Somewhere between a travelling cinema and theatre troupe, a kiss-a-gram and a takeaway delivery service, London-based artist Oreet Ashery’s Party for Freedom is an itinerant work that combines live performance with moving-image and an original album soundtrack.
Party for Freedom is loosely based on Vladimir Mayakovsky’s 1921 play Mystery-Bouffe, telling the story of the Clean and the Unclean. It explores performances of liberation and political nakedness; and responds to the changing landscape of Dutch politics following the assassinations of controversial Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn in 2001 and film director Theo van Gogh in 2004, and the ensuing popularity of Geert Wilders, the Dutch politician and leader of the far-right Partij voor de Vrijheid [Party for Freedom].
Including newly commissioned punk, experimental and contemporary classical music by Finnish composer Timo-Juhani Kyllönen, all-girl post-punk band Woolf, and London-based musician Morgan Quaintance, the Party for Freedom moving-image work features an irreverent array of characters and scenarios, developed through workshops and filmed in the lush setting of a 13th-century church in the English countryside. Questioning the currencies of perceived Western freedom, the work draws on trash aesthetics, leftist sentiments grounded in the 1960s and 1970s avant-garde, the hippy movement and far-right populist claims positing Islam and immigration as a threat.
Party for Freedom offers itself for hire, and will appear at at venues across London including The Swedenborg Society in Bloomsbury, Millbank Media Centre at Millbank Tower and OrganicLea, a workers cooperative on the edge of the Lea Valley, as well as self-organised gatherings to host and experience the work - including anywhere from sitting rooms and work places to public spaces and venues.
Party for Freedom performances and events include full nudity, flashing lights and sexual content. It is not suitable for those under the age of 18.
There are moments in the film/performance which could be disturbing and we recommend that everyone who comes to this event watches the online promo before attending.
Party for Freedom Credits
Live performers: Andro Andrex, Soren Evinson, Elizabeth B. Harris, Alex Der Matis, Phoebe Osborne, Andrew Kerton, Alice MacKenzie.
Artists and Performers in Party for Freedom Audiovisual Album: Kimbal Bumstead, Miles Coote, Edd Hobbs, Lucy Hutson, Tim Owen Jones, Eirini Kartsaki, Lynn Lu, Runa Norheim, Owen G Parry, Vanda Playford, Irene Revell
Artangel and Oreet Ashery would like to thank Millbank Media Centre, Millbank Tower; Kone Foundation; Performance Matters; London College of Communication; and Home Live Art for their generous support of Party for Freedom. Artangel is supported by Arts Council England, Special Angels and The Company of Angels.