After work I went to Daehangno to see a very special theatre performance – Iphigenie x 5 (이피게니아x5), a collaboration by five Korean directors and actors from Germany and Korea, in preparation for a larger project planned to premiere next year. But before the performance I took pictures of some posters of current productions.
This is my Top Five, once again based mostly on visual appeal:
1. Pansori Hamlet Project (판소리 햄릿 프로젝트, 10.08 ~ 25, more info)
Gugak Musical Collective Taroo’s longtime project that approaches Shakespeare’s classic pansori-style is a favorite of mine. I’ve written several times about it here on the blog and I’m looking forward for this new edition at Seoul Art Center!
2. Man Equals Man (남자는 남자다, 10.16 ~ 11.07, more info)
For its bold hangeul-hanmun typography – I didn’t get it on first view, but this is actually a production of Brecht’s play Mann Equals Mann (1926), maybe the first one in Korea? A quick check shows it’s not the Korean premiere of the piece – Man is Man was actually shown already in June 1989, the second official production of Brecht after the Threepenny Opera from 1988 (see a review in the Jungang Ilbo) –, but it is the first production that uses a later version that Brecht wrote in 1938 after leaving Nazi Germany. (see an interview with director Cha Tae-ho (차태호) at Munhwa News).
3. Three Sisters (세자매, 10.30 ~ 11.08, more info)
For its old-school appeal, mostly. But I also liked some earlier productions by director Yun Gwang-jin (윤광진): The Golden Dragon (황금용 / Der Goldene Drache, written by Roland Schimmelpfennig, 2013 at Daehangno Arts Theater, see my review) and The Ugly One (못생긴 남자 / Der Hässliche, written by Marius von Mayenburg, 2011 at Guerilla Theater), both originally German-language works, coincidentally.
4. Byeontae (변태, “pervert”, 10.01 ~ 12.31, more info)
For its “tasty” food design – the Warhol-style alternative poster (see here) is also nice!
5. Chwimi-ui Bang (취미의 방, “hobby room”, 11.28 ~ 02.21, more info)
For its childhood-memory-evoking do-it-yourself-aesthetics; indeed, it’s “[a] play by popular screenwriter Ryota Kosawa (코사와 료타 / 古沢良太) about a mysterious men’s club”, according to The Japan Times
The exhibition “Sound of Community” (소리 공동체) at Arko Art Center (아르코미술관, 2015–09–23 ~ 11–15, see this video intro) was a bit of a let-down. Despite the promising title – and the glammy poster! –, most works didn’t really relate very much to my research into acoustic communities but were rather ideosyncratic. Maybe I just would have needed a bit more time? I liked Heaven Baek’s idea of projecting two newscasters – one from the 70s/80s and one from today, each one reading news from the other’s era – in front of a bluescreen, though (백현주, 말이 되는 소리, Sound makes sense). The specific voices of those reading the daily news every night, I think, play a quite interesting role in the formation of the imagined community we belong to (I like Sohn Suk-hee 손석희 of JTBC quite a lot at the moment). Also memorable: a video by Junebum Park (some of whose works I knew from Berlin) that shows a game of table matching, like in videos I had seen in Berlin years ago. The difference here is, however, that the players (whose head-mounted Pro-Go cameras provided most of the footage used) are from different countries, speak different languages, and, in the course of the game, have to figure out effective ways of communicating (박준범, 8개의 언어, 8 Languages).
After a nice dinner at 이모네’s and a stroll up Naksan Park (낙산공원), the Iphigenie auf Tauris-showcase proved very interesting, a mix of quite different approaches and methods that turned quite naturally into a Q&A on the contemporary relevance of Goethe’s piece of supposed world literature. But that’s a story to be told another time…
– 14 Oct. 2015 (水)