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Mankind at the Donau Festival

Category: Portrait 21. May 2008

“Mankind” consists of two female artists. As in every other civilization, this one also has its prehistory. One half of Mankind is D. Kimm, a poet and musician originating from Montréal. Already before joining Mankind, Kimm was organizing literature festivals and was the leader of “Les Filles électriques”, which performed poetry in its written, spoken, and electronic forms. The other half of Mankind, Alexis O`Hara, a musician from Ottawa, was already examining the human condition through sound experimentation, Onomatopoea, and Poetry Slam performances.

Mankind performs live electronic sound samples, mixed with their own voices set to sound loops, poetic conversations, and spontaneously produced noise bytes, creating a kind of “sound cinema” rich with images, sounds and content. In their own words, Mankind describes themselves as a “supersonic cinema with a visual bonus”. The public gets a cinematic experience minus the rewind button. The improvisatorial character of their performances constantly creates something new to view and breaks through the glass fourth wall, which in conventional theatre, normally separates the art from the audience.

Mankind lives up to its name. The human condition is always the central theme in their productions. Lived and desired everyday scenarios are sketched out. What lies just under the surface of our mundane existence – whether concealed or revered – is revealed. Mankind scrutinizes “the good life”. Our prefabricated beauty and hardship gets visually exposed, improvisatorially explored, broken down, and, every now and then, destroyed. “We seek out Beauty as well as Trouble. We transcend the Palpable and the Impalpable. Our Weakness is our Strength.” Such is the artists’ manifesto. ” We are Mankind.”. (wh/jn)
The video of the episode was shot at the Donaufestival Krems.

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