en / de

claudia bosse / theatercombinat

june 1997 sinn egal. körper zwecklos elfriede jelinek, first release in the context of festival reich und berühmt, podewil, berlin (d)


« in each performance all of them are completely replaced and do something totally new. they have a storage of possible moves, but nothing is repeated, similar to our clothes, exactly as it was. only time threatens us all with forgoing! theatre has to stop. »
(elfriede jelinek)

the approach of the jelinek-action is to equate the time of the work with the duration of the festival «reich & berühmt». three essays are public. they are approaches, experimental dispositions towards the text – the opposit of secured work. the aim of the investigation is to completely dissolve the eventual identity of body and language, so that neither physical procedures result out of speech nor vice versa.


theatercombinat: claudia bosse, dominika duchnik, heike müller, silke rosenthal. guests: angelika sauter, our neighbours and relatives u.v.a.

1 week workshop + 3 publications

first release in the context of festival «reich und berühmt», podewil, berlin

theatercombinat worked since 1996 as artists in residence at the podewil.

involved were directors, actors and fine artists.

    description of procedures / actions
with the beginning of the festival on the 05/05/97 at midnight we moved in at the podewil and arranged our sleeping lodgings in one of the offices. the appointment was that everyone of us prepares herself beforehand separately with following texts: ich möchte seicht sein (i want to be shallow), sinn egal. körper zwecklos. and stecken, stab und stangl by elfriede jelinek. our collective performance-time began with the beginning of reich und berühmt. we decided to work during the nights and to sleep in public during daytime. that means, you could watch us sleeping during the day or visit our work in the night. from the process of our nightly rehearsals we developed the following essays with audience for the three already programmed dates at midnight. every day has been documented for 24 hours per video.

1st public showing 05/07/97
at 0.00h: each of the 4 performers stood in one of the five adjoining offices of the podewil, her hair fixed on the ceiling, dressed or undressed in different states, in front of a microphone. the speakers were arranged on the corridor linking the rooms, the floor of each room was blue. in the fifth room, our sleeping-room, a tape-deck hang from the ceiling, playing sinn egal. körper zwecklos., spoken by elfriede jelinek. the performers improvised acoustically with parts from stecken, stab und stangl and ich möchte seicht sein: a musical composition, where the visitors could approach the performers quite closely, entering their rooms, where they stood, as above mentioned, with their hair fixed on the ceilings completely dressed, upper-part nude, lower-part nude and completely nude – or the visitors could follow the text-collages from the corridor outside of the rooms. after two hours i cut everyone loose. this was the end of the performance.

2nd public showing 05/09/97
at 0.00h: the time was identical with the first essay. the same rooms have been used. the mikrofones were on, the texts stecken, stab und stangl and ich möchte seicht sein lie next to them. the hair of the cut-up performers was still hanging on the ropes from the ceilings, dangling in front of the microfones. we 5 lie on our beds, eyes closed, and speak, mutually replacing, very quietly sinn egal. körper zwecklos. we try to keep a smile on our faces and - no matter what will happen – to stay there with the eyes closed, speaking the text very calmly. on the microfones, some visitors tried to work with the texts, some told stories, just to be witty. we let happen what people did with this proposal. some came so close to us with their faces, that we could feel their breaths. after exactly two hours the performance was terminated.

3rd public showing 05/11/97
at 0.00h: in the entrance-hall of the podewil we had arranged seats, texts and microfones. the first-floor-rooms were kept open to show a video-documentary of the last days. neighbours, friends and relatives were invited to read stecken, stab und stangl together, following certain rules, sitting on sofas, dispersed in the hall, using microfones. the readings were broadcasted into the first floor, the backyard and the street. the theatercombinat seamed the main room, the hall, with repetitive movements: s. was in the staircase moving the arms, d. in the corridor to the first floor with beating movements, h. ran from the street into the hall and back, crossing the videoscreens of the podewil, where the first two parts were shown – so that spectators who had been there before and were now again present could be watched «life» and in the videos. I walked in slow motion in the backyard, listening to the readings of the visitors coming from the loudspeakers.

the reading of neighbours, friends, relatives mixed with the reading of the guests/visitors. the guests had complete disposal of the texts, its selection and interpretation. we shaped this «social reading-body» with our movements.

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