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In der Strafkolonie nach Kafka von Müller

HAU3 BerlinHeiner Müller Festival,
Theater Aachen, Berlin. 8.- 9. März 2016

Original text – Franz Kafka and Heiner Müller
Performance – Ana Berkenhoff
Direction – Cecilie Ullerup Schmidt

“It starts around the eyes and spreads out from there. A look that could tempt one to lie down under the harrow.” Franz Kafka

In a white desert of therapeutic day light, a machine like woman’s body queers the time. She is gazing in the past, moving backwards into the future. Hypothetic punishments are being spread out, painted on the walls with light, articulated as laws, as truths. She blames a peculiar apparatus.
The peculiar apparatus is a service for humanness, a machine mixing the electric chair with a wellness treat. The law, which a condemned has violated, is inscribed on his body. The death appears on the verbal gap between punishment and relief.
The sweet hallucination of identification, that we as spectators might seek on the fourth wall, will melt in the warmth of our gazes. We believe in a collective, that will kill us.
The core of the problem is, that one can think killing. If one finds it necessary, one doesn’t have the right no to do it himself: to delegate it only would be immoral. Heiner Müller
Where does the machinery begin?

The short story In the Penal Colony (1914) by Franz Kafka describes a court system in a penal colony with an oversized type writer as its torturing assistant. The condensed version of The Penal Colony by Heiner Müller has sharpened the focus on the unity of writing and death. The hermetic, epic and nearly neurotic text has been translated into a stage version of brechtian distance, quivering knees and an insolent (mis)use of language by a coquettish female voice. A reduced and choreographed speaking questions how to represent a prehistoric and yet actual sense of guilt? The movement and text imprudently examine how the law can intervene the human body in the age of biopower.

Previous shows

HAU3 Berlin, Heiner Müller Festival, Theater Aachen, Berlin. 8.- 9. März 2016
LOFFT Theater, Leipzig. 15.11.2015
Heiner Müller Symposium, Theater Aachen im Doppelabend mit Jürgen Kuttner. 15.11.2015
TANZOFFENSIVE 09, LOFFT Theater, Leipzig. 5. April 2009
Körber Studio für junge Regie, Thalia Theater, Hamburg. 31. März 2009
Mousonturm, Frankfurt am Main. 5.- 7. März 2009
HAU3, Festival 100Grad, Hebbel am Ufer, Berlin. 19. Feb. 2009
PACT Zollverein, Symposium Unter dem Blick der Sphinx, Essen. 13. Feb. 2009
Hochschultreffen, LOFFT Theater, Leipzig. 24. Jan. 2009
Hessische Theaterakademie, Frankfurt am Main. 19. Oct. 2008
Kulturhuset, Festival Perfect Performance, Stockholm. 23.-24. Sep. 2008