December 8, 2015

To Pull A Dream Into The Morning. Volksbühne, KN, and DOC11

Ben Mauk, The Maker, 2015

Doesn't winter make you turn inside? I'm more susceptible to poetry in this season. It soothes the existential gloom. And the heaviness that normally frightens me away from theatre, now makes me go. The other week, for instance, I saw René Pollesch' theatre piece Kill Your Darlings at the Volksbühne, talking about love in times of neoliberalism: "Warum bringt sich eigentlich niemand mehr aus Liebe um?" 

And then, last Friday, there was the KN's exhibition Cloudbusting where a few sentences struck me in a way I had to jot them down. I read the first one in a video piece by Katie Armstrong: "I pulled a dream into the morning." The sentence appeared on the screen among other ones that were in the process of being written, deleted and rewritten - visualising the hesitation that goes with writing, but also the one that accompanies waking up. Let me repeat it again for beauty's sake: "I pulled a dream into the morning."

A second sentence caught my ear in the video by Karolina Sobecka: "Remoteness is an important aspect of clouds." Can a sentence hold a whole philosophy? And then there was Ben Mauk's video The Maker: "If a cloud can look like anything, then, by definition, everything looks like clouds." It's the first visual storytelling by my colleague writer Ben Mauk. When we met a while ago, we bounded in our love for IMovie. Mauk's video is barely moving though: it consist of still images, a series of photographs - and there's a little death, a stopping of time, in each of them. 

Yuko Kaseki at DOC11. Photo: Dadaware, Sigel Eschkol

On Sunday night, it was the language of dance that drew me in. Light engineer Asier Solana had invited me to a solo butoh performance Shoot Jeez My Gosh by Yuko Kaseki at DOC11. It's a performance on innocence and violence inspired by Henry Darger's paintings. Kaseki "abstrahises" the body to the extent that raw and pure poetry comes about. Let me quote the text of the flyer: "The birth to kill / Build to break down / Existence / To be erased / To be pasted / The invisible enemy / Imperceptible voice / The other side of the filter / The inside of the monitor / In order to be fooled / In order to deceive / Endless game of  / The World"

Henry Darger

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