Swiss Selection Edinburgh and Mats Staub Present 21: MEMORIES OF GROWING UP
In a revealing look at how we tell our own stories, interdisciplinary digital artist Mats Staub has asked hundreds of participants around the world to recount the year they turned 21, and then played the audio back to them three months later. Including new interviews with Edinburgh residents, the film of each participant listening to their own memories creates a tapestry of stories, sharing insight not just into the experiences of becoming an adult, but in how we deflect, joke, minimise and make light of our memories in the telling. With warmth, humour and poignancy, 21 is an urgent reminder that we have more in common than sets us apart. The installation is presented as part of Swiss Selection Edinburgh, a programme of contemporary Swiss theatre presented by Pro Helvetia, the Swiss Arts Council, at Summerhall.
From Serbia to South Africa, from young lovers to Hitler Youths, the ambitious video installation made up of 8 - 15 minute segments looks at the first years of adulthood across continents, decades, races and backgrounds. 21: Memories of Growing Up first premiered in 2012, and has been evolving ever since, growing as it travels from place to place. Now, it has been updated with new interviews with Scottish people, especially for its Edinburgh run.
Mats Staub said, "From the beginning, I had this vision of a room full of faces, but not talking, just listening. And they are getting older and older or younger and younger as you move throughout the room. So many people are connected through stories, Maybe they don't know each other, maybe they live on different continents, but suddenly through music, through different things, there are connections. There is one guy I met in Germany - at 21 he was in Tehran just after the revolution, so totally different circumstances to me, but how he was describing his circle of friends, I felt as though he was talking about me."
Mats Staubs is an interdisciplinary digital artist living and working in Zurich and Berlin. Since 2004, he has been creating art projects in the transitional area between theatre and exhibition, literature and science. 21: Memories of Growing Up has been seen around the world, including Switzerland, Australia (Adelaide Festival), South Africa, Germany and the Netherlands. His previous work includes Ten Important Events In My Life, My Other Life and 5000 Liebesbriefe (5000 Love Letters). Following his UK debut with 21: Memories of Growing Up, Mats will present a new long term project, Death and Birth in My Life, at Sick Festival in Manchester.
Swiss Selection Edinburgh is a programme of contemporary Swiss theatre presented by Pro Helvetia, the Swiss Arts Council, at Summerhall. The showcase also features Traumboy/Traumgirl and 8:8 at Summerhall. The Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia promotes Swiss arts and culture with a focus on diversity. It supports projects of national interest at home and abroad. Website: prohelvetia.ch; FB/TW/IG: @prohelvetia
Recommended time in installation: 75 Minutes (full length of all videos 8hrs+) | Suitable for ages 12+