In the midst of the global Covid 19 pandemic, Willimann/Arai explore the possibilities of traveling beyond the limits of physical mobility by tracing global connections in their local neighborhoods in Zurich and Tokyo. Connected via an online-call, Nina Willimann and Mayumi Arai share a landscape as if they were walking together, while one of them draws a map of what the other sees. In this way, they explore imaginations of places, times, objects, (his)tories and people, and finally share them with the audience in the frame of a guided tour.
The vehicle of this practice of "traveling without traveling" is the shared avatar figure willimannarai. Based on the traditional Japanese theater form Rakugo, in which a single actor plays multiple roles, willimannarai can be embodied or hosted by both artists and manifest itself in different places simultaneously.
In the Avatar tours series, willimannarai acts as a "guided tour guide" and as a translator of languages, spaces, times and bodies.
#1: Zurich Altstetten
#2: Tokyo Ueno