Cold War / Brain Freeze

Co-production PeerGrouP and LAPD

February 24, 2012 at The Wende Museum, Culver City.
August 16-26, 2012 at the Noorderzon Festival in Groningen, the Netherlands.

About the Project

A performance project, developed over 3 years by the PeerGrouP and Los Angeles Poverty Department. Both groups create theater work that engages with current social issues, but the communities they work with are very different: PeerGrouP builds projects in rural locations in Drente and LAPD builds projects in the heart of Skid Row, downtown LA.

The Cold War was a war of ideas, not limited to a battlefield but pervasive as only a war can be. Post Cold War free market triumphalism has imposed limits on what kind of society we can envision and create. It raises the question: What have we all lost? The Cold War divided Europe into East and West. The end of the Cold War advanced the vision of European integration. Now, the dissonance between the economic and political realization of that vision is threatening to erect a new wall across Europe between North and South. We Koude Oorlog / Brain Freeze artists, like dissenting artists in the former East, find ourselves in a system we don’t like, that we are trying to reform – while doubting that it can be reformed.

Building the Project

PeerGrouP Research in LA

In October 2010 two members of the PeerGrouP, Floris van Delft and Valentijn Fit, came to work with LAPD  in Los Angeles and to do research for the Cold War performance project.

Read about Floris van Delft‘s first experience on Skid Row.

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2011 –  3 LAPD-ers in
the Netherlands and Berlin

In October 2011, 3 LAPD-ers went to the Netherlands and exchanged research, distilled from piles of books and internet-sites, with 3 PeerGrouP-ers. Together we started to develop performance material. The last 10 days of our stay were spent in Berlin, Germany.

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2012 – Performance at the
Wende Museum, Culver City

In February 2012, we presented an in-progress-performance at LA’s Wende Museum. In keeping with the adventurous nature of the museum we performed in the Museum archives and used archival materials, including flags, portraits of Erik Honnecker, busts of Stalin, and much more.

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The Cast

CW_UsCloseupProject artists include LAPD: Henriëtte Brouwers, KevinMichael Key, John Malpede;
PeerGrouP: Henry Alles, Floris van Delft, Merel van Dijk.

Project Funders

The City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, Cultural Exchange International initiative has supported two phases of this collaboration between LAPD and the Netherlands-based PeerGrouP.