»The tradition of the oppressed teaches us that the ‘state of emergency’ in which we live is not the exception but the rule. We must arrive at a conception of history that is in keeping with this insight. Then we shall see clearly that it is our task to bring about a real state of emergency (...)« (Walter Benjamin, On the Concept of History)
But it's obvious. After the coronavirus crisis there'll still be winners and losers. That's how it's always been and how it'll always be. STOP! Go back. Ok. But it is obvious that everyone wants to go back to normal as soon as possible. STOP! Which normal? The one in which thousands of people drown in the Mediterranean, in which the question of who “has and has not” is a decisive factor in one's survival, in which people are killed just because they have a different skin colour? As Walter Benjamin wrote back in 1942, the state of emergency is the rule --- STOP?
The pandemic works like a magnifying glass, laying the contradictions and conflicts in our social order bare, with brutal clarity. Wherever half-way functional democratic structures fail to work against them, corporations use the weaknesses of institutions to expand their influence, and autocrats turn their countries more and more into dictatorships.
For his new project, Oliver Frljić shifts the entire Gorki into a state of emergency. The theatre – as body, as city – through which the spectators make their way. Five stages because five digits combine to make a fist or because the red star has five points. STOP. »Then we shall see clearly that it is our task to bring about a real state of emergency« Ok. But please enter one-by-one.