21 марта 2015
Онлайн
Критика репрезентации и нарративности в театре
Разговор двух режиссеров
Организаторы
Школа современного зрителя и слушателя, Институт театра
Участники
Хайнер Гёббельс, Борис Юхананов

Известный немецкий режиссер Хайнер Гёббельса и художественный руководитель Электротеатра Борис Юхананов обсуждают актуальные вопросы репрезентации и нарративности в театре, а также отвечают на вопросы зрителей, накануне посмотревших спектакль Гёббельса «Когда гора сменила свой наряд» (прошел в рамках программы «Контекст» фестиваля «Золотая Маска» 20 и 21 марта 2015 года).

Осенью 2015 года Электротеатр СТАНИСЛАВСКИЙ выпускает спектакль Хайнера Гёббельса «Макс Блэк, или 62 способа подпереть голову рукой» — первую оригинальную постановку режиссера в России.

Расшифровка беседы

Х. Г.: Я видел несколько российских постановок, и порой, нечасто, время от времени, вижу и немецкие постановки. И у меня такое ощущение, что в большей части спектаклей, которые мне не нравятся, все происходящее сконцентрировано на сцене. Мы должны принять это как данность, нам может не нравиться то, что происходит на сцене, мы можем обожать то, что происходит на сцене, но мы должны принять, что это так.
Вчера на первом показе моего спектакля я понял, что настаиваю на том, чтобы самое главное в спектакле происходило в зале, среди зрителей, а не на сцене. И то, что я на этом настаиваю, раздражает зрителя. Есть в спектакле одна сцена, когда на сцене ничего не происходит, сцена, в которой все сорок девушек, участниц спектакля, находятся на сцене, они сидят на стульях прямо на авансцене, и смотрят в зал. Они молчат, ничего не поют, несмотря на то, что могут прекрасно петь, не двигаются, хотя они могут это прекрасно делать,  три-четыре  минуты они просто смотрят на зрителей в тишине. Я почувствовал, что это очень опасный, рискованный момент. Некоторые зрители в зале просто не могли это переносить, они начали аплодировать, чтобы сцена побыстрее закончилась. И это имеет прямое отношение к моему общему представлению о театре. Это значит, что мы не направляем все наши желания, представления о театре на сцену. Это спектакль, это театр, в котором мы сталкиваемся сами с собой, смотрим на себя. Нам самим приходится думать о том, как мы думаем, как мы чувствуем, как мы слушаем. Когда развлечение заканчивается, нам надо быть готовыми встретиться с самими собой; не найти отражение себя в облике  какого-то  прекрасного исполнителя на сцене, не идентифицировать себя с персонажем, но встретиться с самим собой. Это может быть очень трогательный момент, если ты готов принять эту встречу, но может вызывать и огромное раздражение, если ты к этому не готов.
Именно поэтому мое представление о театре в гораздо большей степени связано с тем, что происходит в зале, чем с тем, что происходит на сцене. Порой я говорю: не так важно, чтобы мы, режиссеры, художники по декорациям или костюмам обладали огромной фантазией. Я считаю себя скорее архитектором или инженером, который создает пространство, в котором зрители могут реализовывать свою фантазию, использовать свою фантазию, создать пространство для воображения. Я не развлекаю зрителя своей фантазией или  каким-то  посланием. В этом спектакле нет никакого послания, в нем множество вопросов, и ответы могут прийти намного позже, их вы найдете уже в одиночестве, с самими собой.
Театр может поднимать вопросы, а не давать ответы.

Х. Г.: Я видел несколько российских постановок, и порой, нечасто, время от времени, вижу и немецкие постановки. И у меня такое ощущение, что в большей части спектаклей, которые мне не нравятся, все происходящее сконцентрировано на сцене. Мы должны принять это как данность, нам может не нравиться то, что происходит на сцене, мы можем обожать то, что происходит на сцене, но мы должны принять, что это так.
Вчера на первом показе моего спектакля я понял, что настаиваю на том, чтобы самое главное в спектакле происходило в зале, среди зрителей, а не на сцене. И то, что я на этом настаиваю, раздражает зрителя. Есть в спектакле одна сцена, когда на сцене ничего не происходит, сцена, в которой все сорок девушек, участниц спектакля, находятся на сцене, они сидят на стульях прямо на авансцене, и смотрят в зал. Они молчат, ничего не поют, несмотря на то, что могут прекрасно петь, не двигаются, хотя они могут это прекрасно делать, три-четыре минуты они просто смотрят на зрителей в тишине. Я почувствовал, что это очень опасный, рискованный момент. Некоторые зрители в зале просто не могли это переносить, они начали аплодировать, чтобы сцена побыстрее закончилась. И это имеет прямое отношение к моему общему представлению о театре. Это значит, что мы не направляем все наши желания, представления о театре на сцену. Это спектакль, это театр, в котором мы сталкиваемся сами с собой, смотрим на себя. Нам самим приходится думать о том, как мы думаем, как мы чувствуем, как мы слушаем. Когда развлечение заканчивается, нам надо быть готовыми встретиться с самими собой; не найти отражение себя в облике какого-то прекрасного исполнителя на сцене, не идентифицировать себя с персонажем, но встретиться с самим собой. Это может быть очень трогательный момент, если ты готов принять эту встречу, но может вызывать и огромное раздражение, если ты к этому не готов.
Именно поэтому мое представление о театре в гораздо большей степени связано с тем, что происходит в зале, чем с тем, что происходит на сцене. Порой я говорю: не так важно, чтобы мы, режиссеры, художники по декорациям или костюмам обладали огромной фантазией. Я считаю себя скорее архитектором или инженером, который создает пространство, в котором зрители могут реализовывать свою фантазию, использовать свою фантазию, создать пространство для воображения. Я не развлекаю зрителя своей фантазией или каким-то посланием. В этом спектакле нет никакого послания, в нем множество вопросов, и ответы могут прийти намного позже, их вы найдете уже в одиночестве, с самими собой.
Театр может поднимать вопросы, а не давать ответы.

