Hotel Pro Forma celebrated its 30th anniversary with a combined exhibition and performance at the Danish exhibition hall Kunstforeningen GL STRAND. In close collaboration with GL STRAND, Hotel Pro Forma developed a hybrid, which showed works from the last 30 years, while also presenting GL STRAND’s historic spaces in a new Hotel Pro Forma staging.
During the three-week exhibition period (6-29 November 2015), a total of 150 performers was reading from texts written for Hotel Pro Forma’s many productions.
Today’s Cake is a Log, the woman announced as she pushed her catering trolley through the Danish State Railways-train. It struck me just how easily a few words can completely alter the meaning of everyday phenomena. It also struck me that the cake of today, which in 2015 is a 30 year birthday cake for Hotel Pro Forma, must be the size of a whole log. During this period, Hotel Pro Forma has produced more than 50 productions, and this was to be marked by an exhibition that both was looking forward and drawing on the past. A new work that was focusing on the performing art as an artwork. Today´s Cake is a Log is a performance, an exhibition, an attitude created exclusively for Kunstforeningen GL STRAND.
– Kirsten Dehlholm, founder of Hotel Pro Forma.
Room by room, GL STRAND was taken over by site-specific stagings, where live performances as well as tableaux vivants were recurring phenomena. The works from 30 years of international artistic activity was moved out of the archives, out of the theatre and straight into the framework of visual art. Visitors could view or re-view images and sequences from the manga-opera WAR SUM UP, experience the choir on the staircase from the worldwide success of OPERATION : ORFEO, or refresh their memory of the Hans Christian Andersen performance I ONLY APPEAR TO BE DEAD. And what actually happened when THEREMIN was merged with LAUGHTER IN THE DARK, or when CARPE CARPE CARPE was mixed with COSMOS+?
The view from GL STRAND acted as a mega-sized backdrop for the live performers who presented texts from Hotel Pro Forma’s performances – continuously throughout the duration of the exhibition. Amongst the performers was one of the children from CARPE CARPE CARPE (1989). Today, he is a grown man at 33. The texts were written by the acclaimed Danish writers Inger Christensen, Ib Michael, Søren Ulrik Thomsen, Morten Søndergaard, Christina Hesselholdt, Peter Seeberg and many others.
The exhibition/performance did not require any prior knowledge of Hotel Pro Forma. It was part of the on-going and curious investigation, which always takes place in the works by Hotel Pro Forma. With a point of departure in the perceptible world, it is an investigation which challenges current notions of form, phenomena and genres.
TODAY’S CAKE IS A LOG is staged by Kirsten Dehlholm, Artistic Director of Hotel Pro Forma.