Goodbye GDR! German reunification in Johann Kresnik's Wendewut

Kolb, Alexandra (2008) Goodbye GDR! German reunification in Johann Kresnik's Wendewut. In: Theatre in the Berlin Republic. Varney, Denise, ed. Peter Lang, pp. 267-285. ISBN 9783039111107. [Book Section]


This article provides an extended critical analysis of Austrian choreographer Johann Kresnik’s 1991 piece Wendewut. A topical political work of its time dealing with the reunification of the communist GDR with the liberal-capitalist West Germany, Kresnik offers a grim and at times disturbing portrayal of both societies as seen from his avowedly-Marxist perspective. My discussion explores several of the work’s themes including totalitarian leadership, Western consumerism and the critique of nationalist resurgence in the wake of the country’s widely celebrated unification. It proceeds to examine Kresnik’s choreographic style and resistance to conventional aesthetics: in part an intentional response to fascist and conservative demands for artistic beauty. His deployment of grotesque and shocking imagery, including sadomasochistic scenes, seeks to mirror his perception of political and economic atrocities and to provoke revulsion at the societal status quo.

Item Type: Book Section
Research Areas: A. > School of Media and Performing Arts > Performing Arts
Item ID: 13132
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Depositing User: Alexandra Kolb
Date Deposited: 19 Mar 2014 13:12
Last Modified: 04 Oct 2017 14:55

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