Б. Ю.: Связка между залом и сценой многообразна, и я благодарен Хайнеру, что он так четко разрывает сцену и зал. Чтобы получить новый взгляд на театр, на какое-то время зал надо оторвать от сцены, что означает — и сцену надо оторвать от зала. Но это не аксиома, потому что можно оторвать зал от сцены, а при этом сцену от зала не отрывать. Исходя из того, что описывает Хайнер, он так и поступает, он продолжает удерживать эту связку. Он сажает наполненных тишиной, но способных к звуку, наполненных статикой, но способных к движению очаровательных девушек на авансцену и предлагает им смотреть в зал. В действии, которое происходит на сцене, существенен потенциал действия. Он участвует в производстве связки между сценой и залом, невидимый, подчас неразличимый в проявлениях, но существующий потенциал действия.
Можно ли сказать, что эта работа с потенциалом, с тем, что спрятано, но не развернуто, с тем, что возможно, но не актуализировано, является основанием того искусства разделения при сохранении связи, о котором говорит Хайнер?

Х. Г.: Конечно, эта связь существует, потому что одна сторона принимает, другая дает. При передаче смысла и приятии смысла нужны две стороны. Я устаю, когда вижу театр, который заинтересован только в том, чтобы производить, производить и производить. У меня, как у зрителя, свое восприятие времени, и когда я прихожу в театр, мне нужно заново обрести связь с моим внутренним временем. Если постановка на сцене идет без единой паузы, и не дает мне передохнуть, то я исполняю крайне пассивную роль.

Некоторые спектакли в 70-80-х годах стали для меня крайне важны, например, спектакли Роберта Уилсона, которые многие люди находили исключительно скучными, поскольку они были медлительны в самом начале его карьеры. Мне показалось, что его театр не соревнуется с нашим отношением ко времени, он создает свое художественное время, не совпадающее с вашим временем, не совпадающее с реальным временем — это какое-то третье время. И в этом третьем художественном времени я, как зритель, мог обрести пространство для воображения.
Есть еще один художник, изменивший мою жизнь, это Айнар Шлиф, немецкий режиссер — и так же, как и Роберт Уилсон, он был художником, так же, как и вы. Айнар Шлиф на сцене вывел реальное время, но время не реальности за окном, а время восприятия. Например, он показал постановку на основе древней мифологии; в этом спектакле матери воинов Фив оплакивали своих погибших сыновей. Там была одна важная сцена, где матери колотили кулаками по вратам Фив. Обычно в театре время символично. Обычно в любом театре, если кто-то стучится в дверь, достаточно постучать три раза, и мы поймем, что да, этот человек стучится. Он использовал железный пожарный занавес, он его опустил, и задействовал двадцать пять женщин, которые не были профессиональными актрисами, они были любителями, и они десять минут ломились в этот железный занавес. Это было невыносимо долго и невыносимо громко. И достаточно было тридцати секунд, чтобы мы поняли, что они ломятся в дверь. Через три минуты тебе хочется сказать: «Ну, мы поняли уже все, может быть, вы закончите и пойдете дальше?» Но через пять минут я понимал смысл жестокости этого момента, реальность того, о чем они молили. И вместе со звуком это чувство стало частью моего тела.
Этот спектакль был показан в 1985 году, и он поменял мое отношение к тому, на что способен театр, каким художественным переживанием он может стать. Это было задолго до того, как я сам начал ставить спектакли, но я по-прежнему вспоминаю об нем, когда вижу театр быстрый, развлекательный, громкий и ничего больше.

Б. Ю.: Ну, вот интересно, что в корневых впечатлениях Хайнера, о которых он сейчас рассказал, располагаются два художника, один из них Роберт Уилсон, и второй художник, боюсь называть имя, чтобы не переврать. У Уилсона искусственное время, то есть авторское время (время, автором которого является Уилсон), дополнено пространством, автором которого является он же, приблизительно в таком же соотношении с реальностью. Уилсон полностью преодолевает в своем пространстве реальное пространство как таковое, он создает новую, искусственную вселенную. Он является автором принципиально другого мира. И наш интерес восприятия заключается в том, что мы получаем новый мир, в котором изменяются законы нашего восприятия реальности, наших отношений с нашим миром. Что делается при помощи вытеснения нашего мира новым миром, который сконструирован, или сотворен, или спровоцирован режиссером, художником. А вот впечатление, о котором рассказывает Хайнер, связанное с переживанием второго спектакля, устроено иначе. Там реализуется что-то, что принадлежит реальности, там реальность не вытесняется при помощи искусственно созданного мира, а просто сама по себе реальность находит путь к нашей душе при помощи театра, который фокусирует и вычленяет из нашей общей реальности моменты. И делает их приближенными, интенсивно воздействующими на нас. То есть, он находится в рамках объединяющего нас мира, он не создает новый мир, при помощи которого вытесняется так называемая реальность.
Вот как у Хайнера сегодня сочетаются ли эти два подхода, или он идет каким-то третьим путем? Как сегодня у него реализуются отношения с миром и между мирами?

