Fake Interview

Fake Interview

Tsukide, 24.3.2014


What is your motivation to get around the world on a motorcycle and doing art?


I was bored in Germany and almost anywhere else. Berlin was not happening anymore for me and Arizona was a little better, maybe I should have stayed there ... .

Anyway I learned motorcycling again in AZ and got a plan.

Being already on tour for more then 10 years, interrupted with stays "at home" or for productions, I thought lets do it more consequent.

Unfortunatly it is much harder financially and support-wise with the institutions.

The format is not what they like, or some maybe like it, but they have problems to justify the project.

"Where is the visibility?" - was one of the questions. The answer: "All over the world!", was not satisfying for them.

One of the problem is the centralistic perspective, which almost everybody has. Everybody thinks: All what happens has to be made for my understanding. Though, lets take the case of Germany, everybody there just thinks to have a global and non-centralistic understanding of the world. Which is of cause complete bullshit, its just a fake openness, so called political correctness without having lived what is correct, the rest of the world has to fit in their picture of freedom and democracy, just to satisfy the own feeling of being correct and for savety. If it doesnt fit in their world they make it fitting. If it happens mentally or physically, that doesnt matter. The mental layer is maybe even more cruel.


So, is it better on the road?


Yes and no.

I am happy to be out of the circle of shit to produce art within limited expectations. It is my art and the art of the people I meet. Not the art of the festivals and theatres anymore. It is about presents for people.


But it happends in theatres, no?


Yes, it also happens in theatres, but this is only one side, and it is happening in very independent venues where curators do whatever they like or what is necessary, or it just fits in-between, but definetly it is out of the officially correct expectations and discourses, where people talk excactly about the issues I am working with, but the doing is within the well calculated and framed, and therefor artificial and ineffective manner, which only looks like it is touching the hot irons, but noone, on both sides, can get burned.


But what are you touching and what is happening outside the theatres?


For one, I am touching ground in all these countries. The difference of flying in and spending just a week or two in another culture, this is what most art-workers are doing, and on the other side riding through the countries by oneself without knowing where to sleep the night, is probably only explainable to people who did something like that once in their life.

And I am getting in touch with all these people who are "non-artist", of cause that definition is bullshit and I should not say that. Everybody is an artist, otherwise they would not be able to exist. So I am meeting all these people who are challenging me in the question: how and what kind of art should I do for them/with them?


Did you get burned or did you burn someone?


Not seriously. But I layed some fire.

I dont want to go into my theories of reciprocity here too much. The fact of that we only exist through the other people and the other way around. The people in Bangladesh for example. Even during the bloody "Hartal", google it up please, everybody came everyday in the studio to make this piece. They were hot to make art! And they burned their mark deep inside onto my heart.

The people I met in Kyrgistan, just to be there for two very special people, just to spend time with them was the greatest artistic present I could make.


Many people all over the world follow the project via internet, many people who got in touch with it, one way or the other, are interested what is happening in the other places, who did Thomas meet there, and so on.


So, did you make any real artistic work for someone who is not so familiar with the arts?


Of cause I did!

I dont know what you call "real art".

One of the possible definitions of what art is, is to give more and more possibilities to create our understanding of the world.

Please hear me right: ... to create our understanding ... ! Not just more possibilities to understand! That would be given to people by someone! "Here: one more possibility how you can understand the world!" That would make the observer into a complete idiot, which they are not, otherwise they would be not able to exist.

To understand something is a creative act!


Familiar - not familiar with the arts, well everybody makes their observation, right? I heard the greatest bullshit of artistically educated people about a piece of art and I heard the greatest comments of artistically uneducated people. Of cause also the other way around.

Do you say what you see? No? Then please dont start to talk about art. If you start talking what you think is the correct thing to say now, because other art educated people might think you dont understand something about art ... ... ... . Please give me a break ... ... ... .


There is for example the piece for Stefano the shoemaker.a hhole performance only for him, an appreciation of his artistic work to make shoes and his aility to "read from the shoe the personality of the person, who wears it." Please watch the video.


There are all these differnt kinds of results, which are impossible to bring into one frame and format. That would be very contraproductive.

The whole project is NOT made for any central perspective. Of cause you have theatrical results, but even they are not able to give to others what is happening inside the relation of these two people: presentee and maker of the present.

Thanks to the transparency of this work the audience in these theatrical versions of the project is very involved. Many say after the shows, that they got a present themself. I think it is because they are thinking all the time about who they would give a present and what, and from who they would like to get a present, while they observe several times the present giving. Please look the videos on the webside, very clear it is in the Tallinn versions, Sofia, Bangalore, Almaty, Chennai, then I dont have to explain so much here.


The art on the road, all the unexpected encounters, yes, that is very special, it is usually not made for anyone outside. It is inbetween me and that person. And most of it is not documented. One reason is that it is sometimes too private, but more often, the camera would just disturb. It would be fake. And it is simply not presentable and for sure not representable.

Can art exist without that it is visible for others? Yes, absolutly! Art is not only art because it is shown in a theatre or museum, and or gets lots of money.


Thank you, I dont think I have more questions for today, though I have many in my mind.


Thank you, thats very good, we dont want to explain the world for everybody. Lets keep some questions open for the listener as well.

Contact: thomaslehmen@thomaslehmen.de                                                                              © Thomas Lehmen 2013