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Ingeborg Bachmann Performance


SOLO-Performance with Maren Rahmann
based on texts by INGEBORG BACHMANN

A production of the FLEISCHEREI – Projekt Theater STUDIO phase 2, Vienna

With special support by the Heirs of Ingeborg Bachmann


Performance: Maren Rahmann (D), Angélica Castelló (MEX)
Mise-en-Scène: Eva Brenner (A/USA)
Composition & Live Music: Angélica Castelló (MEX)
Space Design & Live Projections: Andreas Pamperl (A)
Artistic Directors: Eva Brenner & Maren Rahmann

Performance with Video-Closed-Circuit – Duration approx. 1 hour (Language: German)

World Premiere Dublin, Trinity College, Mai 2004, new & adapted version for Vienna, created for the celebrations of Ingeborg Bachmann 80th birthday (2006).


The performance „On this darkening star“ assembles, for the first time onstage, a representative cross-selection from Ingeborg Bachmann’s oeuvre and coalesces into a fascinating theatrical montage, an exiting tour-de-force for one actress. In an attempt to acquaint the audience with a “monument” of Austrian literature, Maren Rahmann as female protagonist deconstructs the myth of failure by setting the active resistance of a very contemporary women and author against it.  A woman appears alone in a large open space and is mirrored by her “alter ego” – the gifted young Mexican  musician and flutist, Angélica Castelló. Poems as well as excerpts from speeches, essays and the novel, „Malina“, are being used.

As Rahmann encounters her own (video)projections she enacts changing diverse scenes of the live of a poet, thinker, lover, intellectual, victim and the perpetrator.  She works with extremely sparse gestures, props, and costuming in an effort to achieve direct contact with the audience. Moving with ease between the genres of scenic reading and experimental physical theater, her float through space testifies to an existential quest for remembrance, knowledge and empathy. Her gestures are effortless, unvarnished, non-pathetic and supported by a mesmerizing musical track of diverse flutes and e-music sounds.

What is proposed is a scenic demystification of the “classical” author, Ingeborg Bachmann, avoiding any temptation to superficial reverences when confronted with famous texts, giving voice to a scandalous life of a woman, who combined sensuality, creativity, sexuality, intellectual power and political consciousness in a still surprising fashion.  The performance succeeds in arousing interest for the opus and the human being alike – a fascinating and very contemporary opus.



The legendary Solo-Performance „On this Darkening Star“ by Eva Brenner and Maren Rahmann is the result of a year-long theatrical research by the double artistic team with literary works by eminent Austrian poet and writer, Ingeborg Bachmann.  Aside of the central significance of Bachmann’s works within Austrain psot-war literature, the performance focuses on a daring use of space/spatial design and a split of identity of a female protagonist made up of „two“ dramatic figures. It is carried by a pronounced musicality in the use of language and associative, surreal movement sequences as well as a stunning integration of video-projections and live music.

The work manages to find a special musical-rhythmical translation of text into theater for each of the materials used, as is expressed in the creation of a theatrical double-figure.  The role of the “author” (Maren Rahmann with an perplexing resemblance to Ingeborg Bachmann) is accompanied and mirrored by the „musician“ Angélica Castelló who works with unique large flutes of her own making and functions as a kind of “shadow-figure”. The dialogue fluctuates between different languages of „music & poetry“ – also the title to one of the major texts. („Musik & Dichtung“).

Video-images of large formats are projected onto white walls of an open space as the performance moves around the audience in a form of “extended environmental theater”. Visual artist and filmmaker, Andreas Pamperl, films the action live while the images are simultaneously projected and enlarging, counteracting and commenting on the scenic progression.  This aesthetic encourages the discourse between performance and new media as spectators bear witness to how the „images” are created.

The Performance’s unique gestalt derives from the theatrical tension between body and picture, spatial relations and video-image, above which flow the words. Through the use of real space as opposed to a proscenium stage - including (if available) the streets in front of the theater – the texts of Ingeborg Bachmann acquire a disquieting impact.


OUVERTURE in the Lobby: Exil (Werke, Piper, 1982, Bd. 1) –

Music & Language Improvisation

  • Keine Delikatessen ( „Letzte unveröffentlichte Gedicht, Edition & Kommentar Hans Höller, 1998)
  • Kriegstexte(div. Interviews und Malina, in: Werke, Bd. 2)
  • Alkohol („Ich weiß keine bessere Welt“, 2000)
  • Die Wahrheit ist dem Menschen zumutbar – (Rede zur Verleihung des Hörspielpreises der Kriegsblinden, 1959, in: Werke, Bd. 4)
  • Schweigen befohlen (unveröffentlichtes Gedicht)
  • Musik und Dichtung (Werke, Bd. 4)
  • Müd und Untauglich („Ich weiß keine bessere Welt“)
  • Meine Schreie („Ich weiß keine bessere Welt“)
  • Werbung („Ich weiß keine bessere Welt“)
  • Auf das Opfer darf sich keiner berufen (Werke Bd. 4)
  • Ein Tag wird kommen... (Malina)
  • Die gestundete Zeit (Werke, Bd. 1)
  • Terror in Vietnam (Aus einer Erklärung vom Dezember 1965)
  • Die Waffen nieder! (aus dem Nachlass)
  • Böhmen liegt am Meer („Letzte unveröffentlichte Gedichte“)
  • Auflösung („Ich weiß keine bessere Welt“)

CODA:   Meine Spießer („Ich weiß keine bessere Welt“)

Additional musical quotes by Katharina Klement, Giuseppe Verdi, Rossi-Mann-Weil

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