Х. Г.: Я не копирую ни первый путь, ни второй, и я знаю, чем они друг от друга отличаются, поэтому и привел оба примера. Но обе эти эстетики, Роберта Уилсона и Айнара Шлифа, дали мне время, каждый своим способом, развить собственное восприятие. Ни один из них не пытался создавать иллюстрацию чего-либо. Моя же стратегия — третья. Она связана с разрывом, с пространством, которое можно заметить и в работах Уилсона. Это разрыв между тем, что мы видим, и тем, что мы слышим. Одновременно я стремлюсь к той же интенсивности, которую только что описал во втором примере.
Я не объяснил кое-что в работе Уилсона: в его случае акустическая и визуальная работа идут параллельными путями. Этими двумя параллелями он создает то, что он называет тотальным произведением искусства, то, что вы назвали собственной авторской работой — скорее, не авторской, а авторитарной. Работа Айнара Шлифа тоже во многом авторитарна. Но я по образованию против авторитарности, против тоталитарности, поэтому я стремлюсь к тому, чтобы работа оставалась открытой, чтобы на нее можно было очень по-разному посмотреть. Я не говорю: «Вот вам единое произведение». Это набор фрагментов. В какие-то моменты музыка важнее, чем визуальная составляющая, важнее, чем история или инсталляция. Это постоянное переключение от одного формата к другому и от одного способа восприятия к другому. Спектакль становится тотальным произведением только в голове, в теле воспринимающего, поскольку состоит из фрагментов. Я создаю их как некоторую полифонию, потому что композитор. Это полифонический путь, который дает вам возможность самим выбирать точку своего внимания, фокуса. Надеюсь, это антиавторитарный способ.

Б. Ю.: Тоталитаризм или тоталитарное здесь, конечно, не более чем метафора. И поэтому мы имеем в виду что-то, что развивается во времени, при этом не развивается в пространстве, как, например, музыка. Если определить композитора как специалиста создания таких процессов, тогда надо рассмотреть, насколько он полностью управляет развитием во времени на территории своих спектаклей. Я думаю, что Хайнер достаточно тотален в этом управлении и имеет полный контроль. Тогда мы можем сказать, что это тотальность, идущая от другого вида искусства, от музыки, но та же тотальность. Мои впечатления от произведений Хайнера говорят о потрясающей, может быть, превышающей те образы тотальности, которыми с нами делятся Уилсон и другие мощные демиурги театральных процессов. У Хайнера тотальность управления временем предельная. В этом смысле выйти из-под власти тоталитарности, возможно, и не удается.

Х. Г.: Теперь мы пришли к вопросу тем. Наверное, вы правы, когда говорите о времени, но вы неправы, если мы заговорим про темы. В моих работах нет линейности нарратива, и у моих образов нет символического значения. Я показываю картинку не для того чтобы вы поняли о ней то, как вижу ее я, и это для меня очень важно. Я ищу картинки, которые меня заинтересовывают, но которые я не мог бы, как ни старался, назвать или объяснить, считать их символом чего-либо. Если бы меня попросили написать эссе о значении девочки, которая держит буханку хлеба, я бы не справился. Но я уверен, что зритель умнее меня. Я уверен, что у зрителей рождаются интереснейшие ассоциации, у каждого свои, и я не хочу их знать, и я не использую их для иллюстрации чего-то конкретного. Вот тут я возвращаюсь к слову «темы», я не хочу ничего определять, это неопределенные темы.

Б. Ю.: Важный вопрос, связанный с этикой, которая сегодня поступает в театр. Например, Левинас (ред. — французский философ, свою концепцию изложивший в книге «Время и Другой») располагает Другого там, где границы онтологии — это границы в самом понятии Другого. Бесконечное преодолевает тотальное. Когда положены границы онтологическому, кладутся границы тотальному, и возникает бесконечное. То, о чем говорит Хайнер, для меня есть выражение в театре принципиальной возможности для существования Другого. В виде Другого здесь выступает зритель, выступает зал. Это новая этика, без которой сегодня дальнейшее развитие театра невозможно.
А одновременно с этим Тему можно понимать иначе — как то, что нас связывает. Не как то, что один внедряет в другого, а то, что обеспечивает связку между одним и другим. Тогда без тематизации мы не можем обеспечить связку, мы не можем получить понимания, мы не можем получить диалога. Но это уже не захват онтологии Другого, а необходимость с Другим получить диалог и контакт. Сама по себе Тема живет в двух ипостасях: в одном смысле она является авторским насилием, авторским условием контакта, а в другом случае — условием, которое обеспечивает контакт без насилия онтологии над собственными пределами.

Х. Г.: Не могу не согласиться. Может быть, тогда пришло время Другому поговорить с нами, если у вас есть вопросы, комментарии к Борису или ко мне.
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Хайнер Гёббельс о репрезентации и нарративности в театре
Контекст
Transcript

Heiner Goebbels:

I try to understand what do you mean with the difference between my work and yours, and also will be interested in later on or maybe those who have seen the piece already or have seen other pieces of me which questions they have to me.

