Volksbühne Berlin am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz

Dark Star

by René Pollesch

I used to go surfing a lot, Lucky, I was a good surfer. The waves at Malibu and Zuma beach are awesome in the spring. I remember walking along the beach in the early morning with my board and wetsuit, and the waves would open up straight, you know, miles-high and crystal-clear. You dive into the water and before you know it you are catapulted onto a wave, gliding down a wall of water, and you are riding the wave forever, it's sublime!   You know, surfing, well …. the advancement and the whole history of mankind was a movement towards Western shores, and reaching California, they hit the end of it, they couldn't go any further. The last frontier of the Western world is the Pacific ocean. And it was at precisely this ultimate wall, the wall of the Pacific ocean, where, in the twentieth century, the wave crashed. I know what I am talking about, believe me, I know the wave of expansion, and it breaks and bounces back on the  psychedelic inner worlds, the inner lives of hippies and nerds, nursing fantasies of global understanding and redemption through technology. It's been happening in San Francisco and Palo Alto and Silicon Valley. Well, yes, I still do surfing. I have dropped the nature part,  though, nature and water, I don't know... but surfing, yeah – this unique experience offered by technology with the wave breaking over Palo Alto. Now, we've got all these techie hippies, multi-billion-dollar soul-searchers of self-fulfillment. Potheads and surfriders. Of course, there is Hollywood's universalism too, who knows better than we, don't we – eh, Three Amigos? But the universalism of California – you can't ignore where it originated, can you? It's this unique Californian cultural history that has been extending to every corner of the globe. I wish I had my board here with me, you know. If only to wax it once in a while.

Everything always starts with some practical idea that reifies into an ideological truth. Let's take the idea, for example, of creating a catalogue with instructions on how to build a chimney … will you stop that weed, dude! … how to build a chimney, how solar technology works … it's basically an idea of having access to all the knowledge in the world in the hope that the problems on this planet will sort themselves out, resolve themselves, and what you get is Google. Are you following me? Everything's turned into a big hippie commune.

You can't make a book for a commune, though. Experimental forms of life, well, ... the trailer parks of the paupers are just that! Even if they don't read books...surely you could expect them to open a book once in a while to have a good look at it for five seconds. That's reading, too. Actually I talked to someone the other day, someone who was pregnant, and she was wondering whether she would have enough time and nerves left after having the baby for reading. Just for half an hour per day, or so. And I was telling her, you mustn't overrate reading. You open up a book, you look inside, and that's reading. Nothing more might be required. Where does reading begin? You read through one book after another, and you don't understand a thing. Or you understand everything. You look inside … and it looks like reading, therefore it is reading. And you set the alarm clock and continue for half an hour, or maybe even ten minutes will do. And since it looks like reading, it is reading.

Duration: 1h 45min


With: Christine Groß, Milan Peschel, Trystan Pütter and Martin Wuttke

Director: René Pollesch
Stage Designer: Bert Neumann, Barbara Steiner
Costumes: Nina von Mechow
Light Design: Frank Novak
Video: Ute Schall, Gabriel Anschütz
Sound: Klaus Dobbrick
Boom Arm: William Minke
Soufflage: Tina Pfurr
Dramaturgy: Anna Heesen