Oct 2018

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JAHA KOO - CUCKOO

On the finite wisdom of a Korean rice cooker. Jaha Koo gives a touching insight into the tragedy of a lonely life in a thoroughly technologised society.

A feeling of “helpless isolation”, 고립무원, is characteristic of the life of the younger generation in present-day South Korea, the home of theatre-maker Jaha Koo. Structural problems such as youth unemployment or sexism are individualised and a military, hierarchical social order knows no room for rebellion, expecting humbleness towards the powerful. Increasing suicide rates, isolation, a fixation on personal appearance, and the omnipresence of technology are just some of the symptoms of this condition.

Jaha Koo experienced isolation for himself one day when his electric rice cooker’s speech function informed him that his meal was ready – in “Cuckoo” rice cookers are now his only playmates. Supported by the hardware hacker Idella Craddock, he transforms several rice cookers into speaking performers. Together with them, he takes us on a journey through the last six hundred years of Korean history, combining personal experiences with political events, food cultures with world views. In bitter-sweet, humorous dialogues, Jaha Koo and his smart devices sum up technological progress and human inadequacies: if the theatre stage doesn’t need human beings any more, how else are they supposed to earn their bowl of rice?

CREDITS
Concept, direction, text, music, video: Jaha Koo
Performance: Hana, Duri, Seri and Jaha Koo
Cuckoo hacking: Idella Craddock
Scenography, media operation, photo: Eunkyung Jeong
Dramaturgical advice: Dries Douibi
Production: Kunstenwerkplaats Pianofabriek
Co-Production: Bâtard Festival
With the support of: CAMPO, STUK, BUDA, DAS and SFAC
Funded by: Vlaamse Gemeenschapscommissie

2017
Oct 5 –6_ Steirischer Herbst (Premiere) _ Graz (AT)
Oct 14 - 15 _ MMCA _ Seoul (KR)

2018
Feb 23 – 24 _ Beursschouwburg _ Brussels (BE)
Feb 28 - Mar _ CAMPO Victoria _ Ghent (BE)
Mar 13 – 14 _ Black Box Teater_ Oslo (NO)
Mar 17_ International Programmers’ Day, Just a Good Program, Arca _ Gent (BE)
May 11_ International Programmers’ Day, Kunstenwerkplaats Pianofabriek _ Brussel (BE)
Jun 13 _ Festival Latitudes Contemporaines_ Lille (FR)
Jun 22 -24_ Athens & Epidaurus Festival_ Athens (GR)
Jun 28_ Belluard Festival_ Fribourg (CH)
Jul 25 - 27_ 8:Tension, ImPulsTanz_ Vienna (AT)
Aug 3 -4_ Theater Aan Zee _ Oostende (BE)
Aug 11 – 12_ Tapei Arts Festival _ Taiwan (CN)
Aug 15 -17 _ Kampnagel _ Hamburg (DE)
Aug 23 - 26 _ Noorderzon _ Groningen (NL)
Sep 26 - 26 _ Forum Freies Theater _ Düsseldorf (DE)
Sep 29 – 30 _ Crossroads 2018 / National Theater _ Praag (CZ)
Oct _ Conde Duque (dates to be specified) _ Madrid (ES)
Oct 18 _ nona _Mechelen (BE)
Oct 22 _ Solo Festival (dates to be specified) _ Manila (PH)
Oct 25 _ KAAP _Brugge (BE)
Nov 20-24 _ Frascati (dates to be specified) _ Amsterdam (NL)

2019
Jan _ Parallèle Festival (dates to be specified) _ Marseille (FR)