But, basically, I think that the difference which you mentioned could be in the role of the audience in the theatre, in my theatre. I also saw a couple of Russian productions and also see from time to time not too much German productions, and I have the feeling that in most of the theatre which I don’t like, everything what is happening is happening on stage. And we have to accept it, we have to love it or we have to hate it but it is happening on the stage anyway. And yesterday on the first performance on my piece I understood that my insistence on the fact that the most important part should happen in the audience, not on stage, and that this insistence is quite irritating for the audience. And there is one scene in this piece where there is actually nothing happening on the stage, where all this forty girls who are performing, where they are sitting in front of the stage and they are looking in the audience. And they don’t say anything, don’t sing though they can sing wonderfully, they don’t move though they can move nicely. They just look into the audience for about 3-4 minutes silent. And I felt yesterday that this was really a risky point. Some of the audience obviously could not stand it. They started to clap to make it finish. This has to do with my general idea of theatre which is not delegating our wishes or our identifications to the stage, but which is it is a performance in which we are forced to deal with ourselves as a spectator. Where we have to think about our own ways of looking and listening. And when the entertainment is finished and we have to be ready to deal with ourselves, not to mirror ourselves with great performer, not to identify ourselves with the hero, but there we are basically have to deal with ourselves. And this can be very moving if you accept this but it also can be very irritating when you are not ready for it. So, I think, my idea of theatre has much more to do with what is happening in the audience than with what is happening on stage.

Sometimes I say it is not important that we as theatre directors or set designers or whatever, that we should have a lot of fantasy. I could see myself more as an architect or as an engineer who provides the space for the audience to have their own fantasy, so to create a space for imagination and not to entertain the audience just with my fantasy or with my message. This piece is without a message but it’s with a lot of questions. And before the answers come there is usually quite a long time so you can answer them questioned yourself. So, maybe, that is something general that I think, theatre could raise questions not answer.

Boris Yukhananov:

I have something to say on the relations between the stage and the audience. This link between the audience and stage is very diverse, and I am grateful to Heiner that he so accurately and in some sense extremely separates stage and audience to get new stance on theatre realized in practical way. Probably, it is really needed to isolate audience from stage for some time, that means that stage should be isolated from the audience, but it is not an axiom. Because it is possible to isolate the audience from the stage but, at the same time, not to isolate the stage. And actually that is what Heiner describes: he is keeping the link, I can say that this is zero link but it exists. He sat full of silence but able to sound, full of statics but able to move nice girls to the foreground (as Heiner himself describes) and offers them to look into the audience. But it is a great action because in the action on the stage there is more essential potential of action. He participates in creating the link between stage and audience. That invisible, sometimes unrecognizable in manifestations, but existing potential of action. Could we say that this work with potential, with what is hidden but not exposed, what is possible but not actualized, is the base of that art of isolation while keeping the link, which Heiner is speaking about?

Heiner Goebbels:

Yes, of course, I was a little bit polemical. Of course, it is relationship; it is giving and taking away. It is also making sense and taking sense away. But we need both parts of this movement. And I think, what makes me tired is when I see the theatre which only insists of producing, producing, producing. Because I have a different timing as an audience member and I also need to reconnect with my inner time. And if the production on stage is permanent and doesn’t give me a break of less intensity, of less presence, then I am in a completely passive role. For me there was some theatre experience in 1970s - 1980s which was quite sensual. For example, from Robert, Bob, Wilson which most of people thought was completely boring because it was so slow in the very beginning of his work. But I discovered that his theatre doesn’t try to compete with our timing but he tries to offer an artistic time – the time which is not identical with your time and not identical to the reality time, but it is third time. And on this third time, in this artistic reality, I could discover a large space for imagination. And there was another artist who changed my life. It was Einer Schliff, German director. By the way, he, like Robert Wilson, was a painter, visual artist, also like you (addresses to Boris Yukhananov) are a painter. And Einer Schleef offered real time on the stage but it was not the time of the reality but the time of perception. For example, he showed piece based on Antic mythology, where mothers of the warriors of Thebes were crying for their lost sons. There was a big scene where they were banging at the gates of Thebes. And normally in theatre the time is symbolic time. In every staging normally your bang at the door three times is symbolic and we understand, this means “banging at the door”. He used and closed the iron curtain and he had 25 old women who were not actors, amateurish women, and they were banging to the iron curtain for about nearly 10 minutes. It was unbearably loud and unbearably long and after 30 seconds you understood: “Ok, they are banging against the door”. After 3 minutes you want to say: “Ok, understood, and now it may be finished”. But after 5 minutes you understood the violence of the moment, the reality of what they were asking for. And it became, together with the sound, a part of your own body as the spectator. And this was, the scene, for example, was in 1985 which also changed my perspective on what the theatre could be, what an artistic experience can be. And it was a long time before I started to stage myself but those impressions are still in my mind when I see theatre which is only fast, only loud or only entertainment.

Boris Yukhananov:

It is interesting that Heiner’s root impressions he has just described contain two artists – first, Robert Wilson, and second artist, I am afraid to pronounce his name wrong. But in one case, in Wilson’s case, time, artificial or the author’s time, is simultaneously amplified with the artificial space which Wilson created nearly in the same correlation to reality. So, he completely overcomes in his artificial space the real space as it is. He creates new artificial universe. I come close to the question. So, he is the author of different world, fundamentally different world. And, maybe, our interest, our perception, is in that we get another world where, probably, the laws of our perception, of our reality and our world are changed. At the same time it happens when our world displaced by another world, new world which is constructed or created or provoked by director, artist.

