VOLKSBÜHNE
Berlin
Calla Henkel and Max Pitegoff
Health & Safety
>> gruener.salon

Drama
60 min
German and English

All the good things happen in private now. These unconscious buildings. One character pours bags of sugar into droning concrete mixers, another falls in love with Potsdamer Platz out of pity. Bored by the monotony of contemporary Berlin, the ghost of Karl Friedrich Schinkel staggers drunk from construction site to bar, unable to lift a brick. Health & Safety is the second of a series of plays tracing the rise and fall of a city, written for the Grüner Salon by Calla Henkel and Max Pitegoff. Loosely shadowing Molière’s The Misanthrope, it is about architecture and heartbreak, destruction and disease, and the collapse of theory into practice. “The next war on a new structure”.

> Go to the interview with Calla Henkel and Max Pitegoff


Grüner Salon

In the current season, the Grüner Salon becomes the main character in a series of evenings organised by Calla Henkel and Max Pitegoff. The bar has been doubled and costumed, turning the space into its own backdrop, where artists, writers and musicians present original performances and concerts that unfold in a loosely serial way.

The doors open one hour before the performance starts.

The Grüner Salon is ticketed only for plays and performances and remains open afterwards for ticket-holders and non-ticket-holders alike.

Cast

With: Jochen Arbeit, Sir Henry, Leon Kahane, Mia von Matt, Lily McMenamy, Tobias Spichtig

Direction and Text: Calla Henkel, Max Pitegoff
Costumes: Nhu Duong
Editing and Translation: Alex Scrimgeour
Curator: Elodie Evers
Composition and musical direction: Sir Henry, Jochen Arbeit
Choreography: Tarren Johnson

media

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Past Activities

Glamor and Danger in Warwarwar: The Salon

The Gray Voice Ensemble presents their new summer 2018 programme, Glamor and Danger in Warwarwar: The Salon. The Berlin-based ensemble sings the songs of Albert McCloud and is an ongoing experiment in community, founded in 2013 and directed by Elisabeth Wood.

Der Klang der Familie

In the last of the series of plays by Calla Henkel and Max Pitegoff for the Grüner Salon, a family band unpacks their gear for a gig in a Chinese restaurant in Berlin on Christmas Day. Straight marriage is illegal. Global warming has finally grown up. The reality spectacle is on its last legs. The smell of Syrian wheat and frozen assets wafts over Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz like cheap suntan lotion. The crypto-plague is behind us, so we’ve straightened the hems of our peasant dresses: it’s time to get back to what we do as a civilization. “Today I am your mother, tomorrow I’ll be your brother, but we’re stuck playing this goddamn hit song till the day we die.”

2061 INMORAL LIDOS

After the launch of the 5th generation of Dark Pools in El Segundo, serious decay happens in the fissures of the leftover population.

A financial crisis task forced entertainment operation taking the form of a performance and a book launch with live music, performative readings, a huge banner, makeup, perfume and a boatman.

Over the course of a three year-long preoccupation with Dark Pools – a form of secret, anonymous algorithmic stock trading with an increasing impact on global economics – Benedicte Clementsen, Frans Jacobi, and Discoteca Flaming Star have produced a collection of texts responding to these parallel structures and the enigmatic shadows they cast onto their surroundings: our surroundings. Based on the “semantic fields” generated in interviews with experts, the stories explored in 2061 INMORAL LIDOS refract the opaque surfaces of Dark Pools and the twisted fantasies beneath to shape an ambivalent territory that is part fiction, part wild research.

With: Benedicte Clementsen, Frans Jacobi and Discoteca Flaming Star (CGB, Sara Pereira, WM), and special guests Dagmar Gabler & Robert Ochshorn.

One Night Only

Performative sketches on the reflective subconsciousness of two friends who wake up in front of a live audience.

Two flies in the house of life.

Featuring:
The Incestuous Sisters aka the Cunnilinguist Queens,
the son of a mother who plays saxophone,
and a Souffleuse

12 String Ragas: Jochen Arbeit with Schneider TM and Claas Grosszeit Verweile Doch: A reading by Theresa Patzschke

Jochen Arbeit, who collaborated on Health & Safety in the Grüner Salon this past spring, is a Berlin-based musician who long played with the Einstürzende Neubauten, AUTOMAT and Die Haut. In this improvisational set, his and Schneider TM’s 12 string guitar–based loops are joined by the percussion of Claas Grosszeit.

The evening begins with a reading (in German) by Theresa Patzschke, a writer and musician from Berlin. "Spread your wings For Death / Let the stars rain down upon you Until they inflame you." Linger Awhile – Verweile Doch.

