Denkbild for 6 musicians, 4 actors, and 1 singer
libretto by Kélina Gotman
music by Steve Potter
devised and performed by Adam de la Cour, Kirstin Smith, Cara Curran, Jüri Nael, James Scott, and the London Sinfonietta
This piece stages a denkbild, or “thought-image”: that of the Angelus Novus, or Angel of History, painted by Paul Klee and described by Walter Benjamin: the Angel of History is being blown inexorably into the future, facing the past with horror. He can do nothing of the detritus spread out before him at his feet, which he witnesses in flashes. This is a constellation, time fragmented, exploded: it is messianic, perhaps – time in which all of modernity and capitalism are exploded outwards in shards.
The scenes thus partake of a single world, yet they are discontinuous. Some are humorous, even hysterical; others are more sombre. All estrange us from modern life: we see desperate dreams of Disney princesses; eco dreams of houses built romantically from scratch. Anarchism flashes by as a possible viable alternative, before being tossed into a psychedelic dreamscape of hallucinogenic proportions – a conquering Adam redrawing the rivers of the world – until all this folds into the hum of quiet laughter, and an uncanny sense of tranquillity.
We are interested in moods, textures, playful language and dreams; dreaming other possible worlds is perhaps the most important function that artists can play in society.