The History of Disco
After playing music for about half an hour, placing an order of drinks (black coffee and Club Mate) through an audience member, chatting with that audience member for a while, as well as digressions about travelling, psychoanalysis and Venezolean bank machine frauds, Olof begins his performance lecture at around minute 52. He begins it not by talking about Disco, but by talking about the Swing Kids, an oppositional movement of young jazz afficionadoes during the Nazi era in Germany, and, in Olof’s version, the origin of the DJ. In best eliptical Olof Olsson style, he mixes the historical with the anecdotal, the personal with the biggest of pictures. An entertaining tour den force, still well worth watching (a rare thing to state about performance art documentations indeed).
Driving the Blues Away
For his second appearance at an event produced by Live Art Danmark, he presented “Driving Blues Away” at Hitparaden 1. In this complex and funny performance lecture we follow Bill Gates’ seduction of Olof Olsson’s girlfriend at Delhi and Heathrow airports. And Bill’s life (after extensive plastic surgery) as a pig – eating juicy grass in a mountain valley, and delivering milk to Toblerone (the triangular Swiss tax-free store favorite). In addition, we get insights into the cultural history of chocolate, cola drinks, personal computers, sanitary porcelain, and the garden of Eden. Which (surprise!) all are related to each other – and to Bill Gates. The presentation is marked by Olof’s love and fear of language, creating comedy and poetry alike – and something to think about. In four-five-six words: it’s stand-up for brains.
We invited Olof again to our 2015 festival at Kulstof 15 to present a longer, 90 minute version of “Driving Blues Away”.
Olof participated in our performance for video program “Now and Again” with a video called “1864/1946”. In it, we see a 9” record of the eternal hymn of leftist communitites the world over, “The Internationale” played on an old fashioned record player. The record spins, we hear the music. The music ends, the record, which was a part of Olof’s father’s collection, stops.
About the Artist
Olof Olsson makes spoken performances, like lectures, speeches, comedy, talk-shows, and question-and-answer sessions. Or something in-between, or not quite.
Olof is the product of the emerging charter tourism of the 1960s, his Dutch mother and Swedish father met in Mallorca. In his youth Olof made experiments in journalism, photography, and as a radio dj. Having studied languages, philosophy, and translation theory, Olof finally ended up in art school. After 15 years of attempts in ‘conceptual’ art, he started performing in 2007.