in My Heart, 2001), and at the Alfred ve dvoře Theatre (The Lastmaker, 2007). She was awarded the United States Artists Ziporyn Fellowship, a Foundation for Contemporary Arts fellowship, an honorary doctorate from Dartington College of Arts, University of Plymouth, and a residency at the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, all shared with Matthew Goulish.

Essi Kausalainen (Helsinki) bases her artistic practice on the sensuous capacity of the body and its philosophic and ethical materiality. In her work, the body is approached as an open ended process made in, and shaped by, the complex relations with other beings, situations and environments. With the help of imagination and playing, Kausalainen aims to escape the hierarchical and linear ways of thinking and operating.

Poto: Archive of Chicago Dancemakers Forum (Lin Hixson); John W. Sisson, Jr. (Matthew Goulish); Mikko Kuorinki (Essi Kausalainen) Photo: Saara Autere Photo: Saara Autere Photo: Saara Autere Photo: Saara Autere Photo: Saara Autere Photo: Saara Autere Photo: Saara Autere Photo: Saara Autere Photo: Saara Autere Photo: Saara Autere