Red Monky

Red Monky is a performance group dealing with the relationships between sound and movement in improvisation. It questions how boundaries between these two mediums can be interestingly blurred and/or redefined, and experiments with opening them up to other mediums such as light design, film, text or fashion design. Because an affiliation to a specific discipline, or the proof of a unique capacity of the artist, seem obsolete and no longer relevant, we decided to involve only professional multitasking artists, who touch both mediums themselves or have another specialty on the side which they use in resonance with their sonic or physical practice.
 
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This pluri-disciplinary project being based on an exchange of practices, its artistic/human collaborative dimension, and attention to how this collaboration is organized and given space, are central to our reflection. Finding space and time to deepen our encounters and build proper, sustained, and fertile relationships with other artists enables us to pay attention to certain questions: how to exchange information and tools, especially coming from different art forms? How can learning about each other’s practice inform our own practice and enrich it? To which level of understanding can we get and how can it be used in a research context and a performative context? Does working in such a way comes across to the audience and how?
 
We are working on creating a rotating circle of performers, which will alternate at each representation. More than a fixed group performing on stage, we want to find an organic, self-organized form fitting each representation. By creating this « base » of performers, we allow steady research as well as new encounters and surprising collaborations to happen. Red Monky has a core (Jean P’ark, Su-Mi Jang, Manon Parent), other regular collaborators (Rieko Okuda, Penelope Gika, Lisa Simpson), but will also make a point in enlarging its rows to new women artists to join the research.
 
Because women (by women we mean anyone who identifies as a women) are still under-represented in the experimental Berlin scene, and in our opinion not empowered to perform in their full potential range, this project also engages in a research about the specificities, uniqueness, bonds and strength of the feminine gender.
In conversations between the Red Monky members and with other female artists, we have come to understand that our exclusively female collaborations have a different qualitative feeling than our mixed-gendered collaborations. Women seem to have particular ways to interact with each other and to function between themselves. Many of us expressed feeling more comfortable, more expressive and spontaneous in our proposals, and feeling empowered to be working with other women. Facing such observations, questions about gender and how it affects us arise and seem worth paying attention to. We are now in the process of observing how this manifests in our life and work, and asking the questions it raises. Red Monky is thus a deliberate space within which to explore this phenomenon in an artistic and social way.
 
Our intention is not to reinforce the segregation between men and women. We believe that by paying attention to and developing the strengths of female improvisers we are working toward making exchanges between men and women more balanced, more conscious and more fair.
Red Monky is open in their collaborations to gender fluid and non-binary people.
 
Collaboration is also happening with you, audience. We chose the series format to be able to consider who we are talking to and how. We want to invite you to be the witnesses of the evolution of an improvisation project and of a group of women over time. We will challenge ourselves to surprise you and your expectations – towards that end, we examine what those expectations are or might be, how we arrive at them, and allow the multifaceted artists that we are to reveal ourselves under different circumstances.
We believe that reflecting on these questions is the first step to developing a meaningful relationship with an audience and hopefully a trusting bond, which can be a fertile ground for further development. Nothing is to be taken for granted, and we believe that the relationship to the audience needs as much attention as the content of the work. We want to step away from a self-centered system that occurs often in the art scene, and rather to find bridges with a larger reality, to the city and society we evolve in, for we are still much too segregated. From this position we hope to initiate organically a process of mututal education.
 

 

 

 

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