In "Extinction", the simmering artistic and intellectual life in Vienna at the beginning of the 20th century forms the starting point for a literal transformation of the "merry apocalypse", to quote the expression coined by Hermann Broch to refer to the European period of carefree abandon that preceded the war. And, indeed, it is the apocalypse, the radical destruction of Western art and civilisation, that Julien Gosselin imagines here.
The French director is renowned for his visually stunning adaptations of great novels (Houellebecq’s "Elementary Particles" and Roberto Bolaño’s 2666). And this collaboration with the Volksbühne is his first production in Vienna. Based on Arthur Schnitzler’s plays and novellas and the novel "Auslöschung" by Thomas Bernhard, "Extinction" contrasts the nobility of the Viennese elite, its striving for beauty and ideals, with the sheer brutality of drive and death. With its mix of concert, live-video and radical spoken theatre, the piece illuminates nihilism and destruction, where it searches for the traces of a buried revolt and the possibility of reinventing the project of modernity.
Exhibition: No Feeling Is Final. The Skopje Solidarity Collection
20.04.2023 to 28.01.2024 - Kunsthalle Wien