Cameriga

Meta-burocracy by

By Haug / Kaegi / Wetzel

The house of Riga City Council was built in 1913 as a bank; during 1930s it housed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the apartments of the Prime Minister K?rlis Ulmanis, in the times of german occupation the military headquarter and during the years of the Soviet Rule the Central Committee of the Latvian Communist Party. After Latvia regained independence in 1991 it fell under the authority of Riga City Council, which moved out of the building in 2003. Soon it will be occupied by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but at present the building is empty.

24 hours a day the guards keep watch on the abandoned building, which once represented the state. Before people submitting and accepting applications were sitting opposite each other, contracts were signed, heaps of paper piled up. Here the decisions on many were made. Now the premises are left empty. On every floor the clock shows different time. Rolled up flags rest in the corner, the walls keep the traces of pictures, maps and plants once hanging here. The wooden floors tell the story about the countless steps crossing the space, about the places which had been presented here.

The international festival of contemporary theatre Homo Novus invited the German/Swiss performance group Rimini Protokoll to invent a documentary try-out within a few days. Helgard Haug, Stefan Kaegi and Daniel Wetzel chose the building in K.Valdem?ra street 3 and its history as a base for further research. Thanks to the information provided by countless volunteers, a team of more than 20 people was formed. These people will now re-inhabit the building for two days.

The guard at the door will show the way to the first office. Alone or in pairs the visitors will go down the corridors to follow their personal burocratic tracks. The real documents, that once made the history of the city are gone long time ago. The ways of the visitors will create a new story. The order of visits to the offices will be seemingly random – like it is in many bureaucracy structures. Each group of visitors will walk a different way. The offices will be entered and left, staying for short conversations of 5 minutes in each office.


The performance CAMERIGA is an experiment, a social sculpture, meta-bureaucracy.