“Hello, would you like to attend a 5-minute-long Nature Theater* performance? Yes, it lasts 5 minutes. Yes, it starts right now. There will be an Einlasser collecting your tickets, please take your seat.”
On the 16th of July Ratsdienergarten lakes in Kiel have been privileged to host three Nature Theater performances starring trees, grass, people, water, road in the distance, vehicles and many more. The spectators, being the curious passersby, have set down in silence for five minutes contemplating the performance. One might wonder, what was the plot? Although the stage being in the same direction for everyone, everyone yet has watched their own performance: for some it was an audial drama with the howling wind in the tree crowns; for others a love triangle of trees in front; for some a provoking play questioning how artificial or natural the lights in the distance were and for some it turned to be a performance of self-discovery, prompting to reflect on our own human belonging to and alienation from nature; some have had a meditating nature contemplation escape amidst the busy town while others pondered the further ways to use the Nature Theater to support some of the cast (trees, in particular, by planting more of them).
There is another unique feature about it: the Theater is highly mobile and you can easily help other people watch its performance. All you need is to sit them down in front of what you consider worth observing and take time to pay attention to the stage together. Give it 5 minutes and discuss what happens afterwards. And don’t forget to be open to surprises – the plot never repeats itself.
*Nature Theater is a part of Iryna Zamuruieva’s Master thesis on the role of playful art interventions in challenging the socionatural assemblages
Text + Foto: Iryna Zamuruieva