Antistatic questions to Ole Frahm,LIGNA // “Rapture and Rage”
We investigate the character of authoritarian movements
What drove the collaboration between LIGNA and the Bulgarian artistic team and what were you particularly interested in when working on “Rapture and Rage”?
Stephan asked us already 2015, if we would like to do a project on the Bulgarian communist leader Georgi Dimitroff, who lived some years in Germany and became famous during the Leipzig trial about the burning of the Reichstag 1933. But we were hesitating, since our work is mainly about collectives. Thus, we proposed a more general approach, in which we tackle fascism and the authoritarian character as well as the relation between politics and aesthetics. We agreed on this, but most compelling in the collaboration was to find a dialogue between our very different political experiences, to define what is of common interest and on the base of that to find apt as well as also compelling situations for the audience, I think. Exciting were also the different approaches to the stage, since Stephan and Elbi come much more from theater than we.
What kind of experience do you want to create for the audience?
Our work isolates the individuals in the audience by the means of headphones but also relates them to each other. This could mean a certain empowerment of public space, but it is always also eerie to act simultaneously. “Rapture and Rage” is about this ambivalence that could be irritating or even uncomfortable. But we see this as a reflection of the current political situation: which voices do I follow? At the same time, we hope that we accomplished a piece about theater, what theater could be about and what is a theatrical situation. Brecht writes about the ‘Theatralisierung des Publikums’, that the audience becomes ‘dramatized’. The audience is not playing but as an audience already in a dramatical situation that interested us very much.
Radio-ballet is the signature of the artistic practice of LIGNA. How do you reflect on it from today’s perspective, after years that you’ve been working with it? What is the main challenge related to it?
The radioballet was a means without an end to act in situations where no action seemed possible anymore: it was impossible to demonstrate in certain areasetc. But since the radioballet was a dispersion and not a gathering, it was possible to be there and change the situation. The radioballet was also a means without an end to enable to organise the experience of deviation in a society where most gestures are normed. The situation in Western societies became worse, since we developed the radioballet. Surveillance and a certain paranoia became normal, authoritarian movements became more popular – and the radioballet like the flash mob became more common. We try to deal with this by producing situations like in “Rapture and Rage”. To widen the construction of situations seems to me the main challenge now.