Die Gewalt ist das politische Instrument unserer Zeit – interview with Patrick Wildermann, Tagesspiegel 28.09
Marta Górnicka, is humanity a thing of the past?
MARTA GÓRNICKA: The question that arises today is: Whose life matters? Whose life is recognized as life? This touches on a fundamental attitude in the West to the life itself. In my performance the reference for this is the wall of biodiversity in the Natural History Museum in Berlin, probably the largest still life in the world – the most beautiful and at the same time the most terrible. It presents three thousand exhibits of preserved animals. You stand in front of it and admire all these creatures behind glass, which are interconnected in their development. And realizes that this is not just about life, but also about death and extinction. For me this is the metaphor of our time. Big sarcophagus many forms of live. This wall also tells the story of the human species, colonisation and imperialism, story full of violence and genocides. Can we imagine different planet today designed to include everyone, animals and plants as well, everything that lives? Community all forms of live?
Your most recent work at the Gorki Theater, “Still Life”, primarily tells the story of the West as a relentless series of atrocities. At the same time, we invoke “Western values” at every opportunity. What’s wrong with that?
I never trust words. We live in a time of hostile adoption of language, words are kidnapped. These big terms such as “freedom”, “we”, “democracy”, “peace” or even “values” are loaded with ideology, certainly also with hope – but they are completely powerless. I reveal this mechanism in the prolog of Still life where I use the texts of greatest contemporary philosophers who call for reinvention of community and I mix it with digital spam from the Internet, fragments of Britney Spears Manifesto “We can still be together”, robot voices that I heard in German shops as an announcement – “If we look after each other, we will overcome this crisis ”. I rub words into words. It is also the attempt to transcend meaning and to look for something pure in language – also for something pure in values. (…)