Live Performance by the Backstein Collective

"Collective Works" combines our artistic works from recent years in a three-part evening. Thematically, there is an exploration of the concepts of transparency, empathy and a sea of data. We will show the dance piece "Blue Pill? Red Pill?", as well as our short film "Tracing Empathy". In addition, we collaborate with the artist Marcel Appel and the light technician Manuel Oeschger, who create a spatial installation, which we connect with our performance.


WED 16.03.2022
8:00pm — 9:00pm


Landungsbrücken Frankfurt

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"Collective Works" describes both the content of the evening and our philosophy: we believe in the power of the collective, the community that works together for a goal or a cause and thus unites its strengths and can learn from each other. For this reason, we are always keen to collaborate with artists outside of our collective.

"Collective works" shows, in three parts, the stages of these collaborations over the last two years. The first part developed through the collaboration with the artist Marcel Appel, his idea of a large spatial installation, on which images and data are projected in a collage-like manner, reflected well our way of working, in which we first collage all the material from our various researches and then try to draw new connections from it. In the research process, we feel overwhelmed each time by the amount of information, but now more than ever, issues such as fake news, data security, terms and conditions, cookies, advertising, etc. are also in the room. What happens to our data on social media, how are we possibly influenced, or even distracted? Is our data a new form of currency these days? The idea that everyone has a kind of second, digital profile based on their digital footprint is something we want to explore performatively within the room installation. The space installation will consist of two wooden L-elements, which can be moved on rollers through the space to new forms and walls. In the process, wooden constructions and foils will provide different substrates, so that the projection will have a sometimes distorted, sometimes bent and shadowy variable effect on the viewer.

In the second part of the evening, we turn to the topic of empathy. In the fall of 2021, we developed the short film "Tracing Empathy" with the video artists of De-Da Productions and the composer Felix Krell, in which we explored the individual need for closeness and connection, but also the extent to which empathy could be a solution to social problems. Empathy does not only have positive aspects, but we asked ourselves what it would mean for society, especially in conflict situations, if we made a more active effort to empathize with our fellow human beings, especially with people who are strangers to us. Thus, to introduce the topic, we want to show a live improvisation before the short film, using the different disciplines of our trio: The voice is to engage and interact with a moving body in the form of improvised singing. We want to see how these two different forms of expression can coordinate and engage with each other. After a while, the singing will turn to individuals in the audience to feel the (perhaps intimate) connection to a fellow stranger.

In the last part we want to present our dance piece "Blue Pill? Red Pill?" in which we question on the one hand the topic of transparency physically as well as politically and on the other hand in the context the lot of whistleblowers. Apart from Julian Assange and Edward Snowden, most of them are unknown to us although they do a great service to society and often pay a high price for it. At the same time, such publications can harm others or even, in the case of Assange, put others in danger. We want to embody this conflict in our play and at the same time shed light on the people who stand up for justice and truth.

Contributors: Backstein Kollektiv (concept, direction and performance,) Deda-Productions (video,) Marcel Appel (stage design,) Manuel Oeschger (light and sound,) Felix Krell (music,) and photo and video credits: Melina Rupp Sophron & Nate

Sponsored by the Hessische Theaterakademie, the Kulturamt der Stadt Frankfurt am Main kulturMut 2020/2022 in cooperation with and Landungsbrücken Frankfurt

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