Grüner Abend: Steven Warwick & Carlos María Romero: HQ: (I feel so Mezzaniney)

HQ: (I feel so Mezzaniney) is a collaboration by artist & musician Steven Warwick and dancer/choreographer Carlos María Romero. This performance for three dancers and one musician is the latest mutation of Warwick's “Mezzanine” performance series, each of which responds to the architecture in which it is performed, in conjunction here and previously with Romero's choreographic practice. Dancers (Las Mezzaninas) are maids-in-waiting, performing labour and acting out the conflicts found in and on platform capitalism, where self-care routines and community-building are monetised and gaslighting fragments trust. Sound is dissected and reduced to minimal rhythms found on runways and in queer club spaces. If go-go is a dance form that often objectifies the body into a spectacle to be gazed at by the voyeur, in the fictive HQ the pose of the body is changed into an ambient form; less spectacle, more part of the furniture. Warwick and Romero deliberately inhabit this ecology with bodies and sound as a temporal sculpture, referencing contemporary feelings of isolation to question agency in an age of unsettling populism.

Today Is Tomorrow

Empathy is a fallen empire. RIP. No one could handle their nightly strolls bombarded by neighbourhood goldfinches screaming about pesticides and their demented children born from tissue-paper-thin eggs... I understand the jumpers and sleeping-pill swallowers. It was too much to listen to the family dog rattle on about his heartbreak from his balls being chopped off, his yearnings for a family of his own, his insecurities with his weight... more emotional labour to process... Oh yes, I understand Joan of Arc's last words to the judge: Light your fires.

Today Is Tomorrow follows a TV news channel and its anchors as they navigate the contested truths of this loud and absurd planet.

No entry after the play starts!

Cast

With: Lily McMenamy, Mia von Matt, Sir Henry, Ann Göbel, Preston Chaunsumlit

Choreography: Tarren Johnson
Music: Katrin Vellrath, Sir Henry
Stage and Costume Design: Nadja Sofie Eller, Calla Henkel, Max Pitegoff

Grüner Abend: Sir Henry Begone Dull Care

Sir Henry celebrates spring

Sir Henry, a longtime member of the Volksbühne ensemble, is known for his work as a musical director. He has been the musical anchor for the Grüner Salon this season. On this special evening, inspired by Norman McLaren and Evelyn Lambart's eponymous animated film of 1949, his explorations in automatic music and coding take him to the realms of interactive installation.

The movements of guests in the room activate various virtual instruments as their gestures transform into melodies that harmonically blend with a central midi-driven playlist, while triggering and manipulating visuals with spring and Eleusinian themes.

As performative focal points during the evening, Theresa Patzschke and Sir Henry will join forces in a lovely duet for flute and mapping projection.

8 / 6 €

CONCORDE: Saturn Returns

Flight’s boarding. A voyage of discovery of sorts. A funny mix of people on board. A bit like a wedding: some old people, some new people, some artists I’d rather avoid. 'Scuse me … 'scuse me ... you don’t look like anyone famous at all. Please make your way to the exit. Oh hello, are you a skunk? Oh you're a DJ, aren’t you. O M Goya, Henry VIII is such a glutton quaffing on that champagne, slurring his words like Saturn devouring his sons. Oh and he has Elizabeth I and Sir Walter of Vapealot in tow. Can’t blame them all for skipping down the gangplank, that divorce is a M E S S. Oh looky, there’s some popstars. I’m sat back here with the great unwashed, some punks near me. They smell like death. Henry! Off with their 'eads! That one’s a real mind-detonator. It’s all getting very mad here in the mad room. Speaking of outrage, if this bloody plane doesn’t take off within the next ten minutes I’m gonna have to pop a zanny. Really, are they playing "Candle in the Wind"? A bit sinister before take off, innit?

CONCORDE: Saturn Returns is a redux of CONCORDE, which premiered at Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo, in October 2017. It charts the journey of the iconic supersonic jet as it hosts a crew of celebrities and art stars on the edge of the atmosphere. Georgia Gardner Gray's previous theatre pieces include Precious Provincials (Kunstverein in Hamburg, 2017) and Schaumstoffladen (Acud Macht Neu, 2016) and DD Mood (New Theater Berlin 2015).