But the Heiher’s impression connected with the experience of the other performance, as it seems to me, is different. Something realized there belongs to reality, there reality is not displaced by artificial, unique or some other world. Basically, the reality itself finds the path to our soul, which with the assistance of theatre which suddenly focuses and select from our general reality moments and makes them much more close, much more affecting us. That means that it locates in the frames of that world which unites us. He doesn’t create new world which replaces so called reality unifying us. So, what is Heiner today? Does he combine these two approaches or he go some third own way? How today does he build relationships with the world and between worlds, if it is correctly to ask?

Heiner Goebbels:

Yes. I am not copying the one way or the other. And I know the difference, that’s why I told both versions. But both aesthetics of Robert Wilson and Einer Schleef, they gave me different reasons at time to reflect my own perception. And both didn’t pretend to illustrate something. My own strategy is, maybe, a third one which has a lot to do with a gap which you can also see in Robert Wilson’s works. It is a gap between what we see and what we hear. And at the same time I am looking for the intensity of this other experience I had. When I am speaking about the gap it is important and I didn’t explained that it through Robert Wilson’s work that he directs to in a sort of parallel way visually and acoustically. And in a way he constructs a certain total work of art with this parallelism, which, as you (addresses to Boris Yukhananov) described it very precisely, is own authoritarian work. Also Einer Schleef‘s approach is very authoritarian. But my education is anti-authoritarian anti-totalitarian and I try to keep the work open for very different ways of looking at it. I am not pretending it is the one work is more a construction of fragments in which the music, maybe, sometimes is more important than the visuals than maybe a story or installation. And it is a permanent shift of formats and perception modes. And it only becomes a work, a total work, in the head on in the body of those who see it because it consists of fragments. And I compose them, as we spoke about it early, in a sort of polyphonic way because I am a composer, but in a polyphonic way which has all openness to make your own focus, to focus on your interest. I hope that this antiauthoritarian way.

Boris Yukhananov:

I would like to expose this statement to consideration if Heiner will allow me. Totalitarianism or totalitarian way here is not more than a metaphor. That’s why we mean something which develops in time when we speak about theatre. At the same time it could stay constant in space like, maybe, music. If we designate a composer as a specialist who creates some processes which change through time and not necessarily change in space so we should considerate how totally he manages the development through time within his performances. I think he (Heiner) is totalitarian enough in this management and it is here where total control is. Then we can say that this is totality coming from another sort of art, from music, but it is also totality. And I am almost sure and my impressions of Heiner’s works  say about astonishing, maybe, exceeding those images of totality which Wilson and other demiurges of total theatre process share us, Heiner’s totality of time management, it really extreme. In this sense, it is probably impossible to get out of the power of totality.

Heiner Goebbels:

Now we have to speak about topics because it might be right when you talk about time but you will be wrong when we speak about topics. Because my work has not linearity of narration and my images have not symbolic meaning. I don’t show the picture because I want you to understand it my way and it’s very important. I look for pictures which interest me but which I cannot restlessly explain or name as symbols for something else. If I would have to write an essay about meaning of this girl with a bread I would fail but I am sure the audience is more clever than me. But I am sure the audience has a lot of associations to it, very individual ones. I don’t want to know them. And I didn’t use them to illustrate something specific. And that is what I mean when I want to talk about topics. My topics are not defined.

Boris Yukhananov:

This is very important issue, as I see. This issue is associated with ethics which today comes to theatre. Actually it is surely ethical issue, for me, at least. For example, Levinas defines the Other, he locates him on the frames of ontology. You even can say the ontological capture has it frames in the Other’s concept. In this sense, actually infinity overcomes totality. And the statement is related to that when we have the frames of ontology the Other arises and then we have the frames of totality and infinity arises. So, what Heiner says is for me is the theatre expression of this ethical concept, fundamental possibility of the Other’s existence. The Other here is the spectator, the audience. And of course it is that new ethics without which I suggest theatre development is impossible.

Along with this viewpoint we can consider the topic in a different way – as something that joins us, not implemented from one to another, but ensures the link between, for example, one and another. And then not having topics we cannot provide the link, we cannot get understanding, cannot get the dialog. But this is already not capturing the Other by ontology but this what can be and, maybe, really needed to obtain the dialog and contact with the Other. So, the topic itself lives in two guises: in one case it is the violation, the author’s violation, the author’s condition of the contact. In the other case, it is the condition of the contact without violating its limits by ontology itself.

Heiner Goebbels:

I can only agree and, maybe, this is tends for the Other to join us if you have questions or comments to Boris or me.

Spectator:

You said about the relationship between the audience and your theatre and yesterday when that girls were sitting silent I realized that they were waiting for some contact with the audience. And it was clear that the audience did not want such a contact. As a spectator, I was just torn between understanding that there is a desire to make contact, and understanding the reluctance of the audience to do it. In that moment there was applause. And, occasionally, after the performance I spoke with a lady who applauded - she was just a friend of my friend, an actress. She was extremely excited and told, "You see, nobody understood that they wanted to contact with the audience, they wanted the audience responded. That’s why I tried to do it with applause, and somebody hissed at me and said: "Stop doing it immediately, stop misbehaving". So what I want to say is that the reaction, which I also took for the fact that someone was irritated by the performance and tried to stop it, this reaction meant quite different. , and he decided to stop it, in fact was quite different. It is so difficult for us to understand each other.

