It’s been more than a year since I heard rumors about Elatiko. It could’ve been an attic somewhere in the Hague as the intriguing word play in the name is suggesting (El Atiko) or it could’ve been anything else for that matter – children’s playground or arbour not touching the earth, not flying in the sky. The game of hide and seek begun and it took quite some digging before I got acquainted with a simple-styled dark gray blog with orange stripes where you could find information about simple dinners and upcoming concerts of the artists known to more than a few, possibly aspiring to hit the stars.
Mysterious founders of Elatiko described the place as “an intimate micro stage, appearing in random locations throughout The Hague”. People behind it claim they created “volunteer based experimental project, with much love and dedication to facilitating music and art in various forms”. And apparently it all happens in someone’s home, probably someone’s attic!
I took virtual pen and filled in the form. That, despite the fact that the notion of a form reminds me more of long queues and neurotic people waiting and hoping for their problems to be solved than of a friendly atmosphere I was hoping for. Identify yourself it said – who are you, which concert you would like to attend, how many people, would you like to eat with us, what is your email. Required, required, required. Against all odds, the form was filled in, sent out and an automatic answer landed in my inbox. That wasn’t something I was hoping for. One could start thinking there were no people behind Elatiko but then again, it was the adventure of a sort, like discovering the city of The Hague is, in most of the cases.
Inside the mail, there was the address, inbox sign to the heart of The Hague underground. And that’s about all I could say about Elatiko.
Circumstances decided to play with the evening the concert was held on and I wasn’t able to go there and taste the atmosphere, meet the creative and I’m sure beautiful people behind the project and exchange food, smiles and good vibes with them.
Since then, it seems we are mostly exchanging bad vibes. What is good about it is that I can say for sure, there are humans in Elatiko and they can write letters. For example, I received something like this: “We cooked for you and booked a beautiful space in our limited Elatiko and without cancelation or any notice you didn’t show up. Please be 100% clear if this time you will be attending the event, there are other people willing to attend and we do not like saying no to anyone”. Required, required, required. Understandable still, it’s someone’s home and that someone took the effort to cook for a dime for someone else… That was probably the last time I got the chance to exchange anything with people from Elatiko. I was banned, it seemed.
As they don’t like saying “no” to anyone, they didn’t say it to me either. Nope. I received silence. Three attempts to get in touch through contact forms (again) and email correspondence: failed. Facebook inquiry: I hit the red light again. Facebook message: wall of silence. I was even blocked, for just a little while though. It can be summed up as – Contact: Failed.
With all that and an obvious omission on my side, it was still such a shame to miss unique work and performances of some of the incredible artists from The Hague and around such are talented Kate Varady whose vivid and somewhat humorous illustrations featured in Grote Haagse Kunstkalender 2013 or Stephanie Pan who is describing herself as performance artist and singer, specialized in extended vocal techniques and live improvisation. What most of us missed due to limited space of Elatiko and the “no show” policy is “visceral, passionate and intense” performance of Miss Pan who is “often exploring the limits of the voice”. And then there was Dorien Meijsing with her Constellations. Amazing artist. I listened to her performance during Shoot me Film Festival and this woman is a wonder. She is playing… a music box! She creates music with the sheets that she created herself by carefully making holes on the paper that she is puling through the opening of the music box. I guess you have to see it to understand what it is all about. The last announced on the flyer was Kit’s Kitchen. Kit is probably the one making art by preparing “organic orgasmic” dishes. But then, it’s only a guess as I wasn’t there to check it out for you. It does sound delicious though.
Thus, I sadly missed the event titled Lady Mono that took place somewhere in The Hague on Sunday 27 January 2013. If you want to be there on Sunday, 10 February 2013 for the performance of Vialka fill in this form and let me know how it went! Elatiko seems to be one of the cultural hubs of The Hague. The others are yet to be explored!
As for creative people from Elatiko… Mensch ärgere dich nicht! Til’ the next!
In the meantime, lovely letters were exchanged and it seems the day of the face à face meeting is approaching. I’m very curious to see who is behind this incredible project. Soon!
*Illustrations by Kate Varady