High

Foto: Benjamin Krieg
Foto: Benjamin Krieg
Foto: Benjamin Krieg
Foto: Benjamin Krieg
Foto: Benjamin Krieg
Foto: Benjamin Krieg

We never wanted to take drugs. And we don’t dance at raves, in fan corners or in church services either. We are suspicious, always have been, and even more so since Covid: everything seems intrusive, garish, harder than before. We are alienated, life is a participatory hell. The pandemic has put its hat on individualism. And everything we ever knew about dissolute collective states we have forgotten. We need a rush, an ego disorder, we need collective euphoria.

“High” is a ceremony in a changeable, all-encompassing tent. Here we will gather behind the banner whose inscription we do not yet know. With explicit consideration of all resistances and differences, we will find a rhythm, rehearse a procession and eat from the dough that bears the imprint of all our hands. Until the melancholic, neoliberal ego monster is anaesthetised. Until we jump out of our skin and breathe a sigh of relief: all together. High time.

 

Credits

Concept/Idea: She She Pop, By and with: Sebastian Bark, Johanna Freiburg, Lisa Lucassen, Mieke Matzke, Ilia Papatheodorou, Tatiana Saphir, Claudia Splitt, Berit Stumpf.

Artistic Advice: Rodrigo Zorzanelli, Sets and Costumes: Lea Søvsø, Künstlerische Artistic Support Sets and Costumes: Ulrike Plehn, Hannah Wolf,  Artistic Support Sets: Michael Kleine, Technical Director and Light Design: Christian Maith, Sounddesign: Manuel Horstmann, Video: Benjamin Krieg, Production: Alisa Tretau, Tina Ebert, Intern and Cookiedealer: Charlotte Engel, Dough production: Greta Patten, Intern: Gali Har-Gil, Simultaneous English Live Translation: PANTHEA, Audio description: Pingpong Translation & Subtitling / Martina Reuter, Johanna Krins, PR & Communication: ehrliche arbeit – freies Kulturbüro, Freelance Communication Support: Tina Ebert, Financial Administration: Aminata Oelßner, Company Management: Elke Weber.

Workshop Input: Club Gewalt, I Can Be Your Translator, Mirah Laline, Tuk Bredsdorff.
Odd Meter Groove Doctor: Maurice de Martin.

A production by She She Pop in co-production with HAU Hebbel am Ufer Berlin, FFT Düsseldorf, Schauspiel Leipzig, HELLERAU – EUROPÄISCHES Zentrum der Künste. Supported by Theaterhaus Berlin Mitte.

Funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation and Senate Department Department of Culture Berlin.

 

Trailer

Dates


past dates:
October 16/17, 2023, HAU 2, Berlin
October 15, 2023, HAU 2, Berlin
October 13/14, 2023, HAU 2, Berlin
October 12, 2023, HAU 2, Berlin

Press

“It is no coincidence that many other theatres and performance collectives aside from She She Pop are also currently focusing their work on community and ecstasy. Because the longer the growing isolation and social anonymity are taken for granted, the harder we will be hit by the consequences in form of radicalization, hatred and agitation. Just how democratizing intoxication can be, was already evident in the ancient forerunner of theatre: the mystery play, whose content was of a cultic-religious nature and at whose heart lay collective ecstasy. An ecstasy that was rooted in the communal experience of these games, which often lasted for days.”
The Pioneer, Pia von Wersebe, 20.10.2023

“”High” started out as a socio-critical search for a “we”, as an attempt to become intoxicated together with the audience – and ended up as an ironic exercise in meditation with observations on resistance, overcoming shame and participatory fun and games.”
Berliner Zeitung, Ulrich Seidler, 14.10.23

“No, there are no drugs involved here, even if Papatheodorou describes her cookies as having an “effect”. They are to be eaten together at a designated time, so that everyone absorbs the traces and imprints, and possibly sweat and skin flakes of another. Ecstasy is therefore not actually the goal, but rather the experience of collectivity.”
Nachtkritik, Michael Wolf, 13.10.2023

“She She Pop has named the evening “High” with the declared aim of putting us all into a collective state of intoxication here and now, ecstasy under supervision, so to say, or as they call it, “a shared high” (…) Blockages need to be released, resistance eliminated and distracting thoughts banished. (…) The members of She She Pop are not deterred by any of this, they simply perform away any reservations and stick to their guns: stop individualism, bring on the collective ecstasy. Together we are stronger, or at least higher.”
Berliner Morgenpost, Katrin Pauly, 13.10.2023

“It’s okay to think of rituals when watching the show, but we’re not performing any that already exist. (…) As always, we use ourselves as examples and offer ourselves as carriers of strategies that can lead to a high. (…) In this protected theatrical space, there is always the chance to try something out (…), to slip briefly into a different situation, into a different social system, into a social situation. You can’t start a big revolution without first having practiced or tried it out.”
Lisa Lucassen in conversation with Oliver Krantz, rbb kultur radio, 11.10.2023

 

Walls

Das Foto zeigt eine Performerin in einem roten Kostüm auf einem Bürostuhl vor einem Tisch mitten in einem Bücherhaufen im Vordergrund. Im Hintergrund sind zwei weitere Performerinnen zusehen, wie sie mit Taschenlampen den Bühnenraum erkunden.
Foto: Dorothea Tuch / Projizierte Fotografie: © Robert Polidori
Foto: Dorothea Tuch / Projizierte Fotografie: © Andreas Rost, Courtesy Collection Regard, Berlin
Foto: Dorothea Tuch
Foto: Dorothea Tuch / Projizierte Fotografie: © Robert Polidori
Foto: Dorothea Tuch / Projizierte Fotografie: © Wenke Seemann (Detlef Seemann)
Foto: Dorothea Tuch / Projizierte Fotografie: © Wenke Seemann (Detlef Seemann)
Foto: Dorothea Tuch / Projizierte Fotografie: © Arwed Messmer
Foto: Dorothea Tuch / Projizierte Fotografie: © Andreas Rost, Courtesy Collection Regard, Berlin

Ten years ago in Drawers, She She Pop members sat across from some of their East German contemporaries. Drawers explored the systemic conditions that forged their identities, showing two strong ideologies and opposing doctrines each with their inner logic. Our self-images, however, have not survived the past ten years and the myths of where we came from already lay in ruins. Can a common future even be built on the baggage of the past, the failed utopias of our parents’ generation and the abuse and injustice of the past 30 years?

