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|SEE AND BE SCENE - video stage for dance performance|
Dinner for everyone by Antje Schmelcher, Die Welt
Fashion is terror. That is the now well known conclusion of Bret Easton Ellis‘ novel „Glamorama“, in which models symbolically turn out to be terrorists. The terror of the surface can hit anyone. Even someone who is trying to resist the dictate of fashion, has to be clothed in something. And that is where the net of lust and lies begins. Helena Waldmann, known for her associative staging of sound, light and spacial art, has found new images for Easton Ellis‘ novel. As if celebrating a lord‘s supper of vanity, she places her audience around a banquet like fashion runway in the atrium at the Haus der Deutschen Wirtschaft.
Instead of cutlery the viewer has a mirror, in which, leaned forward, he can see his slightly loosely hanging face flesh from a grotesque angle. This mirror is also the key to deciphering the portent, that video artist Karina Smigla-Bobinski is projecting onto the screen above the runway. „Appear here“ is advertising the appearance, its letters as fleeting as its form. These are water drops, reflecting a face, that resembles the horror of a death row prisoner awaiting the burst. Is it hit by anther drop, they dissolve into a long silent trickle.
The dissolution of the outer shell of the dancers is just as violent, as they walk in white pleated kimonos over the runway to the buzzing and knocking measures by the percussionist artist Arik Hayut. Strangely bending their bodies provocatingly and libidinously towards the audience, until, with a sudden handle of the neck, they seem to hang themselves in the robes. No Munchhausen trick to rescue themselves, but an image of dying angels, trying to peel themselves out of their shells. Underneath appears a nudeness, which with the painted genitalia on the costumes by designer Alba D‘Urbano only seems to be natural. Just as natural as the nudeness staged as „real“ by everyday media.
Waldmann shows how false and destructive this intimacy is by the continued skinning of the dancers. At the end the last bits of skin are carried by the women in knotted bundles on the stage. The horror of the audience is only seemingly relieved in a japanese tea ceremony. Humble the women kneel down in front of the viewers, smilingly handing them a cup of tea. The step from intimacy to the destruction of the body is a small one: enormous needles, projected above the stage, reed with a merciless time into the women‘s smiles. Fashion just is the most flattering kind of terror.
© Antje Schmelcher, Die Welt, 1. August 2000
description > video stage for dance performance
components > video, DVD player, projectors
dimensions > 6 m long x 2 m wide
premiere > 2000, Berliner Festspiele
Project of Berliner Festspiele and Frankfurt Zweitausend Podewil Berlin
Supported by Dezernat für Kultur und Freizeit der Stadt Frankfurt am Main, Senatsverwaltung für Forschung, Wissenschaft und Kultur, Hessisches Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kunst, Nassauische Sparkassen