There William heard for the first time in his life the term "mise en abîme"
For further clarification, see:
And here the script of the performance, with some pictures courtesy of Martí Manem and Instituto Cervantes Stockholm:
I always wanted to know how it would be here, in Stockholm.
Bitte erheben Sie sich für die Nationalhymne.
Ladies and gentlemen, please stand up for the national anthem. Please, do stand up for the national anthem, I mean it. Thanks.
Danke, das war die polnische Nationalhymne mit dem schönen und bedeutungsvollen Titel: Still Alive!
You can sit down again, thanks.
This is how the performance William Holden in Frankfurt started last May 6 in Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt. I am here to tell you about this project and this performance, William Holden in Frankfurt.
My name is William Holden and I am a Hollywood star who died in 1981. I am dead. If that is a problem for me? No, it is not, because I am a fictional figure, and as such, to be dead is totally painless.
So, again: My name is William Holden and I am a fantasy of German artist Martin Kippenberger. Therefore I am William Holden and I am Martin Kippenberger.
What was Martin Kippenberger's fantasy? In 1991, The William Holden Company was founded as a triumvirate constituted by me, Martin Kippenberger and a student of Martin Kippenberger… schäffli… schluffer… Matthias Schlaufer, no sorry, Schaufler! The William Holden Company was a structure allowing the making of an artwork, The Hot Tour, where Schäffli was the proxy of Martin Kippenberger and I, William Holden, was his avatar.
"William Holden, the collective Alter Ego for all male voyagers, adventurers, warriors". So yes, I would say, I am a projection of Martin Kippenberger. But I have no means to know what I meant for Martin Kippenberger. He is dead too… and the best I can say of myself is that I am a ghost gone independent, a character that has survived its author.
My name is William Holden and I am a character created by Dora García. Dora García is my "Auftraggeberin", somehow responsible of my inhospitable wandering through the arids streets of Frankfurt. This is not totally capricious— nothing is, really— there is a Frankfurt connection. Kippenberger's fantasy about Holden happened in Frankfurt. It was in Frankfurt, God knows why, where he said "Africa!!" as the ultimate solution for art education and perhaps as the great remedy for the German Bank System malaise. This is not for me to know: all I know is that I was placed in Frankfurt for ten days in 2009, with the mission to get to know the place, its peoples and prepare a theater presentation.
Mein Name ist William Holden, ich bin Schriftsteller, nicht berühmt, aber offenbar berühmt genug um den Aftrag zu erhalten hier in Frankfurt ein Theaterstück zu schreiben, dass am 6. Mai um 8 Uhr in der Schirn Kunsthalle präsentiert wird – nur für den fall, dass Sie kommen möchten.
Schreiben – insbesondere das Schreiben von Drehbühchern ist wichtig. Das Publikum weiß nicht, dass sich zunächst jemand hin setzt und einen Film schreibt. Sie denken noch immer, die Schauspieler improvisieren, vor der Kamera.
Das Publikum weiß nicht, dass jemand den Film schreiben muss. Sie denken, er entsteht spontan beim Drehen.
Aber, kein Film nicht einmal eine Dokumentation ohne Inszenierung.
Die Leute wissen nicht, dass man eine Dokumentation schreiben muss. Sie denken sie entstünde einfach so beim Drehen, bzw. Aufnehmen. Dass gute Dokumentationen selten sind, liegt nicht daran, dass nicht genug spannende Geschichten geschehen, sondern dass es wenig gute Autoren gibt.
So, unsophisticated people might see my job in Frankfurt as documenting the city. (sarcastic) Ah!!. Well, unsophisticated people are wrong: My real comission was to re-write the script of that city. As in Sunset Boulevard, remember? I was given a hideous script by Frankfurt-Norma Desmond and I was expected to return a brilliant, thrilling, dynamic, snappy script in return. I suceeded only partially. Reality in Frankfurt is like a monkey on your back- you cannot chase it away.
