Volksgarten Orchestra
Music Performance;  Commons;  

Exploring fragile areas of “emotional topography,” the Greek artist pays attention to the marginal and the underprivileged within a given social structure. Politics of social space, suburban landscape and domesticity are in the focus of her interdisciplinary community – based projects [...].

Papadimitriou’s Volksgarten Orchestra, staged in Orpheum Graz, is the one and only unique performance of multicultural plurality and richness: here, the immigrants’ polyphony of diverse musical styles, traditions, voices, sounds, instruments, etc. is a convincing expression of the possibility of a new language, a new communication, opening up new encounters, waking up (social and individual) potentialities. Complemented by a fascinating remake (the so called “anatomized version”) of Joseph Conrad’s story “Amy Foster” (a peculiar emotionally intense biography of an immigrant) by Sissi Tax, Volksgarten Orchestra as an event but also as a long-lasting research project, conducted by the artist within the Grazer immigrants’ population, is convincing proof of how difference may be successfully mediated and negotiated and how a particularly precious intimacy might be generated, felt out and consequently shared by various communities and differentiated neighborhoods.

Adam Budak

Excerpts from “With,” in exh. cat. Volksgarten: Politics of Belonging, pp. 20-21.