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Arts Interventions Development

The Wastefulness Commission

Work in Progress, theatrical premiere May 14 (part 1) and June 22 (part 2), 2021

«To live is to war with trolls, in the vaults of the heart and mind; To create is to launch Judgment Day on yourself.» – HENRIK IBSEN, Poems (1871)
«Welcome to a place where unnuanced, white, male, populist SHIT will be allowed to flow freely from the main stage!» - KAI JOHNSEN, scenekunst.no (2019)
«This is not art» - JAN LOTHE ERIKSEN, Safemuse (2021)

A show about values 

The premiere of WC was originally scheduled for Bergen International Festival 2020 before a certain pandemic intervened. However, the very idea of a Wastefulness Commission had at that point already become the most controversial performing arts project in Norway in 2020, months before the actual opening. The surprising collaboration between Traavik.info and the so far anonymous Facebook persona Sløseriombudsmannen (The Wastefulness Ombudsman) triggered fire and fury in vocal parts of the Norwegian cultural scene including the higher echelons of Arts Council Norway itself, the very funding institution that supports big parts of Norwegian cultural life. 

The Wastefulness Ombudsman entered Facebook in 2014 and has since become infamous for his satirical and, some would say, downright harassing examples of alleged squandering of public funds in Norway.

"Everyone is put through the grinder - Trondelag gang bang clubs, dubious mayoral severance packages, and spending 17 million kroner on public outhouses. But the hardest blow is delivered to the field of arts and culture," as described by Natt & Dag magazine a year ago. Some see Sløseriombudsmannen as an ultra-liberalist, right-wing attempt to slim down  the welfare state with contemporary arts funding as a scapegoat, others actually think there's too much shitty art around, some see an attempt at masking harassment as dialogue, while others find the entire spectacle simply hilarious.  Some individual artists have experienced ridicule and mockery from the side of Sloseriombudsmannen and his 66.000 Facebook "followers" and continue to do so today. 

Among the Wastefulness Commission's stated goals are to "bring together the morally constipated and those who couldn't give a shit to a public airing of dirty laundry through a tough, but fair and playful self-examination of personal networks and wasteful public spending in Norwegian arts and culture”. The show will be performed as a live TV transmission in front of a live studio audience and the Wastefulness Ombudsman himself will partake as the Grand Inquisitor, with the audience as jury in a People's Tribunal of sorts where the whole cultural sphere put ourselves on trial.  

The accused and defendants are those of us who perform, dance, sing, create, produce, and consume arts and culture. Jerry Springer meets The Commission of Free Speech, interspersed with witch hunts, pundit pissing contest, and general pandemonium.  

The Wastefulness Commission 2021

Part 1 - Vestland, May 14, Ole Bull Scene, Bergen 

The founding meeting. In cooperation with BIT Teatergarasjen. 

Players: Traavik.info, The Wastefulness Ombudsman, Arts Council Norway, Kurt Johannessen, Hoda Aden Mohamed, Mimir Kristjansson, Kjetting-Jan Vindenes, Shabana Rehman, Dangfart Tønnessen, Julian Blaue, Zahid Ali, Årabrot, Karin Park, Kjetil Møster, Ronald Kvernmo, Sven Åge Birkeland, Void.as, and others. 

Part 2 - June 22 (venue and platform TBA) 

Summary, where even the mysterious Wastefulness Ombudsman itself will finally step out into the spotlight. 

«Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning» - WINSTON CHURCHILL (1942) 

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