“It takes two to make a truth“
was the common maxim on the incredibly beautiful Guardiola in the remote medieval village Piraino in Sicily as well as in the out of the way Elmpt located on the Rhine in Germany near the border to the Netherlands. The Hayy-Residency on the wonderful Asansörsüz roof terrace in the centre of Istanbul, offered a similar island of calm within a pulsating metropolis as the Konnoh Hachiman Shrine and the Dog House by Joseph Kosuth in Tokyo. The rocket station Hombroich and an artist’s atelier in Düsseldorf complete the scenario.
Everybody who participated in this project was sometimes confronted with new situations; everybody learnt by themselves and from the others, everybody contributed their abilities and simultaneously set foot on new terrain. Maybe one of the central insights the musical made apparent was: Autodidactism is possible within a group, even in the 26th century.
These unequal sites are all connected by the notion that creativity and learning can occur at any location - no matter how isolated or remote it is -, if there is a clear mind, the willingness to learn and the burning wish, a notion that is essential for Hayy’s story. The tale of the autodidact Hayy is based on the Muslim Sufi-Treatise Hayy Ibn Yaqzan from the 12th century. In this treatise the polymath Ibn Tufail uses the philosophical depth provided by the motif of the solitary savage who cultivates himself independently, a content of universal breadth that later reappears in stories such as Robinson Crusoe, The Jungle Book and Tarzan. Tufail contrasts the inquisitive autodidact, who reaches absolute knowledge by intuition and own strength, with the specialist, a figure that has reached the highest degree of knowledge in a single restricted field.
Conceive, realize, create, write, enact – not only I as omniscience, no, all of us were ready: So in the final “show down”, the threat posed by the principle of egocracy (here in the shape of a highly specialized, parasitic beetle Punteruolo Rosso), could be banished by the power of the collective chant in the Grande Finale on the Guardiola of Piranio, a viewing platform that had been enlarged by Mussolini.
Amor extasim facit – Love merges into ecstasy (Dionysius Areopagita)
At this equally exposed and isolated location, creative autodidactism and artistic standing merged into a collective, peaceful and optimistic whole. Naturally, new questions and challenges will arise, but the experience of Hayy gives courage to candidly follow paths outside the established conceptions of art, methods and venues. We all are Hayy – at every conceivable or imaginable location. Or, to use the words of the Chilean poet César Vallajo: “Beloved be he who sits down”.
Omniscience (Elke Kania)