Ariel Efraim Ashbel and friends

Krems Halle 1 Halle 1

The Empire Strikes Back: Kingdom of the Synthetic


Program text

Limited capacities, reservation on the day of the event recommended.

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The electrifying mantra from Nuclear War by cosmic jazz guru Sun Ra opens a parallel world in black. Later David Bowie’s hit Life on Mars is perforated with synchronic blank spaces. Performers in full body space suits writhe through an architecture of mobile minimal objects. We’re touched by machine effects; the faceless men and women on stage seem like androids on a moon landscape of cubes and triangles. Director Ariel Efraim Ashbel recapitulates radically different futurisms while pledging himself to nothing in his promiscuous rereadings. In The Empire Strikes Back: Kingdom of the Synthetic he cuts an audacious swathe through space and time. He draws from the echoes of modernity and suggestions of posthumanism, orbited by Oskar Schlemmer’s Triadic Ballet and Stanley Kubrick’s classic 2001: A Space Odyssey. Apes with astronaut helmets, noise and social din. At the end lurks autism, the chaos of voices, the fog. Is this still the queer accolade of the synthetic or already the laughter of pataphysics?

director: Ariel Efraim Ashbel
research and concept: Romm Lewkowicz
By and with: Santiago Blaum, Jessica Gadani, Tamara Saphir, Sarah Thom, Jan-Sebastian Šuba, Tatiana Saphir
featuring: Hacklander\Hatam, Mat Hand
head of visuals: Alona Rodeh
costumes: Sandra Fink
musical director: Yoni Silver
technology: Yair Reshef
light and technical director: Andreas Harder
sound: Guy James Cohen
outside eye: Stefanie Wenner
assistant of director: Joseph Wegmann
production trainee: Daniel Sauermilch
press & production: björn & björn


A production of Ariel Efraim Ashbel and friends. Coproduced by HAU
Hebbel am Ufer (Berlin), Kampnagel (Hamburg), FFT (Düsseldorf).
Supported by Hauptstadtkulturfonds.


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