KAHVEHANE (COFFEE HOUSE)
Duration (Performance) : 25 min
Urban Art Intervention: Temporary coffee house
Urban Art Biennial, Vienna
(Former Milkhall, Kongresspark)
Kahvehane Coffee House Performance excerpts, 2016
Originally commissioned by Soho in Ottakring Vienna (2016), Kahvehane (Coffeehouse) Kongresspark explores the question of transcultural relations and belonging through an artistic exploration of coffee and its cultural history. Organic and fair trade coffee (in kind support of Alt Wien Kaffee) was served free of charge in specially designed cups and saucers, which Deniz Soezen created at the ceramics research centre at the University of Westminster. The designs on the coffee cups and saucers reflect coffee’s transnational history and the globalization of coffee.
An interactive lecture-performance was developed in relation to the installation and presented to the public at the temporary Kahvehane. The performance explores the many legends about the origins of coffee tracing its journey from Ethiopia, the Arabian peninsula through the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) to Vienna and across the entire globe. While adopting a humorous take on the globalization of coffee, the performance sheds light on the history of colonialism and question the conditions of contemporary trade. The performance was written and performed in collaboration with bharatanatyam artist and actor Shane Shambhu.