ETUDE # 1, FRANKFURT a.M “03 h 08 m 38 s – Zustände der Ausnahme” by Tore Vagn Lid
For more than one week now a research team consisting of DRAMATURGY STUDENTS at the Goethe University here in Frankfurt, flanked by an artistic Norwegian team from TRANSITEATRET-BERGEN (Tt-B), have been working hard examining the question of the political DRAMATURGY of the state of emergency.
This intensive seminar is the first stage of Tt-B’s new, large project “03:08:38 STATES OF EMERGENCY”, and the closing of my seminar as Hölderlin Guest Professor in Frankfurt.
Scales for the political man?
The state of emergency describes situations where normal laws and rules are put out of action, often due to a catastrophe or an unexpected event. It is well known that wars and revolutions often provoke such situations. This also applies to natural catastrophes, large accidents or terror attacks: Situations and moments when one has to think anew, when habits and routines disappear under our feet.
In a large room at IG Farbenhaus we are working with a whole web of events. In the center of the room: the 3 hours, 8 minutes and 28 seconds it took for a man to blow up a government building and then execute young social democratic politicians at a summer camp 07-22-2011. Around this killing time line there are arrows and lines going out from Norway: How does the world react? What is said in Germany, in Taiwan, in Brazil, in the Balkans? How do different societies, different people react – not afterwards – but in the midst of such a state of emergency, when nobody knows anything for sure about size, reason or motivation; where speculations go in all directions; where Facebook pictures are replaced by national symbols; where suppressed political prejudices are allowed to flourish in the street. In other words: What can the state of emergency reveal that political everyday life, normality, effaces?
Rehearsal for the future
With the state of emergency there is an acute situation when choices have to be made and be given grounds for by each and every one, independent of earlier norms and rules. The dramaturgy of the state of emergency tears away the security net and makes each of us responsible. Like this the state of emergency in many ways becomes the individual’s political “point zero” and scale: What do we decide to do when we no longer act “in line with” or “by order from”? And just as sure as reality – historically – has confronted us with such states, just as sure is it that future will carry states of emergency, moments of sudden vacuum, when some of us will have to take action, or not take action, and where the rest of us will have to support, condemn or be silent.
Etude #1, Frankfurt, July 25
Wednesday July 25 those of you who want to, are invited into the provisional rehearsal room for a first small étude, an ongoing rehearsal of the dramaturgy of the state of emergency and simultaneously an insight into the research work in Frankfurt as well as my own and Transiteatret-Bergen’s performance complex.
NB! It’s smart to use a good headset and good Internet connection.
And with this first étude and this last seminar I’ll soon terminate my stay as Guest Professor for general and comparative dramaturgy, summer term 2018. It has been rewarding, it has been intense and not least: It has created motivation – for a long time to come!
Tore Vagn Lid