Image: Enver Hadzijaj

Cast

With: Steven Warwick, Joseph Geagan, Max Pitegoff, Calla Henkel, Georgia Gardner Gray, Tara Khan, Michele Di Menna, Britta Thie

Script: Georgia Gardner Gray, Steven Warwick
Director: Georgia Gardner Gray

Grüner Abend: Karl Holmqvist with Eric D. Clark. #PLZ, RESCHYKLI$CCH

Words can come back. They can play in your head. Gradually changing their meaning as they do so. So. So. So. A young art student once told me, “I thought I was heterosexual, but then Eric D. Clark came to our school and now I don’t know.” Music is what makes people come together... #ICHTANKEGRÜN #ICHTANKEGRÜN #ICHTANKEGRÜN #ICHTANKEGRÜN #ICHTANKEGRÜN #ICHTANKEGRÜN #ICHTANKEGRÜN #ICHTANKEGRÜN #ICHTANKEGRÜN #ICHTANKEGRÜN #ICHTANKEGRÜN #ICHTANKEGRÜN #ICHTANKEGRÜN #ICHTANKEGRÜN #ICHTANKEGRÜN #ICHTANKEGRÜN…

Berlin artist Karl Holmqvist will read #PLZ, RESCHYKLI$CCH, with a DJ set before and/or after by Eric D. Clark.

Photo: Richie Shazam Khan

Grüner Abend: Möbelkammer

In the depths of the Volksbühne, between pianos, benches, lecterns, chairs, tables and sofas there has always has been and will always be music. Sometimes it's out of key, but that's not the point. Finding joy and pleasure in making music among coworkers has a long tradition here. There have been many evenings, many songs, many people, arguments, love, happiness, tears. Making music brings people together. Our non-professional band, playing with feeling under the beating pulse of the wheel that has not stopped turning.

Möbelkammer is Volksbühne's house band, named after its furniture storage room – a place where a lot of stuff is stowed away, some of it as old as the hills but some of it brand new. This is their first standalone public concert.

With: Eike Grögel, Anke Marschall, Fee Aviv Marschall, Antje Schulz, Yvonne Schulz, Sir Henry, Jan Wüstenberg

Grüner Abend: Sandra Mujinga. Nocturnal Kinship

Berlin-based artist and musician Sandra Mujinga constructs worlds and identities through performances incorporating her own music, costume and video elements. Her work examines the contradictions in representational politics and visibility, taking into account ideas of surveillance and survival, care and self-preservation. In the Grüner Salon, Mujinga will present a new piece with three performers accompanied by a live musical set.

With: Alea Kristal Alexis, Christèle Baonga-Alunga, Cassianne Lawrence

Duration: ca. 30m

Grüner Abend: Michael Amstad and Marte Eknæs. People Mover

Berlin-based artist Marte Eknæs and filmmaker/animator Michael Amstad present their short film People Mover, 2017, which follows a loose narrative set in an imaginary city to reflect on ideas of flexibility and urbanism. Focusing on the construction and usage of the urban sphere, the film asks how we form and in turn are affected by commercial and sometimes alienating systems and surroundings. People Mover is accompanied by two related films: John Smith’s Blight, 1994–96, and Charles Atlas/Karole Armitage’s From An Island Summer, 1983–84. The screenings are interspersed with a live set by the Berlin and Portugal-based musician Polido, who also worked on the sound design for People Mover.

People Mover is accompanied by a pamphlet containing an interview with Joseph Vogl by Michael Amstad and Marte Eknæs.

Trailer

Film Program:
Blight, 1994–96
16mm film transferred to SD video, sound, 14 minutes
John Smith

From An Island Summer, 1983–84
16mm film transferred to video, sound, 13 minutes 4 seconds
Charles Atlas
Choreography: Karole Armitage

People Mover, 2017
HD video, sound, 27 minutes 11 seconds
Michael Amstad and Marte Eknæs

Grüner Abend: ESPONJA

In the Grüner Salon Esponja is hosting two evenings of shadows and reflections, songs and texts feeding into a continuously evolving soundtrack. Produced, designed and performed by Alessandro Ubirajara Olbrich, Cibelle Cavalli Bastos, Cobi van Tonder, Jane D, Juliane Elting, Luís Knihs, Nico Arawá, Philip Wiegard, Sabina Maria van der Linden, Tatiana Saphir and Yusuf Etiman.

Esponja is a collective and space-in-the-making from São Paulo aiming to create, support and unite artistic and political initiatives/movements/efforts to reflect a new collective momentum in a time of extreme polarization and fractionalization of societies, in Brazil and elsewhere. It was initiated by a group around Yusuf Etiman, who lives and works between São Paulo and Berlin, where he founded the magazine and project space basso (2005–2011).

Concert: Lyra / Bendik Giske

In this intimate concert, saxophonist Bendik Giske and singer Lyra Pramuk will explore the raw expressive potential of their own voices as instruments, their instruments as voices. The evening will blend solo material with collaborative play, with works both acoustic and electronic, in a reverberating arc of experimental song and storytelling.


