Volksbühne Berlin am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz

Eroberung des Nutzlosen

"Conquering the useless". The jungle within: Two evenings with and by Werner Herzog

Setting off the traditional concept of artwork against a fresh definition as WORKS, the cultural critic Diedrich Diederichsen attempts a reassessment of modes of artistic production beyond generic classifications. “As a concept implying some kind of connection and at the same time defining boundaries, the term WORK serves as a formula holding together separate modes and pieces of artistic creation. It merely says ‘this is included, while that is not part of it anymore – for whatever (good) reasons.” In the coming season Volksbühne promotes this idea giving internationally acclaimed artists, musicians and critics the opportunity to create WORKS that seek to project outlines and new strategies for future forms of artistic presentation and production.

WORKS I - The jungle within: Two evenings with and by Werner Herzog

The series starts with Werner Herzog, the world-wide renowned German film director and “soldier of art”, whose films realized with the actor Klaus Kinski between 1972 and 1987 stand out like monoliths in the global film scene. Judging by his films and documentaries he proves to be one of the most important chroniclers of our time and a sound anthropologist of the cinema. He has realized 62 films to date, with only three shown on German screens during the past 25 years. “It does not matter”, he says, “neither to me, nor to the films, nor does it make any difference to Germany.” In the USA, however, he ranks as a living legend of the “visionary” cinema.

Werner Herzog has produced two evening-length presentations exclusively for Volksbühne, reading from notes and logs he kept during his doubtless most famous film “Fitzcarraldo”, describing a journey into the abysses of the human soul and the absoluteness of artistic creativity. “These field notes neither report nor recount the shooting of the film, in fact the latter is barely mentioned. They are not even diaries, or only in the widest sense of the word. Rather, these reports conjure up inner landscapes born out of the delirium of the jungle. However, I am not entirely sure of this either”, says Herzog.

The evening is accompanied by the Dutch musicians Ernst Reijseger (cello) and Harmen Fraanje (piano), vocals by the Senegalese musician Mola Sylla and the traditional Sardinian ensemble 5 Tenores di Orosei. Both evenings are structured like a Jazz improvisation with varying interpretations of the same material.


WORKS is sponsored by Hauptstadtkulturfonds/Capital Cultural Fund in Berlin

Die Reihe WERKE wird gefördert aus Mitteln des