The Feeling of Home
The category of “home” has undergone a fundamental transformation for many people over the past two years. The public spheres of work and school merged with families’ private spheres, human relationships and private meetings came under the scrutiny of the authorities and if there was any theatre at all, it often took place in front of the monitor at home. Furthermore, our readiness to allow a new home for refugees is being tested repeatedly.
For “The Feeling of Home”, the two old white men of Vienna’s performance scene reclaim the stage as what it has always been for both of them: their home, which they share with the audience. Oleg Soulimenko comes from Russia, Frans Poelstra from the Netherlands. Both of them have lived in Austria for many years. But they had to create this new home, it was not theirs from the cradle. And given that their biographies were influenced by different political systems, the appropriation of their new homes posed very different challenges for them.
With a mixture of dance, music, sound-scape, poetry and work, 67-year-old Frans Poelstra and Oleg Soulimenko (six years his junior) build their stage house, inviting like-minded others to celebrate their achievement. At the end, unknown guests arrive and give a surprising twist to the housewarming party.
Oleg Soulimenko and Frans Poelstra don’t invoke any philosophers to vindicate “The Feeling of Home” and neither have they found the right quote to describe their achievement. They may have read some interesting articles and perhaps even a book, but unfortunately, they forgot everything they read. Oleg Soulimenko is into obscure LPs from the 60s and 70s. Frans Poelstra is still pretty vain and is very busy maintaining a flat stomach, which is no mean feat at his age.
Oleg Soulimenko is an artist who enjoys doing too many different things at once. He grew up in a big city where it was not permitted to listen to rock ’n’ roll or to dance topless – but he did both. He works in the fields of performance art and contemporary dance in Austria, Europe and the US.
As a child, Frans Poelstra spent more time staring into the grachts of Amsterdam than going to school. He dreamed of being the next Jimi Hendrix. With no talent for playing the guitar, he decided to work in art – the field where you can make a profession out of dreaming. In his work, he mixes dance with theatre, music and visual art in a way that makes people think: “Am I dreaming, is this really possible or at least acceptable?” And, like Soulimenko, Poelstra also works in the fields of performance art and contemporary dance in Austria and Europe, but no longer in the US.