Gallery Weekend Berlin
Ebensperger ⅋ Luxoom Lab
Hymn to Love
Co-produced by The Chorus of Women Foundation, Polish Theatre in Poznan,
Ringlokschuppen Ruhr, Maxim Gorki Theater
HYMN TO LOVE is the final piece in Marta Górnicka’s European triptych inspired by Mother Courage. The image of orchestra playing music in the death camps of the Holocaust is a starting point for Górnicka to address the rise of present-day European nationalism, and the migration crisis. In her libretto to HYMN TO LOVE, she exposes the obscene language of politics today, quoting statements by fundamentalist fighters and terrorists (including fragments of Anders Breivik's manifesto 2083 – A European Declaration of Independence, and speeches by ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and Osama bin Laden) alongside addresses delivered by legitimate politicians.
Górnicka mixes Internet hate-speech with pop lyrics and patriotic songs. She makes use of musical and ritual structures, and samples national anthems and fragments of church liturgy in an attempt to determine where the song that emerges out of all these sources might take the audience.
In HYMN TO LOVE, I've composed a monstrous “National Songbook” out of various versions of the national anthem, marches, patriotic songs, religious hymns and folk songs – our shared musical repertoire, so eagerly being mixed by the nationalist rappers of today: 'TIS A DAY OF BLOOD AND GLORY!
When working on this project, I was haunted by the image of the concentration camp orchestra, which played marches, German classical music, and tunes from pre-war operettas. All the prisoners were forced to sing along. Music played a part in the Holocaust. I am looking into this alliance of song and murder.
I believe that the CHORUS, as a figure of the community, can show the workings of the collective unconscious. Its song exposes the frightfulness of a community bound together by their love for their country: of a homeland exclusively for people like us. A homeland which is like a family that has to be kept safe and pure by eliminating all foreign bodies – other races, religions, sexualities. Such a love is a perverse fulfilment of the commandment “Love thy neighbour as thyself”! It inspires Champions of Purity or Saviours to fight for our right to love our neighbours, as long as they look just like us. “You must honour me for my seventy-seven victims,” Anders Breivik urges. “Actions like mine prevent a future civil war, which could result in the death of hundreds of thousands. I put the world in order. I come to heal.” With a smile, Breivik insists he is completely sane, as the entire history of our civilization attests. He is right. How are we to respond to this horrific logic?
Goethe-Institut, Center for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle
Sylwia Achu, Anna Andrzejewska, Pamela Adamik, Maria Chleboś, Konrad Cichoń, Piotr B. Dąbrowski, Tymoteusz Dąbrowski, Maciej Dużyński, Anna Maria Gierczyńska, Paula Głowacka, Maria Haile, Wojciech Jaworski, Borys Jaźnicki, Katarzyna Jaźnicka, Ewa Konstanciak, Irena Lipczyńska, Kamila Michalska, Izabela Ostolska, Filip Piotr Rutkowski, Michał Sierosławski, Ewa Sołtysiak, Ewa Szumska, Krystyna Lama Szydłowska, Kornelia Trawkowska, Anastazja Żak.
Co-produced by: The CHORUS OF WOMEN Foundation, Polish Theatre in Poznan,
Conceived, written and directed by: Marta Górnicka. Music: Teoniki Rożynek. Choreography: Anna Godowska. Dramaturgy: Agata Adamiecka. Set design: Robert Rumas Costumes: Anna Maria Karczmarska. Puppets: Konrad Czarkowski (Kony Puppets). Lighting design: Artur Sienicki. Producers: Izabela Dobrowolska, Agnieszka Różyńska. Assistant to the director: Arnold Prządka. Assistant to the choreographer: Anna Krysiak. Assistant to the costume designer: Agnieszka Majkutewicz. Assistant and vocal coach: Joanna Piech-Sławecka. Technical director: Andrzej Szwaczyk.
© Magda Hueckel