«Best before 2000»
The unreal realism and a new generation at the abyss of the new Millenium
by Thomas Oberender
The real feeling of the things that are over, unifice me with many artists that began to laborate on new forms, koncepts and contacts. I this virtual theatre I am a real beginner. I hear a new sound and see a new look on the stage, specialy in the fringe in England, but also in Germany my Generation founds networks like the ‘Theater neuen Typs’ by a group of playwrights from Berlin or the theatre-projekt ‘theater affekt’ by the director Stephan Bachman.
At the abyss of the new millennium I often read on tinned, foods or medicaments: Best before 2000. In my childhood the year 2000 has been a mythical and utopian year. This utopian charactre seems to disappear the more near we come to this year. At the end it will be a year like every year. The imagination of a completely change of all the social conditions - for example: a world without trees and with hugh cities under a dome of glass on Mars - is maybe a result of quite closed social conditions. Nothing shows the expiry date 2000 so clear like the decrease or fading in the meaning of some special words. In my early youth a cinema was often named «theatre of peace» or a playhouse «theatre of friendship». This was not irony. A festival with guests from barely a dozen countrys was called «Festival of the World» («Weltfestspiele») and this countrys has been called «peoples republik». Some years have been enough - now we smile about this terms, they are funny, because we see, that they are made, they are not absolute, holy and sacred, they are made to show and give us a promise. Some years later we dont longer believe, that this wold is controllable by some illuminated persons.
At the end of the century the first genuine post war generation will become adult. Slowly, all the ruines the second world war left in Berlin vanish. As the war is leaving the city, this generation will grow up in a society which is completely wiped of the war. We already grew up as «refugees in our own system» - the libraries, art, and the subculture were the exil of all those who stayed. The fall of the wall finished the post war period, also as a structure in mind. Today, nobody is forced to decide between Walter Benjamin or Ernst Jünger; we can read Pound and Majakowski, Dante Alighieri and Andy Wharhol without reaching limits made by Schools or systems. The only limits we have are limits of the civil society: pain, solidarity, our autobiography.
Estberlin has still many districts of a new «german way of life» - a life in a productive shadow. Here the feeling at the evening of the century - this crude mixture of nihilism, kiendness, wilfulness - can particulary be observed. In some old and uncared appartment blocks in the quarters Prenzlauer Berg and Friedrichshain has developed a special culture of a emancipation: There in special «living rooms» go private and public together, galeries and happenings, bars and music stages - this «living rooms» synthesize in their interieur or ‘furnishing’ the marginal or peripheral culture of the 20th century. This is the trivial culture of the mass, icons of the socialism period and the «Wirtschaftswunder», superman and candle light - the culture of the everyday life in a industrial world. The time of final truth and historic revolutions is gone. A strinking phrase of that epoche was «The marxist doctrine is omnipotent because it is true». Today, this is as funny as TV-series or SitComs. Nobody takes the gadgets or the social realism for real - we wipe off every claim one has entitled to it.
The older miss the depth, the substance of this kind of culture. The younger appreciate the increase in variety. At the end of the century, art can be distinguished in two areas: veterans of a recessive cultur, rejecting the present and trusting in metaphysiscs with their home in another, special time and authorities; and on the other side those who force the contemporary time, those who search for immanence find their way to these deep experiences that are below the trivial surface.
Techno-Music is a very self relating music, that creats a forced presence by repeating it self in very short intervals - it emphases this presence by the shortening of our memorys and because it brings permanent the sound in a relation to our present feelings. In the same way works the director Quentin Tarrentino - he makes movies by movies and the freedom and dream of his movies is nowhere outside, it is only inside, in the freedom and in the dreams he is able to collect and take into his films. Like in a performance of a british theatregroup with the speaking name Forced Entertainment, where I saw how five actors in a show, that lasts more than four hours, selected and created their trasitory idetity by a collection of maybe threehundred clothes and twohundred cardboards with different statements about every kind of people: for example ‘pregnant whife’, or ‘good cop in bad movie’, or ‘king Richard’. Whithout break this actors changed their outfit and image, uninterupted and tireless they changed their parts in the life. A new dress, another titel, a changed behavoir. Every single one is the Master of his own - and has to be his Creator. I describe this simpel and deep performance because I think she is significant for a new kind of art: What happens is the forced, the radical and extreme expression of the things in our time; this art forces the existing tendency by acceleration and compression. Like in American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis - a novel without memories. The forced description of a world made by branded goods and brand names drives this world to the excess. How long will it take untill a word like ‘indifference’ in this context will have lost the his bad charactere?
The representative art for the modern bourgeois culture is not longer the art of the absolutism, that means the culturel heritage of the ages of the aristocracy. Every reference to a absolute or outright truth or authority is anachronistic in the view of the same right of alternative lifestyles, goods and ideas. In the art of a forced inherence [immanence] the bourgeoise art comes to itself. The human understanding or common sense is not common, is not to generalize - except perhaps the rules and laws in result of a democratic process. The contrast of the aristocratic heritage of art centred by metaphysics is the the popular culture made by industries an their moons of various subcultures.
A society of walls and disciplin (like in the analysis of Michel Foucault) is obsolete and antiquated, not because we are now free - we only are better under control, because we have learned to insure us better against the risk and thats why the walls could fall. Art in this boundles or limitless world gets it power and inspiration not longer from anticapitalist and antiliberal resources, their power comes on the exact opposite: from the forced tendencies of the capitalism - to speed up, to make liquid, mobile and «equal». Our present time and contemporary culture is very closed to a new generated postcristian universal culture. Quentin Tarrentino and Bret Easton Ellis force the stuff of this postchristian culture and their inherent strengh - their works of art shocks and entertains, thrills and enlighens because it shows the forced character of this culture, that looks back in our every day live. This artists anounce a culture that still is existing. And they talking about the only kind of truth that is not relativ: the physical or corporal thruth of pain and fun - after all the only relieable bridges between the people.
We, the generation born in the middle of the sixteens, are aktually the first real post-war-generation. With us ends the World War Two and his cultural und spiritual heritage finaly in this days of fluid structures. There is a new culture of creation and networks emerging. We have brought down the Wall about ten years ago and with this every thing becomes fluid - institutions are hosts more for processes then «things» and this turn starts right now. Let us use up the age of ideologies best before 2000, and we will see what happens.