Heiner Goebbels:

But if you would ask the director if he wants to establish the reaction then he would say “No”. When I invented the scene I was more interested in the gaze. But of course I’m very happy if thing happen like yesterday which is at least more polite than our performance in France, in Paris, actually, when people started coughing all the time. They just could not accept ho hear themselves breathing in the silence. So, every time something else new is happening.

Spectator:

This pause happens. I remember a pause in "The Cherry orchard" by Percival, when the audience was watching the artists, they were wonderful minutes, there were maybe more than 3-4 minutes, they were very interesting minutes. And if you have time, I could recommend you to go to the performance "Three years" in Zhenovach's Studio, where there is a pause, but it was moved to the conclusion of the play, and sounds amazing too.

I absolutely agree that this is a very important contact. You are right when you expect from the viewer nothing but perception, thinking, processing what is happening on stage. Unfortunately, the theatre doesn't allow the viewer to demonstrate his activity. I don't know if it will happen someday, and if it's possible. For example, to allow the women from the audience to come up and bang together with 25 female actresses in that iron curtain, or somehow to express yourself, to express what's going on with you, in the audience. Will it be possible? I don't know.

I remember "Stifter's Things". For me it was the most important not to hear and watch but the opportunity to come and see these pianos after the performance, to look through the rails, to see the dripping water, how wheels move, how it all flows. The moment associated with my own activity as a viewer was much more important for me. And if the theatre ever comes to this, I'll be happy. It gradually appears with decoys, which are used by some of our directors now. They seem to respond for the audience. He is allowed to speak but I'm not.

Thank you very much, I hope to see your performance tonight.

Spectator:

Your ideas are conformable to many artists that I love, for example, Ilya Kabakov. This is one of the most important artists of Moscow conceptualism, which similarly says: "My installations are open to interpretations, and why would I reduce the number of meanings they may contain, if the viewer can create more than I can?"

And the second artist is Marina Abramovich. She has a performance, sensational in New York – “The Artist Is Present”, and a performance that was at the Serpentine Galleries last year - "512 hours". In the first performance she was sitting on the chair, people came, looked at her in the mirror and saw themselves. The artist was silent and just watched, but the reaction of people was incredible-the tears and hysterics, and the happiest moments of revelation. The performance at the Serpentine Galleries offered deprivation earphones, so you could not hear anything except the beating of your body. This performance slows down your condition, when you're out of the gallery you can't even walk quickly, because your biological rhythms slowed down several times.

Art merges with a man that borders on art therapy, psychotherapy. How do you think his presence in the art in the context of such trends? And the second question — what modern artists you find interesting, whether you follow someone?

Heiner Goebbels:

Yes, I know, of course, and admire those artists too. But I don’t see myself as a therapist though I think as we talked about the ethics of theatre we can offer the audience something  which they might have lost or are going to lose in their own reality. So, when we talk, for example, about totalitarianism of the media (I don’t mean it politically) just by the permanence of images and sounds not to mention that horrible music in all the restaurants here. Then I think theatre can offer a space for discovery for our senses. To listen something extremely subtle or to discover something which is not brightly shown to us. To discover something in the background which is subtle too. Or already to be able to focus yourself on what you are interested in. Not just to eat what is up front. That is why I also think theatre can be a museum of perception. A museum in a very positive way as a safe space which is not making statements on reality but which offers actually some real beauty. It was actually Heiner Muller who said in one of his last interviews in 1990-s, he said: “Beauty is the real Foreign”. So, theatre has to be beautiful because even you want to show brutality or violence on stage it has to be beautiful. If we are happy with a world as it is we don’t have to do anything. But the inefficiency of the world is it which makes us to work as artists. So, in the end of this interview he said: “Whatever we want to see on stage it has to happen in the golden ratio.

Boris Yukhananov:

But, interestingly, Heiner remembered Heiner Muller, who was a very intensive person, he had a lot of plots (as it seems to me, I did not know him personally). There was a lot of chaos inside him, and he was very passionate. And, maybe, he restrained himself all his life because he understood, if he poured everything he had inside out, no one couldn’t stand this intensity.

I don’t claim it was so, this is just my intuition, I did not know him personally, just read something. Actually, I don’t insist on it. I am interested in the dialectics: fullness/emptiness. And purity/emptiness. Here's a triangle. Here we have emptiness, in the center of the triangle. On one hand, there is fullness against the emptiness; on the other hand, there is purity against the emptiness. Purity cannot oopose fullness, but purity can oppose emptiness. Fullness cannot oppose purity, but fullness can oppose emptiness.

Heiner Goebbels:

I just have to correct your impression of Heiner Muller. He was very calm and polite person and he said he had never any idea and he even said that people with ideas are dangerous. And he rather sits aside and waits when ideas pass by and then he takes them.

Boris Yukhananov:

It seems to me that Heiner draws self-portrait. This is you.

Heiner Goebbels:

It is a quote.

Spectator:

You mentioned that there are directors who are totalitarian initially, in fact. As I understood it, they have enough clearly defined strong message that they want to convey to the audience. You contrast your direction to the direction of such people saying that in the mind of the audience your performance gathers to a single whole, a certain idea. But don't you think that whatever initial message director could have, it never reaches the audience in full absolute measure. Even if the director puts on the stage a certain symbol, even if the symbol has a fixed cultural context, don’t you think that the audience translates it with hundreds and thousands various ways and director would never say definitely everything he wanted to say?

Heiner Goebbels:

As I said –thanks God –it would be horrible. But it makes me angry when I see they try to tell something. I am not interested in one’s idea and especially the more ideas differ from my own perspective I get more and more angry. Especially when the actors are supposed to scream all the time then I rather live in peace.

