„Der Thäter’ ist zum Thun bloß hinzugedichtet (…)“ From ‚Negative Performance’ to Performing ‚Creative Indifference’

A Performance Philosophy Intervention by Theater der Versammlung Bremen, Jörg Holkenbrink [CV] and Alice Lagaay [CV]


The “revaluation of all values”, “perspectivism”, “will-to-power”, “eternal return”, “amor fati” etc. etc.: these are not simply intellectual pointers, conceptual landmarks in an abstract Nietzschean cartography – in short: not just words. Exploring the potency of these concepts in earnest means taking on multiple challenges, not just in theory, but in the practical and concrete ways in which we live, act and think of ourselves ¬– and others ¬– as subjects.
What does it take to engage with the world without prejudice or expectation? What horizon might begin to emerge when we dare to think beyond the sovereign subject? How can ‘I’, in true honesty, embrace the concept of “eternal return”? What revolution could possibly reside in a full acceptance of the status quo? (Is a secret teaching of paradox at play here?) And how might all this relate to, or begin to be expressed through, the methods of performance?
Drawing on an established collaboration between performance and philosophy that brings the Bremen-based Theater der Versammlung (Theater Assemblage) together with Alice Lagaay, their joint intervention (involving a silent film, voice(s), an indeterminate sound generator, and actors set in motion by computer commands) engages the audience in a playful – and interactive – reflection on what subjectivity, intentional action and meaning might be, or yet become, in a post-Nietzschean universe.


Led by Arno Böhler, the PEEK-Projekt „Artist Philosophers. Philosophy AS Arts-Based-Research“ [AR275-G21] is funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) as part of the programme for artistic development and investigation (PEEK). Research location: University of Applied Arts Vienna. Brought about in national and international cooperation with: Jens Badura (HdK Zürich), Laura Cull (University of Surrey), Susanne Valerie Granzer (Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien/Max Reinhardt Seminar), Walter Heun (Tanzquartier Wien), Alice Lagaay (Universität Bremen). Postdoc: Elisabeth Schäfer (University of Applied Arts Vienna). The lecture series was produced in collaboration with: Institut für Philosophie [Arno Böhler und Institut für Theater- Film- und Medienwissenschaft der Universität Wien [Krassimira Kruschkova], University of Applied Arts Vienna.

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