Handa Gote Research & development
17.12. – 27.02.22
“Almost all the works of Handa Gone relate in some way to death and memory, to forgotten and disappearing things, phenomena, and customs…” says the collective to describe their artistic approach. The exhibition Dead Media shown at the Entrance Gallery is no exception in this sense.
In the field of so-called media archaeology, “dead media” stand for those that are no longer used, that are obsolete and already replaced. Examples of such media include Egyptian hieroglyphics, pigeon mail, the telegraph, etc.
Hand in hand with the acceleration of time and the imperative of progress, fed by the capitalist demand for consumption, comes the phenomenon of the extremely rapid overturn and obsolescence of media and technology in general. Already in our own lifetimes, we have witnessed a long series of technological ‘births and deaths’ that have changed our daily habits and the behaviour of society as a whole (the transformation of the music medium from the gramophone record to the digital file on the computer; the displacement of the landline by mobile phones, which have gradually become handheld personal computers; etc.).
However, as media theorists Jussi Parikka and Garnet Hertz point out, media never completely die. Under certain circumstances they come back to life – they become zombies. And so the gramophone record has been back in vogue for many years already, not only as a collector’s fetish or an audiophile’s favourite medium, praised for its sonic qualities.
Handa Gote here constructs a monumental mound, dedicated to these obsolete media, creating votive offerings in the form of headbands, rings, or gloves, while imbuing these media with a new purpose at the same time (at least temporarily) – paradoxically bringing these zombies back into the light of day. For this interdisciplinary collective, experimenting with and subsequently intertwining different forms of theatre, music and visual art, DIY and a “Do It Yourself” approach are their key creative methods. Part of this approach for them is naturally also the recycling of existing objects that have lost their purposes and could be therefore perceived as waste.
In the context of the Entrance Gallery’s long-term programme, which is focused on the issue of ecological sustainability and the relationship between humans and their environment, we cannot overlook the ethical dimensions of Handa Gote’s work. The funerary tumulus becomes a monument and a memento of the overproduction and consumption (of material and information) that is so characteristic of our present. Many producers (and artists) have had to cope with the shortage and the slowdown in the supply of certain raw materials in recent months due to the effects of the pandemic. But those, like Handa Gote, who use pre-existing objects and waste of all kinds, are certainly not going to run out of materials any time soon. A tumulus of “dead media” could undoubtedly grow like the Tower of Babel all the way into the sky…
 PARIKKA, Jussi a Garnet HERTZ. Zombie Media: Circuit Bending Media Archaeology into an Art Method. Leonardo. 2012
Handa Gote research & development is an artistic collective dedicated to experimenting with dramaturgy, developing their own concept of post-dramatic theatre and incorporating non-theatrical elements into their practice. They have been drawing their inspiration from science and technology for quite a long time. The art group has been conducting continuous research on theatrical language, including laboratory practice in sound and lighting design while adopting a critical take on these disciplines.
The art collective has worked at the intersection of theatre, visual arts, contemporary dance, music, performance and conceptual art since 2005. Their work employs sound installation, movement, dance theatre and live music, as well as research in media archaeology, visual theatre and technology, non-linear modes of storytelling, and the application of contemporary music and visual art experiences in theatre.
The projects of Handa Gote always utilise technology in a creative manner, often using both obsolete and innovative simultaneously. In most of their projects, the collective works with media archaeology, in the format that resembles documentary theatre, which has come to be intensely concerned with so-called small histories. The art collective is a resident company of the Alfred ve dvoře theatre.
Handa Gote is a Japanese term for solder.
Veronika Švábová, Jan Dörner, Jakub Hybler, Tomáš Procházka, Jonáš Svatoš
In collaboration with:
Mikoláš Zika, Jan Brejcha, Jitka Hudcová
Maria Cavina, Jedefrau.org
The activities of the Handa Gote research&development are supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic and the City of Prague.
The exhibition program of Entrance Gallery is continuously supported by: Magistrát hl. města Prahy, The Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic and MČ Praha 6.