5 minutes with the creators of The Informals II, Polina Medvedeva and Andreas Kühne

Credits Branislav Grebečí

Film and sound artists Polina Medvedeva and Andreas Kühne have created immersive multi-channel audio-visual installation The Informals II, a live documentary performance and installation that focuses on Brighton’s youth music culture, world premiering at Brighton Festival.

Where did the inspiration come from for this piece?

Informals II follows on from Informals/Неформалы, a partly autobiographical improvised documentary created when Polina and Andreas travelled to the former military zone of the Murmansk region of Northern Russia, where Polina was born. To create the piece, they researched the digital natives of the area, who - to escape the norms and social constructs of the place - gravitate to deserted spaces, where they collectively improvise with it to reclaim its use and add a new layer to its genealogy. 

During their art residency at Lighthouse in 2019, Polina and Andreas got in contact with a lot of young musicians, which, similarly to the characters in their Russian work were dealing with projection and stigma, albeit in a different context – in the midst of Brexit and ahead of the 2019 elections, in a climate of neo-liberalist right wing politics which has resulted in a lot of budget cuts for young people.

What is unique about The Informals II?

Comprising an immersive multi-channel audio-visual installation and a live one-off improvised performance, The Informals II challenges the stigmas surrounding youth culture, instead portraying a vibrant community of eloquent, driven, talented and opinionated young people.

What do you hope people will take away from this experience?

Hopefully the audience will have witnessed a surprising way to present an audio-visual work, a documentary, which is improvised and live scored while on stage at Jubilee square, and as a performance that features 4 of the characters in the work. At the same time, we hope the Informals II installation at Lighthouse can be a moment of close listening, zeroing in on the narratives often inaccessible to the mainstream.

Have you enjoyed making the Informals II to Brighton?

Brighton is host to some of the most ground-breaking creative artist groups and organisations that actively foster local communities and have great impact on national and international level, such as AudioActive, BlastTheory, Spacemakers and Platform B. We were super lucky to get to know them and to be able to witness their programmes and learn from them. Also, the young people we’ve met and worked with have shown us a side of Brighton which we felt needed to be part of the narrative of the city.

You have worked with and will be working with a lot of people on this piece, is there anyone you would like to mention and who can we look forward to seeing?

We will be performing together with Phonetic, Bobbie Johnson, Marshall Mandiangu and Ollie Hutch. The contributors to the documentary are Bobbie Johnson, Sade Bisram (Phonetic), Marshall Mandiangu, Ollie Hutch, Kema Daley (Kemastry), Megan Fright, Sam Maryon (Hatter), Tafadzwa Mupfunde (Taff), Olivia Melkonian, Riley Davies (ArrDee), Harley Offei Godfrey (Vitamin G), Tim Abrahams, James Donaghy, Hazel Faye Davis, Eva Lewis, Sam McDuffie, Thomas Jules, Ryan Redican, Mask General, 1Time Productions, SixFoor, 44Rickz, SJ, SD, Riddlez, Betz, Warnz, Laurens Ludgrove at Basement Flat.

You can see the world premiere of The Informals II until 13 Jun at The Lighthouse.


The Informals II: Exhibition

22 May - 13 Jun 2021


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