pascalhäring

Cirque du Cercle

Cirque du Cercle is a Swiss “Verein” (community interest company) with the aim to facilitate and support circus performers connected to the wider area of Basel and to produce contemporary circus projects and shows.

Facts and Fake News

Research

In October 2020 and May 2021, we carried out two artistic residencies with the Welsh artist Esther Fuge and the Sissach artist Pascal Häring to develop and test themes, ideas and artistic “language” for increased collaboration. Under the working title (Wo)men, we initially focussed on the topic of gender roles, gender status gaps and power dynamics. How can we address unhealthy gender dynamics and expose them on stage? The process led us to a reflection on “lies” and finally to the topic “Facts and Fake News” described below, which immediately fascinated us because of its topicality.

A third week of research is planned for September 2021 in Switzerland, where the topic will be explored further in collaboration with two Swiss directors. The aim of the research phase is to enable and promote a long-term artistic collaboration between the two artists, as well as to develop and define the framework, the basic ideas and structures of the planned show “Facts and Fake News”.

We would like to thank the following funders who are a crucial support to this project:

farbig_d.gif

Logo_Kultur_und_Bildung.jpg

Einwohnergemeinde Sissach

Bürgergemeinde Sissach

Show development

The aim of the project is to develop Cirque du Cercle’s first stage production, an approximately 60-minute piece of contemporary circus. The working title Facts and Fake News refers to the theme we want to address: We are daily exposed to a flood of information from traditional and social media. We live in a time when it is increasingly difficult to distinguish between the true and false, facts and lies. The number of conspiracy theories seems to be at an all-time high, as is the number of self-proclaimed YouTube experts and Facebook opinion makers. Yet it is easy to get stuck in one’s own opinion bubble and lose a rational view of the big picture. Such opinion bubbles can even become identity-forming social spheres from which it is incredibly difficult to break out.

We are concerned about how to filter out the relevant and correct news from the flood of information, how to distinguish between fact and fiction, and what danger the spread of lies poses to our society. And we are worried that Hannah Arendt was right when she wrote : “The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the convinced Communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction (i.e., the reality of experience) and the distinction between true and false (i.e., the standards of thought) no longer exist.” A statement that seems very relevant again.

In winter 2020/21, these ideas will be developed into Cirque du Cercle’s first production. The two artists will develop a contemporary circus show in collaboration with a director and a musician to be determined, which can go on tour from spring 2021.

The production is financially supported by the Dance & Theatre Committee of the cantons Baselstadt und Baselland.