14. Mai 2010 - 13:23 uhr

Contra „Die Stunde“: Handke 2.0

von Shane Anderson

Peter Handke’s texts for the theater have always been a challenge to the theater. „Die Stunde da wir nichts voneinander wussten“ is no exception: „Die Stunde“s text, which concentrates on a plaza and the movements that take place on it and which has no dialogue and reads more like stage directions, explicitly asks questions as if it didn’t know what to proscribe; it suggests movements but then negates them, stating that they should, in fact, not appear on stage.

Sing-along. "Die Stunde da wir nichts voneinander wussten". Foto: Kim Keibel

Considering such openness and the theoretical apparatus of Roland Barthes‘ death of authors, it is no surprise that Viktor Bodó has taken Handke’s source material and gone in a totally different direction. While Handke offers us old fishermen, Moses, football teams, firemen (who may or may not be running across the stage to a fire or a drill) and women with baskets full of mushrooms, Bodó „updates“ Handke’s text with club kids, violent drunks, frustrated bureaucrats and museum guards. Bodó, in other words, challenges Handke’s challenge to theater, eschewing all of Handke’s suggestions and questions with ideas of his own. Sounds admirable, right? The problem, however, is that if you’re going to challenge/update a text or take it in another direction, you’re obligated to make it as good if not better than the original; otherwise, finding another title for your work seems advisable. Bodó, unfortunately, did not live up to his own challenge.

Bodó`s „Handke 2.0“ exploits video cameras and video screens to give the viewer a sense that s/he’s watching a movie in the making, and indeed, Bodó’s theater is very inspired by film language, music and gestures. There are slow motion scenes à la The Matrix or Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragonsilent movie slapstick, and melodrama, all to a „jazzy“ soundtrack. But all of these felt like quotes of quotes of quotes, and like photocopies of photocopies of photocopies, at some point one’s left with an illegible mess, at some point one wonders whether it might be better to go back to the original, to figure out where everything went wrong.

The strength of Handke’s text is Bodó’s weakness. Handke creates surrealistic pictures out of simple gestures and then gives them enough space to breathe – each picture is accented with a pause, with lights on the empty plaza, with space for contemplation. In contrast, Bodó moves from one clichéd picture to the next, from one room to the next, from one physical language to the next, and from one type of film music to the next, in a velocity that would entertain any ADD-riddled MTV viewer but which leaves next to nothing to think about – and, to boot, no space to think about it. None of the pictures or scenes is very entertaining or surreal or funny, though every picture attempts to be all of these, most at the same time.

Handke makes me question what theater can be by means of space and poetry, and Bodó makes me question why I bothered to sit in the theater for one hour and a half.

Schlagworte: , , ,

Bisher 6 Kommentare

  1. as the translator of handke’s plays up to and including walk about the villages let me comment on the above.
    1] if you read the text in german it takes you by the scruff of the neck and never lets go;
    2] images do not hook in that fashion, what matters is their succession, their whirl: that, as it were, cleans out the eyes and creates what Brecht was after, non-Aristotelean catharsis what kinds of images a director uses is fairly irrelevant, what counts however is that he follow the MOVEMENT of the piece, into that sequence of paradisical peace – how to get back out of that according to handke was his chief problem. otherwise, the piece is the summa of all his early work [PUBLIC INSULT to RIDE ACROSS LAKE CONSTANCE]. It is also irrelevant that there are no spoken word, image by themselves constitute a language. the review above in short, stinks. death of the author is as much nonsense as death of the novel and other such cute irrelevance that then get stuck in unthinking heads. below you will find links to a great deal of material of and about handke’s dramas on the web.

    http://www.handkedrama.scriptmania.com/index.html

    http://www.handkedrama2.scriptmania.com/index.html

    http://www.handkedrama3.scriptmania.com/index.html

    http://handke-drama.blogspot.com/

    .MICHAEL ROLOFF
    http://www.facebook.com/mike.roloff1?ref=name

    Member Seattle Psychoanalytic Institute and Society

    This LYNX will LEAP you to my HANDKE project sites and BLOGS
    http://www.handke.scriptmania.com/favorite_links_1.html

    http://www.roloff.freehosting.net/index.html

    „Degustibus disputandum est.“ Theodor Wiesenthal Adorno
    „May the foggy dew bediamondize your hoosprings + the fireplug
    of filiality reinsure your bunghole! {James Joyce}
    „Sryde Lyde Myde Vorworde Vorhorde Vorborde.“ [von Alvensleben]
    „Siena me fe, disfescimi Maremma.“ [Dante]
    „Ennui [Lange Weile] is the dreambird that hatches the egg of
    experience.“ Walter Benjamin, the essay on Leskov.