Spectator:

Why in the theatre, where the director's ego is diminished, where it is limited to the position of the observer, the audience is so hard to bear freedom, this peace that you said? What is the reason for such irritation, suffering, I could say? Yesterday I didn't feel it, I was fine during this performance, but there was tension among the audience. Why is it so?

Heiner Goebbels:

Of course I hope they did not suffer. I think there was no reason to suffer in my performance. Maybe you have to get used to it in a way. But usually I try to enable the audience in the first hour of the show to get used to the second. So, I am happy that I was successful with you.

Spectator:

Hello, thank you for very interesting talk. My question is how Heiner works with voices of the actors in the play. I was lucky enough to read the article, in English it is called “The peculiar voices”, and if I understand correctly, Heiner is interested in what can be called “found” voices, natural voices, their peculiarities. On the other hand, the choir implies training and correcting naturalness of such voices. And I wonder, did you feel it as a conflict, and if so, how was it resolved?

Heiner Goebbels:

I think in the performance you saw yesterday you have both. You have the trained voices of this Slovenian choir but also I make the girls speak individually and then you have not trained voice speakers, they are not actors; they are not trained to speak at stage. And in other pieces like in “Stifter’s things” which was mentioned before they have a lot of found voices, ethnographical voices, voices of languages which don’t exist anymore, voices which we cannot understand and especially voices in lot of my works which have no body, which are acusmatic, voices which have no source. And maybe you could say these are the voices of the Others. I think this is very political point. I can only talk about German media – in Germany on television or on radio you never hear the voice in another language nor even in cinema – everything in synchronized. So you are not confronted with the voice of the other anymore, you are not confronted with the voice of somebody you don’t understand. I think it is the most important of the first political issues to have respect for somebody whom you don’t understand. This is also why I consider theatre is a museum, maybe, as a museum of the voices of the others.

Spectator:

I’d like to remember old musical performances of the 1930-s, when the audience gave needed sound, when the musicians did not play. It is very interesting how sound moved to a performance as a theatre. And, maybe the question is where does sound as a performance go further? Do you understand? No? I can explain again. While watching modern musical performances, I see that we are now closer to the performance inside a man, the sound inside a person, a symphony inside of a person as a spectator. In this context, the sound is inside the viewer, not on-stage, it is much more interesting, and where does it go next after passing through the audience?

Heiner Goebbels:

I don’t know where it will go, I am not a visionary. But I can say that for me the sound is the most important point in performing arts. First of all because I am a composer, I come from radio pieces, radio works which I did with Heiner Muller in the 1980-1990s. But also because sound includes our body in a more intense way it goes through our body. But on the other hand they open a bigger freedom, freedom for individual images. Again Robert Wilson said once that a silent movie has an endless acoustic space. And a radio piece has an endless visual space. And I try to keep both endless spaces when I do theatre. So, I try to avoid those visuals just to illustrate the sound. I try to keep the space in separation between the two. But because of this bigger visual freedom I am looking for I shift the term of presence towards the acoustic. When I try to describe my work I am very often use the term of theatre of absence. But what I actually mean is theatre of acoustic presence.

Spectator:

Hello. At the last meeting you talked about the dialectics of a scientist and an artist and how you started the art process with a research task to yourself. You researched a certain element, and in the process of this study the art substance arose —you said it about the "Stifter’s things", as I remember. Today you said about the tendency of the artist and the interest of the theatre to unseen, hidden in the depths, incorporeal elements while ignoring, rejecting something obvious, huge and powerful.

What could be the tactics of the artist to treat this powerful, obvious, clear, physical, besides what you've already mentioned?

Heiner Goebbels:

First of all we should avoid to show what has already been mentioned. Or to mention what has already been shown. Just we should avoid to double, triple and even more multiply meaning. I think that’s the best strategy.

Spectator:

I have the other small question, it is not about physical but yet. It is a huge impression when forty girls in all their physicality, helplessness and naturalness which they present to us. I had mixed feelings, I can't even explain them in a full measure, but it works and takes you beyond the limits of theatre as something closed. You are dealing with a real human material, they are not actors, they are free in their creativeness, and thus they can give you something from the area of real impressions.

Heiner Goebbels:

I think that I didn’t understand where the question is

Spectator:

I have not questions at all. I just experienced something of what are unable to cope. It was my first time I saw something like that. There are some special emotions when you see girls 12-20 years old in so big number, at first they are in pants, then in colorful dresses. It affects very hard, at least at me.

Heiner Goebbels:

So, maybe, you can explain it better than I can do it. It is very nice how you started to explain this point but I think it will be very different for each of us. And it might have to do with the fact that this piece is actually enabling you to look back also to your own youth thoughts, to your own situations of education, of authority, freedom or growing into adult life.

Spectator:

Hello. My question will continue the topic of music, the Other and the parallel between various artists which has already been started. Your performances remind me electronic music by their emotional sensations and way of perception. When I watched “Stifter’s things”, I found the parallels with what the artist Monolake (Robert Henke) made, with that how musical culture in the electronic and techno clubs is arranged. Not just at the level of sound, incorporeal, open to perception, open to interpretation, but also in the context of relocating the action from the stage to the audience. Music artists do the same when they are conducting the audience on the dance floor. Since Germany is one of the leading countries in the development of electronic music culture, I wonder, do you work with it, do you have friends among these artists, and are there any parallels between electronic music and you?

