A note from the artist
In 2014 The Arbeit Macht Frei gate from the Dachau concentration camp was stolen. So, they commissioned a local blacksmith to make a perfect replica of the gate, millimetre for millimetre exactly like the old one, but not at all.
I have a lot of questions. What happens to sites of atrocity when they decay? What does it mean to have a replica object next to an original object somewhere like that? How do objects, locations and people get contaminated with memory? And how can people with traumatic historic events in their family trees balance a responsibility to the past with a commitment to the present?
This performance installation is a distillation of years of research, testing, learning to weld, visiting memorial sites, stopping for COVID, starting again, and talking to memorial and anti-memorial architects and artists. I hope it raises more questions.
Performance Installation Team
Conceived and Presented Rachel Mars
Dramaturg and Co-director Wendy Hubbard
Sound Dinah Mullen
Designer Naomi Kuyck-Cohen
Metal Fabricator and Mentor Jeni Cairns
Sound Engineer James Ball
Production Manager Helen Mugridge
Producer Claire Summerfield at Tandem Works
Rabbinical / Judaism Consultancy Jacqueline Nicholls and Rabbi Lev Taylor
Development Mentors Karen Sherman and Helen Paris
El Malei Rachamim sung by Rachel Weston
Project Photographers JMA Photography and Claire Haigh
Performance Installation Credits
Commissioned by Transform Festival and Cambridge Junction with support from Stobbs New Ideas Fund
And further support from Chapter Arts Centre and using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England
Development supported by Horizon Showcase: Performance Created in England, Metal Culture, MGCFutures and Asylum Arts
Originally developed through the Barbican Open Lab programme.
With Thanks To
The Intermission 2019 Group, Melanie Brown, Family Mars, Gemma Curtis, Vanessa Ackerman, Adam Schorin, William Essilfie, Uli Unseld, Kat Radeva, Anna Barrett and Margret Grundmann – May Her Memory Be A Blessing.
Creative Director Amy Letman
Producer Ali Ford
Producer (Creative People) Lily Lavorato
Assistant Producer Jay Millard
Trainee Producer Patrick McGeady
Company Administrator Rosie Hay
Production Manager Hannah Blamire
Project Manager Tshayi Hercules
Marketing & Communications Jack Lynch & Suzanne Wynne
Press Bread and Butter PR
Design Rabbit Hole
RACHEL MARS BIOGRAPHY
Rachel Mars is a London based, multi award-winning writer and performer with a background in theatre, live art and comedy. She grew up as the only gay in a British/Jewish family that attempted to balance English propriety with Yiddish volume. FORGE is commissioned by Transform and Cambridge Junction with support from Stobbs New Ideas Fund. With support from Chapter Arts Centre, Horizon Showcase, Metal Culture, MGCFutures and Asylum Arts. Originally developed through the Barbican Open Lab programme.
Transform is an engine room for powerful performance. We create exhilarating international festivals and work year-round to catalyse future-gazing artists and creatives to reimagine what theatre can be. Presented as an extended festival from Autumn 2021 to Spring 2022, Transform 21-22 will invite audiences from across Leeds and beyond to connect with bold, brave, vivid and socially-conscious performance by powerful artists from across the globe.