Gisèle Vienne Kindertotenlieder


Created in 2007 for the Antipodes festival in Brest, Kindertotenlieder is a sensual, violent experience. It develops through the layering of fantasies, fiction, reality, the unknown and their expression, mixed in with different temporalities. It results in a shift from buried memories to awareness.

In the midst of a snow-covered landscape, Kindertotenlieder unfurls over the course of a prolonged snow fall, in which romanticism, black metal and Austrian pagan culture are mixed together. The poetic dialogues written by Dennis Cooper bring to the stage the coming back to life of a deceased adolescent during his own funeral, and the encounter and ensuing dialogue between this ghost and another adolescent. The piece’s theatricality enables different reconstitutions to be staged, giving rise to an array of hypotheses surrounding the death of the young man, revealing the different strata of memory in the process. Before spoken words ring out, a dialogue is set up between the emotions, bodies, movements and poetry. Onstage, the group KTL (Stephen O’Malley and Peter Rehberg) performs live, and the intensity of their music has a physical effect on us. What emerges from this staging is the way certain alternative music cultures invent new rituals which are reminiscent of religious aesthetics and codes.