CUCKOO (Jaha Koo, Republic of Korea)

Saturday 29/9/2018 8 p.m., the New Stage – Building B

Sunday 30/9/2018 8 p.m., the New Stage – Building B

Concept: Jaha Koo
Stage director: Jaha Koo
Text: Jaha Koo
Music: Jaha Koo
Video: Jaha Koo
Cuckoo hacking: Idella Craddock
Scenography, media operation: Eunkyung Jeong
Dramaturgical cooperation: Dries Douibi
Production: Kunstenwerkplaats Pianofabriek

Performance: C1, C2, C3 and Jaha Koo

A journey through the last 20 years of Korean history told by a bunch of talkative rice cookers.

One day when his electric rice cooker informed him that his meal was ready, Jaha Koo experienced a deep sense of isolation. ‘Golibmuwon’ (고립무원) is an untranslatable Korean word expressing the feeling of helpless isolation that characterises the lives of many young people in Korea today.

Twenty years ago, there was a major economic crisis in South Korea, comparable to the financial crash in the United States and Europe in 2008. This crisis had a huge impact on the young generation to which the South Korean artist Jaha Koo belongs. He witnessed many endemic problems, including youth unemployment and socio-economic inequality. Rising suicide rates, isolation, acute social withdrawal and a fixation on personal appearance are but a few of the symptoms.

In bittersweet and humorous dialogues, Jaha and his clever rice cookers take you on a journey through the last 20 years of Korean history, combining personal experience with political events and reflections on happiness, economic crises and death.

Premiere: 5 October 2017

In coproduction with Bâtard Festival. With the support of CAMPO, STUK, BUDA, DAS, SFAC.

60 minutes, no intermission
In Korean, with English and Czech surtitles, translated by Ladislav Nagy

Discussion with the artist after the performance in the auditorium on 30 September

New Stage – Building B is a non-theatrical, unheated venue. Therefore we recommend you warm clothing or blanket.

Jaha Koo

JAHA KOO is a South Korean theatre/performance maker and music composer. His artistic practice oscillates between multimedia and performance, all of which include his own music, video, text and installation. His performances are closely interweaved with politics, history and his own personal issues. Since 2014, Koo has been working on his Hamartia Trilogy. This trilogy thematically focuses on how the inescapable past tragically affects our lives today. The first part of the trilogy, Lolling and Rolling, was first presented by the Zürcher Theater Spektakel in 2015. The second piece, Cuckoo, was premiered at the Steirischer Herbst Festival in 2017. Koo’s current project is the final part of the trilogy, The History of Korean Western Theatre (working title). It will premiere in the spring of 2019. Koo majored in theatre studies (BFA) at Korea National University of Arts and studied at DasArts (MA) in Amsterdam. GuJAHA is the pseudonym JAHA KOO uses as a music composer. His most recent EP was Copper and Oyster in 2015.

Photo: Radovan Dranga