What is life? What are we doing? Why are we doing it? Why aren’t we just pleased with life; why are we constantly inverting new stuff to occupy our time with, when we could just be content with the feeling of life and being? Have we as a species become to full of ourselves that sheer existence have become dull, monotonous, and un-fulfilling? What does a species, that has become disenchanted with existence, do to replace the most primal and basic experience of our sheer being? We escape from it and substitute with, amongst other things;
Art(paintings); the escape through man-made windows to our world and nature, to relive a certain point in time, frozen with the feelings and emotions captured by the painting? (Can life be represented through mere colours on a surface?)
Sound(music); the escape through man-made harmonies, melodies, and rhythmic vibrations of the air, that carry with them (un-)consciously collectively decided feelings and experiences that transports us to another world or puts the listener in a trance. (Or do it put the listener in a state of experiencing true awareness of life? Is that possible through man-made means?)
Literature; the escape through man-made abstract symbols that man has decided represent a certain object, feeling, or abstract concept, that transports the reader to an abstract version of life that can be experienced through another representation of a human being. (Are we capable of creating a version of existence when we constantly flee from it?)
Epicurean Escapism is a newly formed dark music and arts festival that had its premiere last year. It is held in Berlin, Germany, and its philosophy and focus is on the darker side of our consciousness and on escapism. The roster includes a big chunk of the contemporary noise artists from Europe and USA, as Ke/Hil, T x R x P, Post Scriptvm, Dieter Müh, and reoccurring artist Anemone Tube. Not only does the festival feature dark soundscapes, but also feature a collection of visual artists from around the world, curated by African Paper Magazine. Amongst these purveyors of fine dark art we find Andrews Liles who often collaborates with artists like Nurse With Wound and Current 93, and Philip Best who is a heavy hitter who is part of Whitehouse, Ramleh, and Consumer Electronics. But the visuals are not limited to static artwork, but Con-Dom also provides the gawker/visitors with a video/music project.
All in all, Epicurean Escapism festival is a truly dark escapism of bleak, hostile, and evil soundscapes drenched in misanthropy and disgust, an assault for all the senses. And if you, like me, couldn’t attend the festival, there is a wonderful CD recording with a few songs from the attending artists, a DVD with Con-Dom’s movies, and a 20-page booklet with essays and artwork. It may not come with the smells and trip to Berlin, but is a good way to satisfy your escapism till the next time.
I. Ke/Hil – Dark Germany
II. Anemone Tube – Apocalyptic Fantasy
III. Anemone Tube – Accumulations
IIII. Post Scriptvm – Leprous Driver
V. Trepaneringsritualen – Vanärat Är Ditt Namn
VI. Trepaneringsritualen – End Of Flesh
VII. Dieter Müh – Bethlehem
Con-Dom – We Who were Living are Now Dying
Perhaps Epicurianism is the way to go…