    http://analytic-comments.blogspot.com/
    http://summapolitico.blogspot.com/
    http://artscritic.blogspot.com/
    http://seattle-vistas.blogspot.com/

    HANDKE MAIN SITE & BLOGS
    http://www.handke.scriptmania.com/favorite_links_1.html
    http/handke-watch.blogspot.com/ [news]
    http://handke-drama.blogspot.com/
    http://handke-discussion.blogspot.com/ [various controversies]
    http://handke–revista-of-reviews.blogspot.com/ [Don Juan Review]
    http://handke-yugo.blogspot.com/ [developing]

  2. there is no point in sending you any comments since you don’t publish them even if they are from Handke’s US translator.
    http://www.handkedrama.scriptmania.com/index.html

    http://www.handkedrama2.scriptmania.com/index.html

    http://www.handkedrama3.scriptmania.com/index.html

    http://handke-drama.blogspot.com/

    .MICHAEL ROLOFF
    http://www.facebook.com/mike.roloff1?ref=name

    Member Seattle Psychoanalytic Institute and Society

    This LYNX will LEAP you to my HANDKE project sites and BLOGS
    http://www.handke.scriptmania.com/favorite_links_1.html

    http://www.roloff.freehosting.net/index.html

    „Degustibus disputandum est.“ Theodor Wiesenthal Adorno
    „May the foggy dew bediamondize your hoosprings + the fireplug
    of filiality reinsure your bunghole! {James Joyce}
    „Sryde Lyde Myde Vorworde Vorhorde Vorborde.“ [von Alvensleben]
    „Siena me fe, disfescimi Maremma.“ [Dante]
    „Ennui [Lange Weile] is the dreambird that hatches the egg of
    experience.“ Walter Benjamin, the essay on Leskov.

    http://analytic-comments.blogspot.com/
    http://summapolitico.blogspot.com/
    http://artscritic.blogspot.com/
    http://seattle-vistas.blogspot.com/

    HANDKE MAIN SITE & BLOGS
    http://www.handke.scriptmania.com/favorite_links_1.html
    http/handke-watch.blogspot.com/ [news]
    http://handke-drama.blogspot.com/
    http://handke-discussion.blogspot.com/ [various controversies]
    http://handke–revista-of-reviews.blogspot.com/ [Don Juan Review]
    http://handke-yugo.blogspot.com/ [developing]

  3. Somehow or other the comments left here don’t appear, nor does the notice that it will be „freigeschaltet“, as Handke’s translator of his plays I thought I might have something valuable to add since I lknow and understand HOUR extremely well. Michael Roloff
    leave a comment on my facebook page

    .MICHAEL ROLOFF
    http://www.facebook.com/mike.roloff1?ref=name

  4. Well, I am going to giver it another try.
    It does not matter too much what kind of images HOUR uses, as long as the director observes the timing, and the over all arc of the piece. two matters are all important: HOUR is the SUMMA of all of Handke’s early work from PUBLIC INSULT to RIDE ACROSS LAKE CONSTANCE. It is irrelevant that it has no spoken language – images speak better in this instance, and the succession of them put the audience of that paradisical state where they had had no opinions, new born, the true catharsis – what Brecht had been after in a rather more awkward way. Handke is the greater genius. I am the translator of the early play up to and including his verbally richest work, the dramatic poem WALK ABOUT THE VILLAGES, here’s a link to Handke drama material on the web:

    http://www.handkedrama.scriptmania.com/index.html

    http://www.handkedrama2.scriptmania.com/index.html

    http://www.handkedrama3.scriptmania.com/index.html

    http://handke-drama.blogspot.com/

    Sincerely, Michael Roloff

    http://www.roloff.freehosting.net/index.html

    http://www.facebook.com/mike.roloff1?ref=name

  5. Shane Anderson sagt:

    Hello Michael,

    thank you for all the info. have you translated ‚die stunde?‘ could you send the link if so?

    Best,
    Shane