A didactic operetta by Agnes Scherer
Puppet play: Soya Arakawa
Music: Tobias Textor
Vokalist: Claudia Barth
02.10.20, from 18:00: Opening of the exhibition and staging of the operetta «The Teacher». If you want to see the operetta at 19:00 or 20:00 please register at email@example.com.
In the work of Agnes Scherer (*1985), the “operettas” that she has been developing since 2015 occupy a special position. The unusual performance formats draw inspiration from basic theater forms such as processions, the mechanical theaters of the Baroque era, or even PowerPoint presentation. Scherer is interested in ways of liberating the work of art from the status of a passive object and giving it a magical power of action. At the center of «The Teacher» is a teacher figure, who is controlled by a student lying on the floor, under enormous effort with his feet. The teacher is thus placed in a didactic frenzy, a kind of hectic dance, sometimes monstrous and sometimes almost seductive. His lessons are illustrated by large diagrams that fall to the floor after 40 seconds, always releasing something new behind them. What the teacher presents sounds impressive and true, but it contradicts itself. The text, closely interwoven with Tobias Textor's fast-paced percussion, consists of aphorisms that Scherer partly heard from authorities and partly wrote himself. Together they analyse and demonstrate the rhetorical blueprint of so-called wisdom and its manipulative potential.
At Cabaret Voltaire, the installation to the operetta will be on display for the entire duration of the exhibition. At the opening on October 2, as well as on December 8 and 10, Agnes Scherer will animate the production together with Tobias Textor (musicians/Berlin), Soya Arakawa (performer/Düsseldorf) and Claudia Barth (performer and activist/Zurich). Scherer's work is interesting from several perspectives in order to connect with the historical legacy of Cabaret Voltaire: on the one hand, in relation to the Gesamtkunstwerk and the confrontation of the audience with puppets, music, and a chaotic spoken text, and on the other hand in its reflection of language in authoritarian relationships.
Agnes Scherer was born in 1985 in Lohr am Main, Germany, and lives and works in Berlin. She studied art history in Tübingen and Vienna and fine arts at the Düsseldorf Art Academy. In 2019 she won the Berlin Art Prize. Most recently, her work has been shown in group exhibitions, including at the Galerie ChertLüdde (Berlin, 2019), the Kunstverein Düsseldorf (Düsseldorf, 2019) and the Galerie Sans Titre (Paris, 2018), as well as in the solo exhibitions: Orlando Tussaud, Philipp Haverkampf Galerie (Berlin, 2019/20); The Very Hungry, Horse & Pony (Berlin, Berlin Art Prize finalist show, 2019); The Teacher, Kinderhook & Caracas (Berlin, 2019) and Cupid and the Animals, Tramps (New York, 2018; London, 2017).
The Teacher was shown for the first time in April/May 2019 at the Berlin project space Kinderhook & Caracas, curated by Sol Calero and Christopher Kline.