Galerie Emanuel Layr
Relevelations / Rome
Lisetta Carmi, Merlin Carpenter, Anne Dick, Anke Dyes, Tobias Kaspar, Ilya Lipkin, Hans-Christian Lotz, Birgit Megerle, Till Megerle, John Miller, Gerwald Rockenschaub, Jack Smith, Megan Francis Sullivan, Jutta Zimmermann, Heimo Zobernig / curated by Robert Müller / Opening: 18.9.2018, 6 pm
19.9. –

On the elevated platform, the actors are caught in perpetual emotional delivery. Elevated feeling, decreased tension. Everything is louder and shriller, objections more emphatic, gestures exaggerated. This technical elevation lacks the magical acoustics of the Epidaurian stage, on which the sound of a coin falling to the floor in the centre of the stage is carried faintly by the wind to the rearmost row. This spot is geometrically small. It projects the voice of only one speaker from the middle point. Otherwise only the multitude of the chorus can be heard, the synchronous plurality of the actors.

Now, speaking from any point in the world, but too distant, too unclear. The piece is caught in an artificial bubble; its character, too, defined by its technical conditions; the roar of the audience forces the grotesque farce, clamour over clamour.

After circumventing quiet reprimands, after the villains’ “asides”, after the deathly silence of the auditorium and the heavy hearts of the captured minds, the tables begin to turn. Through the revolution of immersion, explicitly questioning the implicit morals of the narrative; now in life, in the midst of the audience, from out of it, all performers and spectators simultaneously, theatre in the factory, theatre of the factory worker, theatre of the layman, improv, open source, participation.

Now, everything is moving, everything is involved and invested, all points in the room, their roles are in permanent transformation, all the colours of the stage set but still dreaming of the order of the illuminated box, the mechanical storms and the California-yellow sunsets of the fading chandeliers. Brass glistens golden in the security of distance, the crudely carved columns assert old pomp, and imagination moves the ships on the waves hastily sketched on 20 yards of linen. Here, where the objects dance with the actors, the tumult unfolds, its imaginary power lying precisely in the recognition of its artificiality; and the acknowledgement of the conditions of small transgressions first become visible and readable.

And in that distance which often lends poor objects radiance, their shine bearing that tense load; perhaps causing earthbound political bodies beyond the invisible wall to dance nervously…

– Robert Müller / Translation by Signe Rose