Epicurean Escapism is a festival in Berlin presenting music and art from the viewpoint of escapism.
Escape, a way out, abscondence – the escapist attitude is always responding in a displeased way to given circumstances and is a phenomenon of modernism.
Just like modernism itself, the term can mean entirely different things. Though often dismissed as an other-worldly hide-and-seek and opposed to responsible engagement, some intellectuals have had a very productive idea of diving into this subjective counterworld.
Jarl | Akatisi Somnolens Part I
Such as the philosopher Ernst Bloch, who by no means understood this as a pure renunciation, but as a “source of energy for the artistic work”, which may only blossom in a state of contemplation and the temporary exclusion of every day influences. It is also a source of new perspectives on the world, ideally detached from mass market and day-to-day business.
The radically critical, sometimes even phobic aspect of escapism, was encapsulated for the first time by decadent writers of the classical modernism; its traces can be found in poems of Baudelaire and George, in the novels of Huysmans and the fantastic stories of Lovecraft.
Krank | Chaos
In these texts, escapism appears as an anthropologically anchored longing (for death) and at the same time as a retreat from the cold reality of a socially icy society whose rationalism, according to Houellebecq, an heir and executor of this literature, would minimize any value and importance of life.
As a result, artificial worlds emerge, in which the desired ideal and the horrors of the shunned reality converge; escapism is always aesthetically ambivalent and often more gloomy than flowery.
Anemone Tube | The Announcement
Such an attitude can find its medium in all artistic forms of expression, but the more independent of conscious reflection an art form is, the more suitable it turns out to be. For Bloch, music was “the utopian transgressing art par excellence”.
Therefore, it’s no surprise that there is a special focus on musical performance at Epicurean Escapism, complemented by related contributions from visual art, performance and film. With their cathartic noise orgies, IRM present the rough and dystopian aspect as well as HUMAN LARVAE, whose doomy and heavy power-electronics illustrates the exploration of extreme human behavior.
IRM | Order³
Similarily obsessive are the fantasies of the performance artist and painter MARTIN BLADH; in his film works, he showcases the human body in an uncompromising way. Subtle aesthetic alternative worlds arise from the hypnotic oscillating dark ambient sounds of JARL and the gravitating and abysmal dreamscapes of ANEMONE TUBE.
With KRANK, John Murphy (Last Dominion Lost, Knifeladder, SPK) revives his cataclystic dark ambient industrial monster from the 80s, joined onstage by Till Brüggemann (Gerechtigkeits Liga) and Annie Stubbs (Devotion, SPK) for the first time live for more than 25 years.
Epicurean Escapism with:
IRM, Krank, Anemone Tube, Jarl, Human Larvae LIVE
Video: Dissecting Table, GX Jupitter-Larsen, The Haters, Martin Bladh
Djs: Philipp Strobel, Distorted Chaos
Saturday, 07 July 2012 | 19:00 CET
FEED | Hobrechtstrasse 65 | 12047 Berlin/Neukölln