Endless prairies, heat, dust and somewhere – poised in silent anticipation – a Cowboy. A cigarette between his lips. The West and the Western. A cardinal direction and a construct, a geographical and political unit, a place of longing. The Western stands for a simple life and clear categories of “good” and “bad”. It promises a better life within the unknown.
The artist collective schmarrnintelligenz, die approaches the genre of the Western – this classic of western pop-culture – from a critical perspective. Using the form of a choreographed performance piece, the collective embarks on a journey searching for the typical protagonist of the Western genre, the cowboy. What defines him? What lies behind this phenomenon of pop media and the images that everyone knows? The performers attempt various approaches between the romanticism of a good old bonfire, whiskey in a saloon, cigarettes, shootouts and – of course – canned beans. Unfortunately they have to discover that it is almost impossible to get to the base of this ideal of western masculinity. Positioned somewhere between being simply an empty canvas for other’s desires or an absolute contentual void, the cowboy remains vague.
In their desperate attempt to give some substance to the phenomenon and discover the underlying structures the collective gets lost in the neverending repetition of the always same clichées. Within this process certain gaps in the historical representation become more and more apparent: the displacement of the indigenous american people and the crimes committed against them. As part of their research schmarrnintelligenz, die examine the mechanisms that keep these gaps covered and anticipate the current discussion around “Winnetou” and Karl May.
Performance Dates: 3rd, 4th, 5th November 2022, 7.30pm, Experimentiertheater (Bismarckstraße 1, 91054 Erlangen), accessible for non-German speakers.
Fee: 8€ (normal) / 5€ (students)
For reservations please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org