Reflections on "Und es wurde dunkel #2" at lorgennale, Stuttgart

by Jasmina Al-Qaisi

There is some spontaneous nostalgia assorted with deep curiosity that this performance is giving rise to in the room. Especially witnessed in a private space, with the blinders down, from a couch, as it is possible for lorgennale in Stuttgart. Paula is not telling the spectator anything about the gang of friends these images belong to, but by her means, and in approximately 30 minutes, we get to feel as we know them. She gradually brings to a slideshow of overlapped vernacular images, sounds and words that are certainly enhancing feelings of displacement, senses of belonging and a depth of friendship. Yes, these are Romanian mountains. And the Schnaps is Țuică. The audience is predominantly German, formal enough to refuse the Schnaps that Paula is using as a bridge to the soiree mode in which the people whose images we were watching are still sharing their love to each other regardless of the frequency they regather with. The repetition of these images, of the beats, of the words that Paula was murmuring, is pointing to a momentous recurrence in gatherings where friends are reproducing the same stories over and over again in order to validate their bond. Especially tender when the friends who emigrated illegally during the dictatorship are now spread all over the world. "Und es wurde dunkel" ends in the tonic darkness of a song.