The performance „beauty to die for“ in the WhiteBox
There are no coincidences. A small moth dances in abrupt zigzag lines between the spotlights. Not a trace of the actress yet, the moth takes possession of the stage room on the lower floor of the „White Box“, randomly circles around the brown flowerprinted wing chair, the coffee table on wheels including the TV set, an old brown suitcase. To the left, a red sash that has been knotted into a cocoon hangs from the steel girder. In tune to the flutist’s (Cornelia Kleyboldt) music, the hatching of a second moth is announced. This time it is the heroine, Ditte Schupp. As a modern Erinnye, as a goddess of revenge, she battles through a monologue against the unfairness of death. Anger, exhaustion and perplexity flow into her words, the recitations often come across as brittle and cackling. The voice of grief is no feast for the ear.
The author and actress spent three years writing this staccato. „Words that create a fortress against the hardships of a hostile world“ she screams at the audience as a raging fury and at the same time appears so fragile and agitated that one wants to take the knife she is peeling an apple with from her hand for fear that she might cut herself. Schupp processed confrontations with death to a concentrate, an essence“ as she explains, „that is why it is also naturally very abstract, I’m aware of that“.
Her thought mosaic was staged by Alexander May, who now works as a freelance director after assisting Christoph Schlingensief and Claus Peymann. The performance is embedded in an exhibition of the artists Sybille Loew, Bernhard Blank and Sven Kalb. Here, it is especially the installation created by Loew which endows the room with poetic density: cloth tags hang with thin threads from the ceiling, each one embroidered with the name, date of death and age of the person who died alone and lonely in Munich in the year 2005.
Schupp wanders through this delicate memento mori, quotes the names, mixes them with her own losses and thereby delays forgetting: „In my opinion, I believe you can only really live if you are aware that you could die at any time. There’s nothing morbid about it, in fact, it is even life-affirming, that’s why I called the piece to die for“. One can only live well if one honors life. That is what I created this evening for“.
Source: Süddeutsche Zeitung
Nr.86, Saturday, April 14 2007, page 61
Goddess Lilith’s Lamentation
Theater images accompanying the exhibition: Ditte Schupp’s project „beauty to die for“
She dreamt the Romantic’s dream of a total work of art. The Munich-based actress Ditte Schupp fulfills this dream with the project „To die for“ in her very own way: She doesn’t perform in the theater, but in the art gallery whiteBOX and responds to an exhibition whose exhibits were also collected on the topic of „beauty to die for“.
With the spatial installation „Silent exit“, Sybille Loew pays tribute to all those who died in Munich in 2005 without any kith or kin. The dead are represented by name tags hanging from the ceiling whose sparse information on name, date of death and age set in motion fantasies about the actual people hiding behind these data. Bernhard Blank was inspired by ancient Egyptian tombs to create the image of „the false door“ as a connection between the here and the beyond. Sven Kalb shows the fragility and metamorphoses of the human face on large-scale paintings with expressive gestures. Cornelia Kleyboldt weaves an atmospheric, floating sound carpet with several flutes to accompany the images.
Here, Ditte Schupp moves as as the death goddess Lilith on an exploratory journey through life. The passage begins with the fall from a blood red cocoon and ends with the discrete disappearance from the room (stage design Alexander May). Lilith bewails moltings, transformations and impermanence, yet she is far too beautiful to die. (Costume: Monika Staykova).
Nr 86, Saturday, April 14, 2007, page 26