12. Mai —
18. Juni 2017

Promised Ends: The Slow Arrow of Sorrow and Madness

Saint Genet

© Nurith Wagner-Strauss
© Nurith Wagner-Strauss
© Nurith Wagner-Strauss
© Nurith Wagner-Strauss
© Nurith Wagner-Strauss

The author, director, and performance artist Derrick Ryan Claude Mitchell and his group Saint Genet create visually stunning environments in which the performers transgress physical and psychological boundaries. In his "Theater of Cruelty", he creates associative mythological spaces and overwhelming beauty which at any moment can tilt into pain, hysteria, and extreme emotions. Promised Ends: The Slow Arrow of Sorrow and Madness is the culmination of a three-year work process around the migration tragedy of the Donner Party, a group of settlers who crossed the US and had to endure unimaginable horrors after they were trapped by an early snowstorm in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Mitchell depicts a society on the edge that breaks taboos, but also provokes radical acts of caring. Fear, danger, death, and cannibalism. Or a new form of empathy? A physically and spiritually destroyed King Lear, inspired by Jean-Luc Godard’s and Akira Kurosawa's cinematic interpretations of the tragedy, becomes the mouthpiece of this society. The lighting artist Ben Zamora and the kinetic object artist Casey Curran have created an installation environment that visitors can physically explore before an epic operatic performance is discharged by performers, dancers, and amateur and professional musicians including the composers Brian Lawlor and D. Salo. We become witnesses to a surreal vision that challenges both our common past and our unknown future, and rebels against the horror of the current political situation. On the merciless journey, we are trapped with Saint Genet and the Donner Party in the mountains and meet a "mad king on the heath saying 'Kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill!’“

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