Seven Rooms Incomprehensible

Performance Installation

Theaterhaus Jena "Sieben Räume unbegreifen", Foto: Joachim Dette

The Holocaust, Srebrenica, Rwanda ─ genocide confronts us with the incomprehensive monstrosities of human behaviour. Time and again, the human race succumbs to this “problem from hell” (Samantha Power, 2002). Yet within this hell, there are some who stand up to tyranny and violence with a simple act of human kindness. What influences human behaviour and morals, and what can lead to genocide and excessive violence? The performance installation “Seven Rooms Incomprehensible” featured seven rooms, through which audience members passed and began to comprehend that these questions never only concern the “others”, but oneself as well. Based on ethical, psychological, sociological and artistic positions, the project investigated the universal mechanisms of group conformity, exclusion and humiliation, and examined the resources which enable people to exercise resistance. The visitors were invited to walk through the rooms, each of which dealt with a different aspect, e.g. “Humanity”, “Game”, “Poetry”, “Myth”, “Telling” and “Questions”. Through the interplay of reception and interaction, the audience was encouraged to solve various problems and assume different perspectives and roles. In the final “Room of Justice”, the visitors were presented with a staged tribunal, based on real legal proceedings, such as those at which Adolf Eichmann or Ratko Mladić were tried.
Following the presentation in Jena, the performance went on tour to Amsterdam and other cities. The interdisciplinary project was a collaboration between several departments of the University of Jena and the Buchenwald Memorial. An extensive accompanying publication provides an in-depth discussion of specific aspects of this thematic complex.

Artistic directors: Giselle Vegter, Ilil Land-Boss
Dramaturgy: Friederike Weidner, Marcel Klett
Music: Brendan Dougherty
Scenography: Karin Betzler

Performance: Nenad Fišer, Ella Gaiser, Leander Gerdes, Nena Šešić-Fišer, Anne Greta Weber u.a.


Theaterhaus Jena

Schillergässchen 1

07745 Jena (external link, opens in a new window)