|Christoph Marthaler, "plus minus zero". Photo from der neue Merker.|
This year's Bergen International Festival is nearing its end, and I have not had time to see by far as many shows as I would have wanted to. But last night I went to a performance that was presented as theatre: Christoph Marthaler's "plus minus zero". What a lucky choice! - Though maybe not a very likely one, since I had read an unfavorable review in Bergens Tidende the same morning. Too bad that paper sends a theatre critic to review a work like this, and not an art critic. Because complaining about lack of storyline and coherence seems to me completely beside the point as long as Marthaler communicates precisely through his break with theatre convention.
|Christoph Marthaler, "plus minus zero". Photo from NCF.|
The seemingly incoherent mix of scenography viewed as installation art; choir music performed in human tableaux; text presented in different languages, and thus enhanced, sometimes like poetry; simple movement repeated in dancelike patterns; Inuit stories told without translation (but with clues given through body language); the slowness, stillness and meditation; - it all suggests notions of a world view so different from western rationale that we simply cannot understand it through linear, analytic communication.