Heiner Goebbels:

Yes, of course, not only in Germany, I love for example the work of Riozi Ikida, the Japanese electronic and visual artist. But I don’t work exclusively with electronics. I always look for the tension between something organic and some electronic even in the “Stifter’s things” there was nothing electronic except amplifications. All the sound in the “Stifter’s things” were produce live in the very space by pianos, water, stones and metal.

Spectator:

Actually, I have the question both to Heiner and Boris. I talk about the relation between the audience and the stage from the audience’s site. Of course, I am very grateful to you for your liberalism, that you leave me a space for reflection, for myself, to stay alone with myself. But I have a big problem: how does your ethical passion, your theatre cope with the contradiction that I consume images that still you s supply me. My means of expression are so limited that though you can feel my tension in the audience, but I have no special ways to express it. And how do you cope with this inequality which still remains the basis ?

Heiner Goebbels:

I can only ask for 90 minutes of your life and you can express yourself now, for example, or tomorrow. I wouldn’t call it inequality. Actually, In “Stifter’s things” it was very surprising how many people wrote me emails, talked to me and explain to me what I was doing. And it was very touching and had never happened to me like this before. And I think it was the result of this liberated space. It was exactly result of the fact that there was nobody on stage to speak instead of the audience. I think as soon as somebody speaks on stage especially if he screams you have nothing to do as audience, you can do nothing. But when you are offered time, when you are offered music, when you are offered images you can articulate yourself. And you are much more free than me as a producer.

Boris Yukhananov:

In our discussion we touched upon the two points but rather simplistic and linear. For example, the movement of sound to the audience. There was asked the question: "where will it move next?" The linearity of thinking, simplifying, and flattening question are obvious. The perception of sound, of what it is are exterminated. What space is formed around this concept, practice between hearing, the sound and experience of its emergence, extraction, that diversity of contacts that exist in nature, in mentality, between sounding and listening. For thinking also sounds. For example, the ancient Hebrews set hearing, spiritual hearing, higher than spiritual vision. This is also the music that we can't scan with the ears (although our ears are just starting to get used to scanning).

The same thing exists between so-called spectator and so-called stage. These audience and stage are located inside the artist and inside the spectator. We deal with not two members of the link, but, at least, with four ones. Entertainment, which Heiner said about, or the way of perception involves four participants. I understand when Heiner says: if there is someone is screaming on stage, this scream strikes to the heart and breaks the link between the author and the spectator inside the audience. Probably, later in the tactics of production of performances some artists will need to break this link for a second to form a new one. And this is what happened in the impression of the Heiner himself, when with an incredible intensity a lot of women had been banging at the gates of Thebes. This is a diversity of types of aberrations, ways of relationships in modern theatre which clearly articulating artists have. I am happy that today our vision, our attention, our hearing could penetrate to such subtle and not obvious areas where a real theatre manifests with author-consumer and author-producer which are present in it.

Spectator:

Don't you think that the position of an artist who is coming to the theatre as to the museum of perception, it is a position of superiority over the audience? Because not just the theater is a museum of perception but the whole our life is a museum of perception. Everybody is endowed originally with the freedom to recognize the beauty; it is not the artist who gives him this freedom during the performance. Wouldn't it be more modest from the artist to inform directly about his feelings and ideas? Maybe, it is more traditional, less modern, but I'm talking about modesty here and superiority over the audience.

Heiner Goebbels:

I am not a theatre intendant so I cannot create a museum. I can only offer in one piece for 90 minutes this freedom. But I cannot speak about my feelings because when I create a piece I am not conscious about what I am doing. If I could explain my feelings I would be a journalist. But I am a composer and I compose with all the elements on stage. And I invite team to collaborate on new production. I have no vision on the piece when I start the process. And in the end I am as surprised as you will be surprised when you see it. I can speak about it maybe one or two years later but the unconscious has a big part in the production. And that is what makes it very interesting for me and maybe for the others.

Spectator:

Gutten Tag! Yesterday I was on your performance, I loved it. I tried to get into the rhythm, when the girls were sitting on the lawn, I was shaking my head, but I was immediately told: "No, you can’t do it, you are shaking the bench". Maybe, I shouldn't do it. I really liked your explanation of the bread in the hands of that lady that there is no reason for this. I like the notion of causelessness in art.

And my question is the following: are you familiar with the works of French director and musician Quentin Dupieux? No? Then, what is your attitude to the cinema, whether you're looking for inspiration in it, what works inspire you? And, generally speaking, is cinema a place of inspiration for you or not?

Heiner Goebbels:

It has stopped to be inspiration. Because the film industry is too strong to produce images which we have not seen yet. Film production is too expensive so the producers have to conceive the images already before they go on the set. So, they cannot experience, they cannot make a research on images anymore. They cannot wait for the right weather, so, they reproduce all the same images we have seen already thousands times. That’s why I lost interest in cinema very much except very few directors which I still follow. But I was thinking of doing a film maybe one day but I am very happy to work in the field with performing arts where I really have all the freedom to go on a process of research, an experimental processes. Because I want to create pictures which I have not seen yet and I want to show pictures which you might have not seen yet. And with this I would never be able to apply for production money at cinema.

Spectator:

Could you describe something that, according to your beliefs, is impossible in the theater, "impossible" as "unacceptable"?

Heiner Goebbels:

Oh, this so much. If I start the list we won’t finish. I think I‘ve said already too much. Thank you very much for questions, for your attention. It was fantastic.

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