REALITY IS ONLY INTERESTING WHEN PROPERLY SCRIPTED
I have started with the national anthem - from which nation, it is totally irrelevant- because I wanted to underline the strong political climate one can perceive easily in Frankfurt— I was there, remember on May 1. Only, the left has turned nowadays into a sort of lifestlyle supplement of a newspaper's Sunday edition. One walks around Frankfurt on May 1st and the city appears to be a big revolution shopping mall, for all sort of revolutions: you can buy t-shirts with Che Guevara, Dalai Lama, Einstein, Jesus Christ and Frank Zappa. Protest is protest, and one face is as good as any other to show your anti-establishment critique.
Avec un manifestant contre la torture aux animaux (there is no excuse for animal abuse!) je commence un dialogue en français, pars qu'il ne parle pas allemand. Je me presente comme Monsieur Oldoon. Il est ici pour visiter son ami. Il pose le question, si je mange de corps. Mais je réponde que je ne suis pas vegan est non plus un végétarien. Il va retourner a France le dimanche. C’est la première foi pour lui de faire une manifestation de son opinion en public. Mais il l’aime. Bonne journée il dit, et bonne manifestation je réponse.
Une fois que j'ai réussi à introduire un peu de French Mood dans la salle, J'espère qu'il y a quelqu'un dans la salle qui puisse traduire, simultanéement, le document suivant, très rare et très spécial, du français à l'espagnol, parce qu'il n'existe que avec des sous-titres français.
--- Kipperberger – französisch ---mit Simultanübersetzung by somebody in the audience.
Yes, there ain't no cure, there ain't no cure, there ain't no cure for love. Leonard Cohen. There are no coincidences in this lecture, there were no happenstances in "William Holden in Frankfurt", everything was, is carefully scripted. This is no documentation (pointing to the powerpoint), but a very meticulous script!. Leonard Cohen, born in Quebec, the only Canadian province with a predominantly French-speaking population and the only one whose sole official language is French at the provincial level. This French connection I just made between Frankfurt on the 1st May - Kippenberger at the Pompidou - Leonard Cohen, proves just how carefully scripted this lecture and this performance are. May 1st, by the way, was instituted in Paris during the Second International.
Maybe I should insist here: There are no coincidences, but carefully scripted events: I am a Hollywood legend as imagined by Martin Kippenberger, who was an actor as well, occupying a cast of characters such as, according to Christopher Wool: comedian, spokesman, insomniac, paranoiac, adversary, prankster, chameleon, hypocrite, terrorist, assassin, persuader, and pessimist. All adjectives, I must say, that constitute a very accurate portrait, of myself. But there is more - carefully scripted events.
In Sunset Boulevard, I entered, by mistake or by accident - or by carefully scripted event- a disappearing, entropic, Ballardian world of empty swimming pools and dead chimpanzees. Norma Desmond wanted me to re-write her Salomé script. But really, really… she wanted more than that: she wanted me to resurrect the dead.
In Frankfurt, Joshka Fischer once threw stones to the police. Once, Adorno personally asked for a Wombat to be donated to the Frankfurter zoo. Once, there were in Frankfurt Magarete Mitscherlich, Hesse, Rowohlt, Unseld. Once, in 1991, The William Holden Company was founded. Once! Once, not now. Seriously, I believe that in Frankfurt I was not only asked to write a good script of events; I was asked as well for a resurrection.
Resurrection. Do fictional characters die? If so, can they resurrect? I'd like to close this dissertation with one serious case of resurrection that happened during the William Holden in Frankfurt experience: the appearance, the resurrection, of no one less than Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Or at least, this is the only figure with whom I can identify the mysterious shadow, the Venetian mask constantly standing behind me, as you see, on the podium, maybe standing behind somewhere right now!. I met him at the Römerberg, the central square in Frankfurt, and his 18th century manner convinced me that I was facing Germany's greatest man of letters; the fact that he didn't speak a word of German, though, was a drawback in my Goethe theory. But he was there, and he consented to participate in my William Holden in Frankfurt performance, and somehow he legitimated it, he ennobled it, he transformed it from an eccentric adaptation of a 1991 Kippenberger's art piece into a real dance of the dead.
Translation LIVE into English of the videodocumentation of the last gag at the Schirn Kunsthalle: asking the public to deposit money in Tino's can.
A real dance of the dead. There are no coincidences. Only carefully scripted events.
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