Documentation Philosophy On Stage #4

Philosophy Unbound: No Pain No Gain Fit und Unfit im außermoralen Sinne

Performance by Philosophy Unbound [CV]


Was macht heroisch? – Zugleich seinem höchsten Leide und seiner höchsten Hoffnung entgegengehn.
– Nietzsche, Die fröhliche Wissenschaft

Subjekt ist, wer sich als Träger einer Serie von Übungen betätigt.
– Sloterdijk, Du musst dein Leben ändern

As a collective we propose a group action, that is not scripted, but will emerge organically from shared visions and opposing opinions, to portray a pluralism of discourse about our topic. We will build a Nietzschean gym to exemplify and distort this very simple assertion: that a common drive leads to varied contemporary techniques of self-(un)building. We want to ask, if Nietzsche’s pursue of the Übermensch can be traced all the way to the modern gym and be enacted there. We want to insist on the repetitive aspect of training, that will playfully allude to the asceticism in the sense of Nietzsche. We don’t want to mock either of the practices, but displace them, give a feel of a fertile misinterpretation in between athletes and philosophers – echoing the surprisingly fertile misinterpretation that still reigns between body and mind . We will lift weights against the spirit of heaviness. We will fight the “größte Schwergewicht”. All performers – about ten – will be on stage on their devices, further equipped with a microphone that will amplify their body sounds (breath, heart beat) to create a sense of rhythm, thrill and exhaustion. We are also considering using additional microphones to amplify the noise of the training machines. The musical component is important, but aims less at a feel-good-Rocky-movie-effect than at a monotone and hypnotic sensation of entropy. The performers will repeat, while training, a remix of Nietzschean quotes and mediatized motivational formulas. These quotes will be thought in conjunction with the movements suggested by the machines. We are thinking in terms of parody, displacement and experimentation. The critical aspect of the performance will arise from the tension at play in between the practices and the discourse registers. The voices will be entangled but the focus – both auditive and visual – will be directed alternatively on one dominant voice that will be played louder as one performer is illuminated by a spotlight. The whole should capture the audience like a profane litany : enthralling and irritating. No matter the size of the Halle G, the place should smell like sweat in the end. The machines – some of them traditional training props, some of them fantasized homemade variations – will be left on the outskirts of the stage after the performance, so the public gets the opportunity to test and twist their own mind-bodies, giving in to their “Lust der Zerstörung” that is, as we Nietzscheans know, “zugleich eine schaffende Lust.”

Text Online

Was wurde eigentlich aus dem Übermenschen?
Nietzsche hatte ihn als einen Pfeil konzipiert, der über den Untergang Europas hinaus fliegen sollte. Er sollte einer Sehnsucht, einer Tugend folgen und >>>

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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 (Zeppelin Universität Friedrichshafen). Postdoc: Elisabeth Schäfer (University of Applied Arts Vienna). The lecture series was produced in collaboration with: Institut für Philosophie Universität Wien, University of Applied Arts Vienna [Arno Böhler] and Institut für Theater- Film- und Medienwissenschaft der Universität Wien [Krassimira Kruschkova].


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FWF PEEK-Project „Artist-Philosophers. Philosophy AS Arts-Based-Research“ [AR 275-G21]
Universität für angewandte Kunst
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A-1010 Wien

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