In his text “On the Marionette Theatre”, Heinrich von Kleist poses a fundamental aesthetic question, namely, where does a “true” artist dwell between the vastly contrasting positions of untouched naturalness and elaborate artistry. The ambition to achieve perfection has resulted in the conflicting experience that the attempt to do so often leads to another form of existential vulnerability. This issue is at the centre of an especially heated debate as our world and lives in the 21st century are increasingly influenced by lifting, doping and life-enhancing measures.
On the occasion of the 200th anniversary of Kleist’s death in 2011, Isabel Mundry has composed the concert Kunst und Künstlichkeit [Art and Artificiality] for an instrumental and vocal ensemble, dancers and soprano, which addresses the subject of Kleist’s essay and explores the relationship between humans, machines, art and nature. The text, music and choreography refer to and overlap one another in various ways. They come in contact with different forms of artificiality and even digitalization through a multifaceted interplay of images and copies. In a process of reflection and differentiation, the composition ultimately achieves what the text describes – a complex self-reflection.
The premiere took place in Thun together with other Kleist festivities and was followed by additional performances at locations where Kleist lived and worked.
Dance: Jörg Weinöhl; music: Ensemble Recherche, Vokalensemble Zürich (CH); dramaturgy: Anett Lütteken (CH), singer: Petra Hoffmann
Venues and schedule:
Schlosskonzerte Thun (Switzerland), 3 June 2011
Zurich Festival (Switzerland), 26 June 2011
Deutsche Oper am Rhein Düsseldorf / Duisburg, 22 June 2012
Projektteam „Kunst und Künstlichkeit“
CH-8142 Uitikon Waldegg