The 10 Selected Productions
Der Mensch erscheint im Holozän (Man in the Holocene)
A visual poem by Alexander Giesche
Premiere 23 January 2020
after the novella by Max Frisch
Alexander Giesches stages Max Frisch’s novella about mankind’s Sisyphus-struggle against their own doom as a highly poetic trial of patience on thewings of imagination.
- 1 h 50 min, without interval, plus film afterwards
The 2020 festival edition did not take place. The performances had to be cancelled.
A hillside starts to slide and Herr Geiser loses his memory. Alexander Giesche and his team have captured the disappearance of a person and the drifting away of nature, the subject of Max Frisch’s novella, in a visual poem of enchanting beauty and coherence. This poetical stage scenery here leaves room for digital and analogue elements; lighting, music and rain form a unified composition and a masterful duo of actors leads us tenderly through an eerily abstracted, sustained catastrophe.
Statement of the Jury
Herr Geiser is going under: in a rainy and overcast Tessin and in his own increasing forgetfulness, in a cut-off mountain village opposite sliding slopes. In this work based on Max Frisch’s novella, Alexander Giesche is less concerned with the story of losing track of the world and of one’s own self than with exploring it as a text that ponders on the relationship between mankind and nature, on acquiring knowledge as a way to reassure oneself of one’s existence. Tessin’s incessant rain pelts down on the curtain and the stage floor in all imaginable pitches and colourings. Knowledge material from a cement mixer to a holographic projector accumulates and sinks without a trace; children bridge an abyss in solidarity. Even a dinosaur, which Max Frisch was reminded of by a salamander in his living-room, makes an appearance. “Only mankind know disasters”, he writes, “provided they survive them. Nature does not know disasters.”
Director Alexander Giesche
Stage Design Nadia Fistarol
Costume Design Felix Lübkemann
Composition Ludwig Abraham
Video Luis August Krawen
Lighting Design Frank Bittermann
Dramaturgy Joshua Wicke
Karin Pfammatter, Maximilian Reichert
Supernumeraries Benjamin Bubica, Rosa Curi, Alexia Finocchiaro-Piu, Julia Kalberer, Matti Kramer, Cara Stäger
Child’s Voice Shelley Fistarol