InlanDimensions International Arts Festival 2023 – „Love Exposure”

InlanDimensions International Arts Festival has established itself as Central Europe’s largest multidisciplinary festival, rejecting differentiation between Europe and Asia by building bridges between countries and cultures. It showcases a kaleidoscope of arts ranging from theatre, performance, dance, and cinema, to music, literature, and visual arts, bringing together artists and audiences from all over the world, launching co-productions, and facilitating negotiations between venues and producers through professional language services. Though the central focus of InlanDimensions is on postwar to postmodern art, the festival does not break with tradition, but stresses its transformations and influence on contemporary art. It introduces audiences to the concept of Eurasian theatre and film as a marriage of diverse cultures and genres within a single piece of art. We invite a broad spectrum of artists to create another dimension of this vast intercultural empire that reaches deeper and deeper into the continents. Projects currently in progress initiated by the InlanDimensions International Arts Festival are Kosmos [Cosmos], dir. Koike Hiroshi, with a Polish and Japanese cast (premieres Feb. 2023 at the Jerzy Grotowski Institute / Mar. 2024 at the Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre); Iwona, księżniczka Burgunda [Yvonne, Princess of Burgundy], dir. Miura Motoi, music composed by Wacław Zimpel (premieres Sep. 2023 at the Underthrow atelier, Kyoto / Oct. 2024 in Poland); Tango, dir. Hirota Jun'ichi (planned premiere 1st quarter 2024 in Tokyo / Oct. 2024 in Poland); and performances of Krzysztof Warlikowski’s play Wyjeżdżamy [We’re Leaving] at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre (Sep. 2024). 

’Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all! Does this time-honoured wisdom not echo Coriolanus’ words: There is a world elsewhere?” asks Tang Shu-wing, the ambassador for this year’s InlanDimensions and one of Hong Kong’s leading contemporary theatre directors. Another artist who would surely also agree with this sentiment is Sion Sono, subject of this year’s retrospective, whose film masterpiece Love Exposure has also provided the title and leitmotif for the 2023 festival. A well-known name at events on the film circuit such as Cannes, Berlinale, Toronto, and Busan, Sono will be visiting Poland for the first time.

The Sono Sion Retrospective at the InlanDimensions International Arts Festival 2023, the first such extensive and multidimensional presentation of his film oeuvre in Poland, is also a pendant to the review of films by Shūji Terayama at the 2019 New Horizons International Film Festival. This retrospective offers audiences a change to savour a new art that we can confidently call “post-Terayama”. “If I had seen Shūji Terayama’s film Throw Away Your Books, Rally in the Streets! earlier, I would probably have had more courage to lay my hand on my girlfriend’s knee in the dark of the cinema that time and tell her I loved her. Then again, perhaps my life would have turned out differently and I might never have become a film director,” Sono confesses. In his works, love is multidimensional, boundless, and uncompromising; it can be avowed by a teenage girl in school uniform, reflected in Christian iconography, or played out in sado-masochistic practices and fantasies.

Love laid bare is the subject of the stage play that opens the festival, Medea and Its Double, directed by the eminent Korean Hyoung-Taek Limb. Blending Shakespearean bravura with contemporary dance, the traditional Korean music pansori, and Korean soap opera, Limb splits the eponymous Medea into two characters: mother and lover, consistently referencing the theory of simulacra, and creating an original production on the cusp of East and West. 

The fury of amorous passion is the driving force behind the performances by the sister act Charan-Po-Rantan. This multicultural melting-pot, a riotous, elemental mix of alternative cabaret and colourful circus art, fuses Balkan rhythms and French chansons with contemporary Japanese pop culture. The duet are followed on stage by the phantasmagoric Coppelia Circus, an artist known from the carnival world of Japanese burlesque. The finale of this act, which resonates like the twang of a broken string, is provided by the experimental trio Kūkangendai from Kyoto, whose music builds a polyrhythmic rock narrative bursting with deliberate dissonances. 

This revival of Eurasian theatre traditions, and international exchange on such an extensive scale, have only been possible with the engagement of organisers who put their heart and soul into the project, working untiringly in tough and ever-changing conditions; the backing of our sponsors: The Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, Korea Arts Council, Seoul Factory for the Performing Arts, Agency for Cultural Affairs, EU-Japan Fest Japan Committee, Toshiba Foundation,  – and last but not least the dedication of our audiences, who have supported theatre and cinema venues unstintingly in the face of the spectres of pandemics, wars, and global economic crisis throughout recent years, helping them to weather the storm. Dear Spectator! Love- you don't know how it decorates, affection will turn you into a Petrarch. Let a girl get something out of love - don't spare her feelings! We cordially invite you to experience true Love Exposure, emphasizing the fact that apart from the artist being on stage, it is you who form the Dimensions that live Inland!