Curatorial Statement – Testament
By Dani Fecko, PuSh Festival Associate Curator
I’ve always enjoyed writing curatorial statements. I enjoy them because I like to think I am sitting down for a glass of wine or tea with you, wherever you may be, and talking to you about pieces of work that I’m passionate about. Pieces that I want nothing more than to share with everyone I meet. (Don’t worry, that’s not all we speak about – we usually talk a bit about the news, about your wife/husband/boyfriend/girlfriend, or lack thereof, and about the last concert either of us went to.)
I think my father is an incredible man. I probably don’t tell him enough, but he is amazing. He left the tiny village he grew up in at 14 to join the airforce. He escaped Slovakia in 1969 (when it was under Russian control) with a fake visa and 50 dollars in his socks. It was December 21st and he only told his brother. He was in Vancouver by January 30th of 1970, with only a smattering of English, and bought a house only a few years later.
But I don’t spend enough time with him. I try to. But I don’t. Sometimes I feel like he just doesn’t understand me. I know he has done all he can and more to provide me with the best life possible. I know that he deserves more of my time, but I love my job and I’ve put it first more than I should. Sometimes it’s hard to invite other people along that journey.
With Testament, She She Pop has created an incredible opportunity for themselves. They are exploring the classic Shakespeare story of King Lear—a tragic tale of the manipulation within families, the lies we tell to get ahead, and the wires that get crossed along the way. And they are doing it all with their 70-and-up fathers on stage with them. This cutting edge performance collective has found a new way to explore familial relationships and to start finding ways to break down the communication barriers between generations; to start finding ways to interpret the words their fathers say at face value, and find the vocabulary of a parent’s actions as well.
This is a piece that forces us to examine our relationships with our parents, our children, and each other. It’s a technical feat that will push us to question why we spend time with the people we do. It’s a piece that might make you want to pick up the phone and say thanks….or maybe find a way to not go to that next family dinner.
Testament has traveled the world – from its home town of Berlin, to Sweden, to Japan, to Brazil. We are more than honoured to welcome these incredible artists to our city.
This is the time in the conversation where we might be finishing up our drinks and getting the bill. I have to go, you see. I have a date with my dad.