Christoph Marthaler Das Weinen (Das Wähnen)


Director Christoph Marthaler, who is regularly invited to the Festival d'Automne, likes to observe the most improbable accidents of life to invent a musical theatre with sarcastic humour and light-hearted enjoyment.
With his latest creation, Das Weinen, he pays homage to the artist Dieter Roth in a choral and musical comedy.

On Christoph Marthaler’s list of major influences, artist Dieter Roth (1930-1998) holds a prominent place. In 1980, the famous visual artist/performance artist gave the young Marthaler – already a musician but yet to become a stage director – a copy of his book Das Weinen. Das Wähnen (Tränenmeer 4). This object has stayed with Marthaler, who has dipped into its content to nourish his works, particularly one poem in which a “fat calf” is one of the lead characters.
As any formal endeavor was in his view doomed to destruction, Dieter Roth became particularly known for his sculptures made of perishable materials such as cheese, chocolate or sugar. This profound concern for anything that relates to the slow erosion of passing time – chocolate but the body and the mind as well – unquestionably echoes Christoph Marthaler’s theater.
It’s no wonder then that the director, forty years after their one and unforgettable encounter, chose to transpose Das Weinen (Das Wähnen) to the stage, paying tribute to Dieter Roth’s contention that his writings were the cornerstone of his oeuvre. “Nothing matters more than writing, or rather ruminating. Making up sentences”, the artist said. Marthaler sees those sentences as a response to the current political tendency for individualism and insularity: “Welcome, tears of all kinds, welcome, world of contradictions”!
Performed in German with French surtitles