Strike the backdrop!

Afterwords: Michael Laub and Remote Control, Total Masala Slammer – Heartbreak No. 5 / 24 Jul 2002English

item doc

Contextual note
This text is part of the project Afterwords, curated by Jeroen Peeters for the festival ImPulsTanz Vienna in summer 2002. Every night, three critics in residence shared their impressions and thoughts on the performances immediately after having seen them, in an act of instantaneous writing. During the process of writing, these comments were projected in the theatre lobby and later that night made available on the websites and
A selection of the texts by Jeroen Peeters is available on Sarma, in a slightly edited version, sometimes with a postscript. Two essays elucidate the project Afterwords and reflect on its poetical and political implications. To retrieve the material, search under: ‘Afterwords’.

Theatre – television.
Synthesis – dispersal.
Drama – juxtaposition.

Think about the history of modernism in dance (Martha Graham…), influenced by orientalism, living on exoticism.

Appropriation – re-appropriation.

Echoes of history, of this broader cultural phenomenon – modernity. Colonisation. Colonisation of the East. Colonisation of bodies, sex, sexuality, gender. Colonisation of…

…welcome to globalisation.

Is this about re-writing modernity?

Slammer. Cocktail. Irgendwas. N'importe quoi. Irony? Splatter. Songs and storytelling (Kathak) – somewhere, sometimes subtitled.

Is fostering a global economy of images the right way to develop a critical stance? It is at least an interesting paradox. Perhaps an interesting failure.

Strike the backdrop – a return to theatre?

Postscript November 2002: In case of a performance as the complex and demanding ‘Total Masala Slammer’, writing Afterwords on the spot appeared to be a rather unsuccessful procedure. This text broaches with its own limitations an interesting matter though: it constructs a circle between theatre and theatre, claiming its own logic, although very aware that they can’t possibly match anymore. Perhaps rather than the dispersal of the piece in hundreds of threads, this Gordian knot made it one of the most discussed performances of the season: the volition and insistence to understand the world, which surpasses at once every conclusive insight, thus revealing its inevitable political character.