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With boldness and humour, Wunderbaum remind us that the only art worth making is that which disrupts, challenges and tests artists and audiences.
– The Guardian
Looking for Paul is still messing with my mind.
The question at the heart of [Wunderbaum’s] inquiry is the purpose of art.
– LA Weekly
Inez van Dam lives and works in Rotterdam opposite the so-called “Buttplug Gnome,” a controversial public sculpture by contemporary American artist Paul McCarthy, whose work is known for satirizing mass media and consumerism. After receiving a US grant, Dutch theatre collective Wunderbaum brings Inez to LA to help her confront McCarthy and to develop her story as part of their residency.
The resulting work documents their journey and artistic process that explodes — sometimes very messily — into a debate on aesthetics and the politics and meaning of public art. Excessive, witty and rabidly unconcerned with decorum, Looking for Paul is a detailed and engrossing mixture of fact and fiction, parody and homage.
Wunderbaum is based out of Rotterdam and has been making plays for over a decade. Formed in the aftermath of 9/11, their work largely focuses on crisis and social issues.
Wunderbaum is a Dutch-Flemish actors’ group that makes theatre about current issues, both on location and in the theatre. Usually, Wunderbaum writes its own texts collectively, based on its own research but every now and then it gives instructions to authors who will write a text. The group received the Mary Dresselhuys Award and VSCD Proscenium Award for their entire oeuvre, as well as a Total Theatre Award during the 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
In 2013, Wunderbaum started building The New Forest, a four-year project and growing cooperation with numerous partners, volunteers and spectators. The New Forest depicts transition and casts an eye on tomorrow’s society, and consists of theatre performances, seminars, a film project, context programmes and online content.
Richard Jordan Productions is an Olivier and Tony Award-winning production company under the artistic leadership of British producer Richard Jordan. His London-based company was founded in 1998 and has been at the forefront of developing and presenting works by a diverse range of established and emerging writers and artists. The recipient of more than 30 major international theatre awards and enjoying associations with many of the world’s leading theatres and arts organizations, the company has produced more than 190 productions in the U.K. and 21 other countries, including 70 world premieres and 81 European, Australian or U.S. premieres. Described by the U.K.’s Stage newspaper as “one of the U.K.’s most prolific theatre producers” and named seven times in their top 100 theatre professionals, Richard was the first recipient of the TIF/Society of London Theatre Producers Award and in 2009 a finalist in the British Council’s first-ever Creative Entrepreneur Award. In 2010 for his services to the UK and international theatre industries, he was selected for life time inclusion in A & C Black’s Who’s Who. Richard’s other Canadian productions include: Dickens’ Women; Dylan Thomas: Return Journey; Cadre; Hamlet (solo); Hirsch; Goodness; Kafka and Son; Internal; Fight Night and BigMouth. He has also worked extensively with a number of Canada’s leading artists and companies producing their work internationally including: Volcano Theatre; Ross Manson; Rick Miller; Naomi Campbell; Raoul Bhaneja; Darren O’Donnell; Alon Nashman and Ravi Jain. Richard is pleased to return to World Stage at Harbourfront having previously produced with his long-term collaborators, Ontroerend Goed, the Dora nominated Once and For All We’re Gonna Tell You Who We Are So Shut Up and Listen.
The Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater (REDCAT) is an interdisciplinary contemporary arts center for innovative visual, performing and media arts located in downtown Los Angeles inside the Walt Disney Concert Hall complex. Each season REDCAT presents a far-reaching roster of work by globally renowned artists, inside one of the most versatile and technologically advanced presentation spaces in the world.
Through performances, exhibitions, screenings, and literary events, REDCAT introduces diverse audiences, students and artists to the most influential developments in the arts from around the world, and gives artists in this region the creative support they need to achieve national and international stature. REDCAT continues the tradition of the California Institute of the Arts, its parent organization, by encouraging experimentation, discovery and lively civic discourse.
Join us for a series of Pre-show Teas with our World Stage Scholars-in-Residence. Admission is free with the purchase of a ticket to the opening performance of Looking for Paul.
Looking for Paul is many things at once: it is a performance about shocking works of art; it is a performance that stages a discussion about how art can shock; it is itself a shocking work of art. Join us in a challenging pre-show “Devil’s Advocate”-style discussion, facilitated by World Stage Scholars-in-Residence Denise Cruz and Matthew Sergi – who will take on, for argument’s sake, the opinion directly opposite from whatever has most recently been said – and who will playfully encourage you to do the same. Come out early and try out different and opposing opinions, just to see what fits, as we tackle tough questions about where and whether lines should be drawn – especially at publicly funded institutions like Harbourfront – between challenging art and harmful offense, between free speech and aggressive intrusion, between the private and the public.
Following this evening’s performance, connect with the artists as they field your questions and discuss the work you’ve just seen. It’s the most direct behind-the-scenes access you can get. Admission is free with the purchase of your ticket.