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La Biennale di Venezia

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Gob Squad - Elephants in rooms

Year/Length:2022, 137’ (Italian premiere) Multi-screen video installation
Concept:Gob Squad
Development, video, performance:Zhao Chuan, Johanna Freiburg, Lynn Fu, Anuja Ghosalkar, Alice Hu, Sean Patten, Bhavana Rajendran, Sharmistha Saha, Sharon Smith, Berit Stumpf, Sarah Thom, Bastian Trost, Simon Will, July Yang
Music:Jeff McGrory and Chris Umney (Animal Magic)
Musical arrangement, sound design:Chris Umney
Video editing:Louise Stevens
Installation design and technical management:Manuel Reinartz
Dramaturgy and production management:Christina Runge
Artistic collaboration:Amina Nouns
Translation and subtitling:PANTHEA – Cornelia Enger, Sujatro Ghosh, Corinne Hundleby, Jayme Lawman, Katrin Meyberg, Sankar Venkateswaran, Maria Wünsche
Austrian sign language interpreter:Martina Kichler
Chinese sign language interpreter:Jayme Lawman
Producers:Lynn Fu (China), Anuja Ghosalkar (India)
Company manager:Marta Hewelt
Funding and financial planning:Caroline Gentz
Financial administration and production:Grischa Schwiegk
Touring and public relations:Talea Schuré
Thanks to:Jan Ahlrichs, Michael Busch, Nidhi Mariam Jacob, Advait Kabir, Peggy Mädler, Wu Meng, Ashish Ranjan, Charlie Wu, Luka Wu, Wei Zhuang
Production:Gob Squad
In collaboration with:Zhao Chuan, Lynn Fu, Anuja Ghosalkar, Alice Hu, Bhavana Rajendran, Sharmistha Saha and July Yang
Co-production:HAU Hebbel am Ufer (Berlin)
Notes:Supported by Fonds Darstellende Künste with funds from the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media within the programme Neustart Kultur. Gob Squad is regularly funded within Konzeptförderung 2024-2027 by the Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Social Cohesion


“What we don’t talk about when we drink tea is the slave trade. And how white it is around here. – Tea, anyone?”

In popular historical dramas on TV and film, there is almost always a moment when the lead character goes to the window and gazes out to the world outside. This moment often occurs when the character is overtaken by the necessity to contemplate their place in the world. The lead protagonists of the genre always belong to the upper class.
Elephants in Rooms takes this moment and expands it playfully into several extended cycles of a choreographed structure of seemingly endless configurations. It is performed by a chorus of fourteen artists confined in a world behind glass in their own homes. The videos were filmed on their phones in Bangalore, Bayrischzell, Berlin, Mumbai, Brandenburg, Devon, Fuerteventura, New York, Shanghai, Sheffield and Shenzhen. The setting sun was captured over Plymouth Sound on the south coast of England, from where ships have been setting sail since the seventeenth century to explore and conquer the world.

Come and go as you please and help yourself to a cup of tea!

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Biennale Teatro
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