LIGNA “The new man”, DE

Thur, 06.09.2012, 20h, Hartera

Language: English


This event is supported by the Goethe Institut Kroatien.


About “The New Man”

After the shock of the First World War and the final breakdown of the bourgeois concept of art various artists looked for a new function for their art, searching for a new relation to life and society. This modernist impulse is buried under the experience of fascism and the repression of Stalinism. LIGNA’s performance “The New Man” explores four different positions – where the fourth cuts across the other three. The poet Berthold Brecht develops the Lehrstueck for a state without classes, where gestures, social positions and society as a whole come into play. The dancer Rudolf von Laban proposes Bewegungschoere, choirs of movement, in which the collective vibrations disperse power itself. The director Wsewolod Meyerhold experiments in the young Soviet Union with biomechanical exercises for his actors to renew their bodies and shape a new kind of subjectivity. Finally the comedian Charlie Chaplin stumbles across all of these utopian visions and their promises.

“The New Man” is a performance without actors and stage. There is nothing to see except the activity of visitors. They listen to a radio play that not only deals with four aesthetic positions mentioned above, but also proposes gestures and movements according to the different blueprints of the new man. But the audience does not hear the same thing at the same time. It is split up into four groups. For fifteen minutes each group listens to one of these positions, then the program changes and their role is transferred to another group. In the end each group of listeners will have tested and quoted every attitude. They play the same play four times with different roles, being actors and viewers at the same time. The New Man calls for turning the production of gestures and movements into a public, collective affair.

The New Man is a play in the third person, exploiting the deconstruction of the gesture and thus reconsidering the aesthetical paradigms of Brecht’s Lehrstueck. The hope that all social institutions that scattered under present circumstances could come into play is kept alive in a dispersed way between the different positions of the play.



The group LIGNA exists since 1997 and consists of media- and performance artists Ole Frahm, Michael Hueners and Torsten Michaelsen, who have been working since the early nineties at a public non-profit radio station in Hamburg.

What all works of LIGNA have in common is that they regard their audience as a collective of producers. In a temporary association it can produce unforeseeable, uncontrollable effects that challenge the regulation of a space.

Annual Archive

Annual Archive

Annual Archive