“The Third Ear” at Vooruit Art Centre, Ghent

Since last year Ghent’s Art Centre Vooruit invites international collaborators to propose their programmes for the house, challenging venue’s own approach and inviting audiences to a different kind of conversation. In 17/18 season Vooruit has collaborated with Ron Berry from US and Silvia Bottiroli from Italy, this season its Gundega Laiviņa from Latvia and Barbara Raes from Belgium.

Programme “The Third Ear” devised by Latvian theatre curator and producer, director of New Theatre Institute Gundega Laiviņa takes place in Ghent on 23-29 September and provokes with silence and invitation to listen. She writes: “In the world overwhelmed by visual culture our eyesight gradually becomes detached from other senses. What we see has no influence on what we feel or think. In the reality filled with endless noise our gift of hearing loses its sharpness and we cease to listen. As Vooruit opens its doors for another challenging season, this is an invitation to stand still and to practice listening as it will sustain us for the season ahead, both at Vooruit and outside in the real world. To share the space built from sound, words and stories, to feel its tactility. To experience the moment when the sense of hearing becomes the skill of listening.”

Two works that are central to this curated infiltration of Vooruit form an intense dialogue between the stream of words and meanings created by people and the sound and meaning exhaled by the ocean. The six-hour, durational And on the Thousandth Night… by acclaimed British collective Forced Entertainment explores the live relationship between a story and its audience, a story and its narrators. It’s a celebration of storytelling and collaboration that unfolds the intrinsic nature of theatre. The whole world is constructed and destroyed here again and again as it is in the cinematographic sound installation Thirst by Latvian sound artist Voldemārs Johansons. The work invites to enter the landscape of troubled waters, wind, rain and noise and to listen to it from a distance, an action impossible in the natural circumstances, where admiration might be replaced by fear. Audience is invited to experience both works at the same night as they run simultaneously.

The programme also includes new work by Latvian artist Kate Krolle At the Shore of Running Water created specifically for the Vooruit’s attic and dealing with patterns of expectation, patience and the art of waiting in our lives; and Mikado, a narrative sound installation for a single viewer by Finnish artist Hans Rosenström where the viewer becomes a part of the narrative and faces the personal transformation through the text.