Inside The Living-Room festival

Juan Dominguez is a performer, choreographer, stage director, programmer and co-designer of The Living-Room-festival, working with Maria Jerez, Cuqui Jerez, Luis Urculo to bring art outside the institutions, “for the sake of desire, need and pleasure”.

When and how did you discovered the theoretical and performatives dimensions of a living room ? What were your reasons to bring art in a domestic space?
basically the idea come from the fact of many people not being able to see different works because we only present one or two time in each city. So the work is not really available for many people. Why because we depend of market and different interest and economies. So we decided to make a festival that don’t depend of institutions, that don’t have to justify any interests, only ours and that in the end make what ever we need and want. With no money involve. For the sake of desire, need and pleasure.

The roles of performer, choreographer, stage director, programmer, creator of ‘situations’ that you have live well together or are they cannibalising each other?

At the beginning yes until I understood how to profit form all the sides. Now every practice contaminate each other for good or for bad but the spectrum is really big and I am really in to it. Happy about it. More compromise and more responsibility or  or . More prism to understand repercussions or what do you want when you do want doing what you do. Exhausting, challenging and producing a lot of knowledge. Great

Did your activity as a co-designer of Living Room Festival changed your way of living your way of living and seeing your day-to-day space?

well it doesn’t come out of the blue. It is an step in a continuous research so it didn’t change my life but it gave me a lot of new perspectives of how to relate with the different people involved in this kind of organizations. So the relations are stronger and the repercussions more graspable. Which in the end is what a domestic space is good for.

How do you make the selection for The Living Room Festival? Do you have specific criteria? Did you had performances  transformed and adapted to fit an apartment after being showed on the stage?

at the beginning we adapt a bit some pieces that we thought could be coherent enough to present but right now we don’t adapt anything we present what we want, we are 4 co designers and we have different concerns and we learn form each other, listen the desires of each other and invite what is related with our concerns. We don’t think in pieces anymore.

Since the first edition, do you feel that tha festival had an impact on the artistic scene in Madrid and Berlin (and more recently in Zagreb and Brussels)? Do you had an exemple of succesful collaborations between institutions and independent/freelance scene?

well we don’t collaborate with our friends in Berlin anymore and neither with the ones in Zagreb and Brussels. It is a lot of work and a bit frustrated to not be able to share what is going on in each city so in the end we split and now it is much more based in local connexions and trying to focus in build something stronger in between the local collaborators. It is a domestic proposal so it makes a lot of sense to work deeply with the locals, they are there and will not leave so there is a future possible and a continuation, which is one of the most important aspect of living room festival in a scene where everything is kind of ephemeral in the bad sense.


interview by Cristina Epure