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ANOHNI associate artist Holland Festival 2023


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The associate artist for the Holland Festival in 2023 is singer, composer and visual artist ANOHNI. The festival will feature new and existing work by her. ANOHNI and the festival are working, among other things, on a new, large-scale project involving multimedia and movement at the Gashouder in Amsterdam.

On her role as associate artist

Taking to the stage herself is not the biggest priority for ANOHNI, she sees her role as a associate artist more as intermediary: I am looking forward to working with the Holland Festival in 2023, because it gives me the opportunity to bring forward questions that are central to my work, not only as an artist but also thinking about programming: What is really going on? Can we imagine a change in our trajectory, with more feminine, less patriarchal forms of governance? Can we as Europeans recognise that our legacy of global conquest, slavery and resource extraction has driven the earth to a breaking point? And can each of us find the humility within ourselves to ask for help?

As an artist, I have been exploring the emotional, psychological and spiritual consequences of our proximity to ecological collapse. I try to let the weight of the disaster we cause come to me. Embracing the discomfort. Let us be brave and make space in our imagination for the empirical global facts we now face. Let's contact those who know how to have a more symbiotic relationship with the rest of the natural world, and ask them to be our guide and lead us.

Holland Festival director Emily Ansenk: '2023 will be the fifth year in which the Holland Festival collaborates with one or two associate artists at part of the programme's content. That collaboration adds many new, interesting themes and perspectives to the festival every year. We have inspiring conversations with ANOHNI and look forward to bringing her work, and the work of artists she admires, to Amsterdam.'

Earlier in the festival

ANOHNI has performed at the Holland Festival three times before. In 2009, together with the Metropole Orkest, she made a unique orchestral programme including songs from the album The Crying Light. In 2012, she featured in the show The Life and Death of Marina Abramovich by Bob Wilson, and performed with the Metropole Orchestra the programme Cut the World.

Born in England, ANOHNI lives and works in America as a musician, visual artist and theatre director. She first performed at New York's Pyramid Club as a young adult and formed her performance group The Johnsons in 1995. ANOHNI was awarded the British Mercury Prize in 2005 for her album I am a Bird Now. Her album The Crying Light from 2008 was described by the LA Times as the most personal environmental statement possible, with an unforeseen connection between the identity politics of queer culture and the green movement.

MoMA presented its show Swanlights at Radio City Music Hall in 2012, an event described by The New York Times as: cries from the heart, breaking like waves. With her group Antony and the Johnsons ANOHNI performed with symphony orchestras and at opera houses around the world, including Sydney Opera House, the Royal Opera House in London, Teatro Real in Madrid and Carnegie Hall, New York.

In 2016, ANOHNI, in collaboration with Hudson Mohawke and Daniel Lopatin, released the distinctly political electronic album HOPELESSNESS, which deals with the constellation of systemic brokenness in many aspects of our societies that is now culminating in ecocide. The single 4 Degrees was released on the eve of the UN climate change conference in Paris, and the album itself was included in the 2017 annual lists of The Guardian and The New York Times. ANOHNI was nominated for an Oscar in 2016 for her co-composition and performance of Manta Ray, a song about the collapse of life systems in the oceans.

ANOHNI has presented exhibitions of her visual work at the Nikolaj Kunsthal, Kunsthalle Bielefeld, The Hammer Museum, The Kitchen and Sikemma Jenkins Gallery in New York. She co-facilitated the art project FUTURE FEMINISM, which was presented at The Hole, New York in 2014 and as part of ANOHNI's artistic residency in Aarhus, European Capital of Culture in 2017.

Since 2019, the Holland Festival has worked with one or two associate artist(s) every year. In addition to their work, the festival also highlights themes significant to them, as well as artists related to them. In addition to this programme with and around the associate artist(s), the Holland Festival presents work by other high-profile and relevant artists. Previous associate artists include Angélique Kidjo and Nicolas Stemann in 2022, Gisèle Vienne and Ryuichi Sakamoto in 2021, Bill T. Jones in 2020 and Faustin Linyekula and William Kentridge in 2019.

The 76th edition of the Holland Festival will take place in June 2023.

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