J&J (Jessica Huber / James Leadbitter)
Tender Provocations of Hope and Fear

Event / Action / Happening / Party / Walk / Intervention, Performance / Austrian premiere


In deutscher und englischer Sprache mit Übersetzung ins Englische und Deutsche

Festivalzentrum im Palais Attems

Production specifics
In Zusammenarbeit mit Gessnerallee Zürich, Roxy Theater Basel & Südpol LuzernGefördert durch Fachstelle Kultur Kanton Zürich, Stadt Zürich Kultur, Schweizer Kulturstiftung Pro Helvetia, Migros Kulturprozent / Prärie

Fear rules the world. J&J oppose this trend with an evening about hope. Three performers and a priest face their own fears and talk about searching, finding, losing, and reviving hope.

The framework for these touching performances is the long-term project “The Art of a Culture of Hope”, that Jessica Huber and James Leadbitter initiated in 2016 with the aim of opposing the politics of fear with a narrative of hope. Amidst a news situation dominated by forced migration, the destabilisation of Europe, increasing nationalism, and the erosion of human rights, they ask the crucial questions: What are the causes of fear and what effects does it have on us? How do we deal with it? What might a space for hope and potential look like? A space in which ideas can arise for a different future?

J&J collect answers and new questions in the workshop “Space for Hope”, in an archive for all kinds of donations of hope and by means of what participants and the audience of the “Tender Provocations of Hope and Fear” are willing to share. The evening features three prominent exponents of the European performance scene, Kim Noble, Jeremy Wade and the vacuum cleaner, accompanied by a specialist for questions of hope, the Christian priest Janet Hephzibah Ashton. In their performances and lectures they talk about personal and imagined experiences of fear and hope – on the battlefield, in the psychiatric clinic or when faced with the serious illness of their own child. Inner conflicts, worries, self-reproaches, and accusations against others are revealed.

The long-term project is planned to conclude with a very real undertaking: the artist duo intends to initiate a referendum in Switzerland to include a collectively written paragraph in the constitution that declares the Culture of Hope as a fundamental right. Although the goal may sound grand, J&J are serious.

Konzept / Idee: Jessica Huber
Künstlerische Leitung: Jessica Huber
Konzept / Idee: James Leadbitter
Künstlerische Leitung: James Leadbitter
Bühnenbild, Ausstattung, Raumgestaltung: Gabriela Rutz
Künstlerische Assistenz: Gabriela Rutz
Bühnenbild, Ausstattung, Raumgestaltung: Ramin Mosayebi
Künstlerische Assistenz: Ramin Mosayebi
Mitwirkende / Mitwirkender: Janet Hephzibah Ashton
Mitwirkende / Mitwirkender: Kim Noble
Mitwirkende / Mitwirkender: the vacuum cleaner
Mitwirkende / Mitwirkender: Jeremy Wade
Mitwirkende / Mitwirkender: My Friend Peter