“The Sleep of Reason produces Monsters” Goya
On May 31, 1962, shortly before midnight, Adolf Eichmann was hanged at a prison in Ramla – Israel’s first and only civil execution. He refused the last meal, preferring instead a bottle of Israeli wine.
Ever since, the verdict of ‘Eichmann’s Trial’ is often seen as a symbol of humanity’s triumph over evil. But what is evil? Is it abnormal or merely a by-product of thoughtlessness? Reporting on the trial, Hannah Arendt (1906-1975) was astonished by Eichmann’s utterly normal behavior, bearing few traces of brutality. For her, it was his smile that was the truly frightening thing: a glimpse of a mask, a void.
Is evil constructed by us? Or is it in the ‘other’? And if the other has a smile – a mask, like Nietzsche’s mask – then things no longer appear to be that simple.
Reality puts on a mask, complex, hidden, mysterious.
In this work, an effort is made to create a reality. Not an extension of the reality outside, but an independent reality. Using tools of dominant representational practices, we compose forms that capture and expand moments, giving birth to a political construction: a collision of potentially unused options and paths between forms, moments and ideas from our common history.
We have begun our journey by recalling and collecting materials on the trial itself (e.g. ‘Memories of the Eichmann Trial’ by David Perlov), expanding to world cinema (‘Planet of the Apes’, ‘They Shoot Horses, Don’t They’, ‘The Odyssey’), literature (Hannah Arendt, Primo Levi, Friedrich Nietzsche, Ka-Tzetnik) and plastic arts (e.g. Bacon, Goya, Yue Minjun). These images, moments and experiences are translated into physical action and interwoven into the fabric of our work.
From inter- to intra-disciplinary exploration, we turn to movement and dance structures that are taken to be the building blocks of the field. We work on facilitating them, so that the physical structure is stretched from the skeleton out.
This process of re-assembling, re-locating these symbolic structures in another context, allows for another perspective on their essential nature. Fundamental models of power are installed in order to reach their moment of failure and witness the collapsing of a structure: the delicate moment in which the representational reality is intertwined in the roots of cultural ethics.
Patterns are created to be broken. Hierarchy is questioned.
Can we understand evil?
Can we conquer it in the boundaries of a confined stage – an artificial cage?
Can we reveal it in the audience, to the audience?
Choreographer: Michael Getman, Irad Mazliah, Uri Frost