In the context of their new project, Oh Europa, two dynamic performance artists from Bristol, U.K., who work together under the name Action Hero, are travelling over 30,000km across Europe in a motorhome, recording songs of love, heartbreak, loss and desire, sung by the people they meet.
After stopping in the U.K., Germany, France, Belgium and Hungary, they will arrive at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center. From 22 to 26/08, they invite us to go into their motorhome and sing a love song; it can be any type of love song – modern or traditional, about falling in love or falling out of love, break-ups or make-ups. All voices are welcome! You can sing solo, or with friends; bring the lyrics along, or find them on your mobile.
In this ever-evolving archive, Action Hero creatively fuse installation and performance, while creating a love-song saga, in an audio broadcast from the literal edges of the continent – a hopeful, reparative act, and an attempt to build connections. Detached from political sound bites, diplomacy, or art-speak, the messages instead speak in song about who we are and how we feel, straight from the heart.
Their archive, constantly enriched with love songs in all European languages, will broadcast 24/7 by beacons placed by the artists throughout the continent, on its literal edges, as well as on borders, hinterlands and divides, both political and historical, natural and geographical, imagined and real. If you want to listen to the broadcast, you can navigate to the beacon nearest you, including the one at SNFCC of course, using the Oh Europa app, a free download for IoS and Android.
Oh Europa invites us to re-imagine the terrains of Europe - psychic, emotional, political and physical, offering an opportunity to re-orientate and re-imagine our relationships with each other and with the space we share.
Who is Action Hero
Gemma Paintin and James Stenhouse share an interdisciplinary performance practice together under the name Action Hero. Since 2005, they have created performances spanning theatre, live art, installation, multi media and site-specific practice, which have toured to nearly 30 countries across 5 continents.
Their ongoing interests lie in the iconography of popular culture and its use; both as a weapon and as a shared cultural memory. Action Hero’s work is always experimenting with form, and as a result their work expands across multiple creative practices. Although they work primarily with live performance, they regularly work with processes and mediums with which they are unfamiliar, adopting a radical DIY approach which often sees them navigating solo through new technical and creative territories.