This is the End - post-végétal horror until we die from laughing As tree vertical spotlights slowly dim

their existence out of the darkness, the three performers Tommy Noonan, Jean-Baptiste Veyret-Logerias and Dennis Deter unfold from small crouches on the white dance carpet into fully stretched standing bodies, wearing brown skirts and coloured sweatshirts. Accompanied by an overwhelming soundscape of singing birds, we see a deleuzian “devenirvégétal” performed by three dancers in orange, purple and green. Yet no more than five minutes have passed in this early Eden, where men become plants and the incarnation or rather inherbation of nature seems possible for mankind, then the End is announced by the sound of fat flies and hungry vultures flying out of the loudspeakers: the aging starts, the plants get weaker, the performers let go of all tension in their upper bodies and stand with hanging heads and lifeless arms. Already 10 minutes after the performance’s beginning we’ve reached the End. And what is now to come? A post-végétal era of loss, humiliation, exposure and death of the fruits. In the post-végétal era on the white stage in Sophiensæle’s calm, neutral Hochzeitssaal the performers undergo a mutation from dead plants into humming robots; from humming robots into singing monks recalling the lost harmony; from singing monks into Gods starting the apocalypse with thunder and lightning; and finally, from Gods into war criminals executing a routine mission. I see two ways of explaining the first encounter between men and fruits around the 23rd minute of the performance: The first one goes like this: After the apocalyptic storm sent from God’s angry hands, a small boat appears on the sea and the locals help the strangers, refugees from an abandoned land, on shore. This encounter turns out to be the beginning of a brutal genocide. And here is the second one: After a nice light show combined with fog, conducted by Jean-Baptiste VeyretLogerias’ precise hand gestures and strident-shredding screams, a fruit bowl with fruits is drawn diagonally over the fog filled stage. The performers, who have already been on stage for more than 20 minutes, pull a string fastened to the boat to get it to the right front corner of the stage. Shortly after, the fruits are cut into small pieces and turned into juice.

Cecilie Ullerup Schmidt . German playwright Heiner Müller once wrote. fistfucking. I see exposed hostages. the post-végétal era might have become a pro-vegan experience. A fruit is a fruit is a fruit. For others who were on the day of the performance occupied with ecological worries. I would not say that I practice my imagination of killing and thereby strengthen the brutality of thought. Coming back to the quote of Heiner Müller. making them smile while squeezing the juices out of them. Rather. where the three performers are cutting and smashing the fruits from the fruit bowl. I project my own narratives into the very profane and simple events on the white dance carpet. I memorize notoriously. they are mere puppeteers frigidly demonstrating the history of torture in the last two decades. children and mothers torn apart. also slicing. from a movie I once saw. in Congo. Throughout the last third of the performance. These tree men are ice-cold murderers. and as a spectator watching I am completing the humiliation through my very gaze.The problem of the human mind is that we can imagine killing. Being nearly ignorant towards the quotes from horror movies. The most thrilling thing about the experience – and now solely on the level of aesthetic experience – is that I realize that my imagination is necessary for completing the horror. But the composition triggers my mind: I see the local men stabbing the refugees. As a passive sitting spectator I am highly active. OR: these men are happy-slappers executing weak beings. which are named as important references in the program of the performance. The faces of these brutal acts show no affects. I recall the many layers of witnessed violence. I have displaced outside the theatre. my reservoir of fictional and documented violence unfolds live on stage. I ask myself what kind of spectators practice I undertake with “Frucht und Schrecken”. OR: these men are re-enacting a group violation in Rwanda. And yet I see friends being separated. The mere means on stage are poor. and not only stabbing. undressing their victims in public. literally thirty times larger than them. OR: these men are not killing. Yet the absence of interpretation and acting from the side of the performers allows an ambiguous combination of laughter and fright: cheap tricks and heavy associations are complementing each other in this queasy fruit salad. The performance “Frucht und Schrecken” is a playground for this kind of imagination. They are in the brutal hands of powerful men.

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