Bendik Giske photography by Florian Hetz
Lyra photography by Richie Shazam

Grüner Salon: Grüner Abend Trevor Lee Larson
Grüner Abend Neda Sanai with Jen Rosenblit and Hengameh Yaghoobifarah: Ominous Reality Principle

Tickets at the door , Prices: €8/€6

Ominous Reality Principle encompasses several performative scenarios where sound, text and bodies come together to reflect on the politics of defense mechanisms, the psychology of sound and the threat of language. The material encompasses a score composed by Neda Sanai, performer Jen Rosenblit's current research, which focuses on strategies and problems of togetherness, and writer Hengameh Yaghoobifarah transforming written work into the environment, transcending the genre of journalism towards a dystopian real-life scenario. These three separate practices merge together and spread into the Grüner Salon like an aroma diffuser.

Neda Sanai is an Iranian Berlin-based artist born in Sweden. Their praxis moves through a hybrid of mediums such as audio, video, performance and sculpture. Usually channelled through the idea of collective work and community, Sanai in their work aims to dissemble the “I” – as in one person – and the idea of “one” – as in a “we” – as in understanding. Sanai has opened for acts such as DIPLO, A.G Cook and Zebra Katz only and works with artists, such as CocoRosie on their album ”Grey Oceans”. Sanai comes from a background working collectively as an artist in the group Basso and is the founder and curatorial director of the project space S&yM in Berlin.

Jen Rosenblit makes performance art in New York and Berlin concerned with bodies, architectures and ideas while troubling togetherness and impossible spaces. Rosenblit has received commissions from The Kitchen, New York Live Arts, Danspace Project, Issue Project Room, the Chocolate Factory and the Invisible Dog Art Center. Rosenblit was a part of MoMA PS1 Greater New York 2016. Her recent works Clap Hands (2016) and Swivel Spot (2017) have lead her on an inquiry toward the uncanny and maintenance of care. Rosenblit has collaborated with artists including Young Jean Lee, Ryan McNamara, Yvonne Meier, Sasa Asentic, A.K. Burns, Anne Imhof, Miguel Gutierrez, and Simone Aughterlony. Rosenblit is currently researching Stand In, a new work centering around the game of chess to harness strategies for battle, protection, cultivating land and creating a court.

Hengameh Yaghoobifarah is a freelance journalist, columnist, editor, speaker and DJ. With a background in media studies, cultural studies and Scandinavian studies, they examine topics like popular culture, fashion, body politics, subversive femininities, internet phenomena, power dynamics, hegemonial gazes and the construction of the other from an intersectional queer feminist perspective, redefining what this particular perspective means in each context they move into.

Abonnement Lyrique No. I

abonnement lyrique no. I
- hector berliozzz -
is the first in a series of classical concerts in the Grüner Salon staged and organised by Michael Kleine. The programme begins with the classic duo set-up, featuring dramatic soprano Vera Maria Kremers and Roman Lemberg on the piano, and it focuses on the work of Hector Berlioz, as a representative of the extreme Romanticism of 19th-century France.

abonnement lyrique continues throughout the 2017/2018 season. Musicians come together in various combinations, and each evening explores a different genre, epoch, performance context or function of music, encompassing entertainment, religion, education or symbolising social prestige. The programme includes performances of Romantic chamber music, early Baroque madrigals accompanied by an Organo di legno, and sung liturgies from the late Middle Ages. All of the concerts in the series take place within a scenario and setting designed by Michael Kleine.

Artist Talk: Calla Henkel & Max Pitegoff
News Crime Sports

The first of four plays tracing the rise and fall of a city, written for the Grüner Salon by Calla Henkel and Max Pitegoff, News Crime Sports is set in a poorly rendered past where madness falls in waves as the passengers of a cruise ship fill the hours, weeks, and years that seem to unfold at once. The old social order has long dissolved and evenings are spent talking about streets, municipal power stations, and nightclubs, and half-heartedly trying to remember the lyrics to once-loved songs.

Calla Henkel and Max Pitegoff are artists who have worked together for the past ten years. They have lived in Berlin since 2008, where they operated Times Bar (with Lindsay Lawson) in 2011/2012, before opening New Theater, a storefront theater in Kreuzberg, which produced and hosted original plays between 2013 and 2015. They are programming the Grüner Salon’s 2017/18 Spielzeit with weekly concerts and performances, as well as writing and directing a series of plays in the space.

> Go to the interview with Calla Henkel and Max Pitegoff

Grüner Salon Opening

The Grüner Salon reopens with a soundtrack on loop, developed by composer Katrin Vellrath and Volksbühne ensemble member and musician Sir Henry, which sets the tone for both the space and the series of plays and concerts to follow. The set will be arranged for the premiere of News Crime Sports, which takes place the following weekend.

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