“Goebbels has a genius for creating arresting theatrical images…
[he] never does the expected.”
—The Daily Telegraph (UK)
“German composer and artist Heiner Goebbels is staging history…[that is] deeply experiential, fascinatingly polyphonous, and completely hypnotic.”
—The Stage (UK)
Heiner Goebbels‘s fascination with literature, politics, and anthropology manifests itself in richly textured visual compositions that integrate a wide range of classical, jazz, and contemporary music. Having captivated Armory audiences with his hypnotic use of zeppelins, nuns, and a flock of sheep in DE MATERIE in 2016 as well as in-motion sculptural pianos and elements from nature in his haunting production Stifter’s Dinge in 2009, the visionary director and composer returns for his latest highly imaginative production blending live music, performance, sound, movement, and moving image.
This new commission, originally produced by Artangel and adapted by Park Avenue Armory, is inspired by contrasting source materials in a sideways view of European history from the First World War to the present day including: Patrik Ouředník’s 2001 book Europeana, a surprising deconstruction of the 20th century that juxtaposes seismic events and trivial anecdotes often jumbled up and out of sequence; re-purposed costumes, props, and sets from Goebbels’s own 2012 staging of Europeras, John Cage’s interpretation of 200 years of European opera; and feeds from Euronews’s “No Comment”—original, unedited footage of that day’s news without commentary or mediation. Part-performance, part-construction site, this groundbreaking work is a poetic re-enactment of history, always on the verge of collapse and only to be rebuilt as if nothing had happened.