Bauerntheater: Screening, Discussion and Book launch
Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany
871 United Nations Plaza
New York, NY 10017
For Show/Tell 09 the Goethe-Institut New York presents a film screening, book launch and talk between experimental theater director David Levine and art critic Gregory Volk.
Levine's "Bauerntheater" ("Farmer's Theater"), combines elements of durational performance, land art, and theater. In March, 2007, Levine trained an American method actor to play a GDR Farmer in Heiner Mueller's "Die Umsiedlerin" ("The Resettler"). After a month's rehearsal, the actor was flown to Germany, given two acres of land and a ton of potatoes, and asked to be "in character" for 10 hours a day for a month. In asking "how completely can an actor become his character?", Levine’s project raised questions concerning the performance of cultural tradition, the representation of labor, representation as labor, and the relationship of endurance and land art to questions of authenticity. The project, funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation, was featured in the New York Times, Theater Heute, Die Zeit, BOMB, and other publications.
For the Show/Tell event, Levine will screen a documentary video of the project, featuring both rehearsal and performance footage.
The Bauerntheater catalogue is a guide to major threads of the project. It includes essays by German theater critic Thomas Irmer, American curator and art historian Maika Pollack, performance scholar Christel Weiler, and social scientist Lars Fischer, as well as an introduction by Daniel Wetzel of the performance-label Rimini Protokoll.