giovedì 26 novembre 2009

Am anfang war das fressen (UBU LENIN, a re-inthonation of ALFRED JARRY'S UBU KING by Rainer Ganahl)


Dadalenin UBU LENIN
Rainer Ganahl
Thu, November 26
12:00 – 14:30



UBU LENIN, a re-inthonation of ALFRED JARRY'S UBU KING. Performance by Rainer Ganahl (November 2009, h20.00, MAK, Vienna). Interviews by Carola Annoni with Rainer Ganahl, Peter Noever, Dir. MAK Museum - Tamuna Sirbiladze (Artist) - Franz Kapfer (Artist) - William Easton, (Dir. Konsthalle Stoccolma), and Rainer Ganahl 's Students who assited the artist with the cooking performance: Charlie, Brad, Katalin, Pryanka, Bjoern and Alexandra and Anna.


Edited by Ram Live. Playlist : Matthew Herbert, Plat du jour (2006)

20 November 2009, h 20.00, MAK, Vienna


UBU LENIN, a re-inthonation of ALFRED JARRY'S UBU KING by Rainer Ganahl

Theatrical performance by three voices: 2 males and 1 female, about 30 min length, followed by the credid cruch meal: in the beginning was the food - au commencement était la bouffe - am anfang war das fressen

PLOT: Ubu Rex (King Ubu) by Alfred Jarry is a master piece about the murder of the polish royal family and the abuse of political authority. Considered to be a herald of the Absurd, Dadaist and Surrealist theater this work really anticipates the monstrosities of 20th (and 21st) century history. As so many dictators and politicians since the writing of this master piece, Ubu was a cruel, greedy, vulgar, self-agrandizing and stupid monster that triggered wars and pushed his population into misery.

King Ubu was performed in Zurich at Cabaret Voltaire in 1916 and most likely seen by Lenin and his wife Krupskaya. This must have inspired them to offer the Romanov, the house of the Russian tsar, the same fate. The fact that Lenin was a participating dadaist in Zurich - though in disguise - served me as pretext to rewrite the original Ubu play as Ubulenin, replacing Ubu father and Ubu mother with Ubulenin and Ubukrupskaya. Needless to say, even Bush's weapons of mass destructions and former US Fed chief Greenspan - main regulator over ubuesque investment schemes leading to the current fall down of the world financial system - have an appearance on stage. Description of the performance at the MAK: In MAK main hall, a table is dressed with vegetables in shapes of phallic objects, cheese and sardines composes quotes referring to the crisis from our days. Spectators are welcome by this setting and invited to sit and listen to the text by Rainer Ganahl: “A re-introduction of ALFRED JARRY'S UBU KING”. The performance takes place on a stage in the main hall in front of the table, three actors hidden by big masks, sit and read the text. After the performance the public is invited to share the free credit crunch meal offered by the museum in form of lentils and vegetable soup with rice and bread. The public is also invited to pick from the table the shaped vegetables, cheese and sardines.


----A quick report: I arrived at 4pm at the MAK while the students were cutting, chopping, shaping and cooking for the later dinner. A strong and deep smell of sardines, groovier cheese and onions was slowly pervading the silent and dark rooms of the museum. At 5 I’ve been brought to the conference room, where I took my interview with the director Mr. Peter Noever.

Later I asked some questions to the students about the performance and their opinions about the upcoming event. After the general probe, around 7pm the artist Rainer Ganahl and I had a quick talk about the project. After the performance I had a quick chat with the artists Tamuna Sirbilaze, Franz Kapfer about the idea of performance and staging especially in the Austria and within their art and the curator of the Kunsthalle in Stockholm William Easton ( as well as actor in the performance) about performance and the food in the art.

The dinner has been attended mostly by professionals ( ie Martin Boehm, director of the Auction House Dorotheum, Sabine Breitwiesen ex chief curator at the Generali Foundation) artists such as Franz West, journalists and some art lovers. After the dinner the artist Rainer Ganahl took the guests for a visited tour to the show in the Mak Gallery. By the time we left (later than 11pm) people were still around in the hall and in the gallery picking the rest of the dinner.The evening resulted in a big success.
Carola Annoni

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