Gallop through Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. From absolutism to socialism… From defeatism to optimism… From populism to vulgarism… Welcome in the stable of humanism.
The Ninth is based on Giorgio Agamben’s reflection on humanism as an anthropological machine. In his book “The Open Man and Animal” Giorgio Agamben addresses the boundaries between man and animal, and questions the logic of Western civilisation, which justifies the procedure of “humanization of man” in the first place on a systematic suspension of animal. Man is defined only in the difference from the Animal. Animal slowly fades away, and in the identity of modern individual grows bigger and bigger emptiness, which we try to fill up with different ideologies. Civilisation becomes increasingly heavy ideological baggage, an individual gradually collapses under the burden of their imperatives. Or, as Peter Sloterdijk says: “The taming of man has failed… Civilisation’s potential for barbarism is growing; the everyday bestialisation of man is on the increase.”
The Ninth runs through the entire sound landscape of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, a “masterpiece of the western civilization”, “giant and complex”, “sublime”, “triumphant vision of brotherhood.” And in the middle of this “striking example of human spirit” here’s us. Naked and suspicious. Not complex but reduced. Not sublime but explicit. Nothing great about us. Nothing triumphant. Blind by the images that we see, deaf by the sounds we hear. Looking for a connection with The Animal.
Conceived and devised by the group.
Performers: Loup Abramovici, Grega Zorc, Jaka Lah, Anita Wach, Magdalena Tuka
Concept and direction: Bojan Jablanovec
Choreographic supervision: Anita Wach
Music: Ludwig van Beethoven, Symphony No. 9, Herbert von Karajan, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, 1963
Horse masks: Barbara Stupica
Light design: Igor Remeta
Video: Ana Čigon
Stage manager: Igor Remeta
Producer: Špela Trošt
Public relations: Sara Horžen
Production: Via Negativa
Co-producer: JaJaJa NeNeNe Association Warsaw
Partners: Bunker Ljubljana / A Part Festival Katowice / Fundacja Ciało/Umysł Warsaw
The project is supported by the City of Ljubljana and the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland.
Link: Via Negativa
The performance is part of Heavenly Beings. Neither Human nor Animal exhibition program.
Via Negativa is an international platform for research, development and production of contemporary performing arts based founded in 2002 and operates under the artistic direction of theatre director Bojan Jablanovec. VN is focused in devising and exploring different performing strategies, with an emphasis on ethics and liveness of performance practices, procedures and genres. VN performing strategies are very diverse: devised theater pieces, lecture-performances, dance pieces, video works, radical body practices, gallery projects … Until 2018 VN devised more than 70 projects and numerous workshops. VN projects involved more than 90 performers from Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Belgium, Spain, Ireland, Poland, Denmark, Finland, Great Britain, Iceland, Romania, Hungary and were presented in 24 European countries and the USA.