Against the backdrop of present times, which are marked by isolation and destruction, She She Pop opens the stage to search for collective visions of the future and what stands in their way. As a mental extension of Drawers, She She Pop has once again invited various guests to share the stage or be connected virtually in their new production, Walls. Together, they travel through time to past moments and possible futures. In doing so, they try to form a community that surpasses linguistic or physical barriers, which are outside the range of solidarity or imagination or even brutally defined by visa requirements. Whereas the stage was still a place of uncomfortable clashes in Drawers, here it is turned into a neoliberal co-working space or dark padded cell used as a think tank. The journey takes the audience along walls that permeate how we perceive shared reality and its emotional impact. She She Pop and guests sift through the rubble of documentary material and combine it with futuristic camera technology to turn the stage into a time capsule. Women travel in it to uninhabitable or deserted scenarios to speculate on or live in other forms of the present and possible futures. Fantasy or the possibility of fiction emerges as a precious commodity. It is a dimension that is difficult to reach and can only be attained together with a special effort of doubt, fear, insolence, humour and clairvoyance.

Credits

Idea and concept: She She Pop, By and with (performed in alternating line-up): Sebastian Bark, Natasha Borenko, Johanna Freiburg, Annett Gröschner, Jahye Khoo, Alexandra Lachmann, Katharina Lorenz, Lisa Lucassen, Peggy Mädler, Mieke Matzke, Ilia Papatheodorou, Wenke Seemann, Berit Stumpf.

Dramaturgy: She She Pop, Annett Gröschner, Peggy Mädler, Artistic Advice: Rodrigo Zorzanelli Cavalcanti, Director of Photography Video Installation: Benjamin Krieg, Video Support: Rocío Rodriguez, Sets: Sandra Fox, Costumes: Lea Søvsø, Costumes Assistance: Lili Hillerich, Music: Max Knoth with Maria Schneider, Sound Design: Xavier Perrone, Technical Director and Light Design: Sven Nichterlein, Production: Chiara Galesi, Interns: María Giacaman, Ruth Lindner, Workshop Input: Lavinia Knop-Walling, Rehearsal Interpretation (German/Korean): Eunsoon Jung, Simultaneous English Live Translation: PANTHEA / Anna Johannsen, Audio description: Pingpong Translation & Subtitling / Martina Reuter, Johanna Krins, PR, Communication: ehrliche arbeit – freelance office for culture, Freelance Communication Support: Tina Ebert, Financial Administration: Aminata Oelßner, Company Management: Elke Weber.

Special thanks to the photographers and archivists who have provided photographic material from their artistic works:

Robert Polidori, with works from the series “Zones of Exclusion PRIPRYAT AND CHERNOBYL”;
Andreas Rost, Courtesy Collection Regard, Berlin, with works from the series “Das Jahr 1990 freilegen”, “Wahlgang”, “Mauern Ramallah” and “Der unbekannte Oscar Niemeyer in Algiers”;

Benjamin Krieg with works from his archive.

Credits:
A production by She She Pop in co-production with HAU Hebbel am Ufer Berlin, Kampnagel Hamburg, Künstler*innenhaus Mousonturm, FFT Düsseldorf, Schauspiel Leipzig, HELLERAU – EUROPÄISCHES Zentrum der Künste. Supported by Theaterhaus Berlin Mitte.

Funded by the City of Berlin — Department for Culture and Europe, the German Federal Cultural Foundation and by Rudolf Augstein Foundation.

Trailer

Dates


past dates:
January 25/26/27, 2024, Mousonturm, Frankfurt am Main
January 18/19/20, 2024, Kampnagel, Hamburg
June 21, 2023, Schauspiel Graz, Graz
May 20/21, 2023, Schauspiel Leipzig, Leipzig
January 25/26/27, 2023, HAU Hebbel am Ufer HAU 1, Berlin
December 08/10/11/12/13, 2022, HAU Hebbel am Ufer HAU 1, Berlin
December 07, 2022, HAU Hebbel am Ufer HAU 1, Berlin

Press

“Taking objects as their point of departure, She She Pop soon explore a utopian space through a rather impressive projection of photographs onto several layers of gauze. The performers crawl through a kind of tunnel, sometimes ending up in a destroyed house after the catastrophe of Chernobyl, then they are back in front of a block of houses in former East Berlin – today’s Berlin-Mitte (…) Along the way, the performers try to continue the dialog about the many unanswered questions surrounding property or participation using constantly new rules. First breathe, then speak. Or touch. The rules have to be renegotiated over and over again, as utopia remains utterly elusive, and so the picture transforms into an increasingly incomprehensible collage of the future.”
Annette Stiekele, Hamburger Abendblatt, 19.01.24

“The drawers have become walls, which doesn’t sound very optimistic, but doesn’t spread gloom either. (…) But the beauty of She She Pop’s narrative experimental theatre is that ideological exaggerations always just serve as an initiation for their dismantling. And on this evening they achieve this dismantling with only a few wonderfully playful tricks. Whenever the dialogue reaches a dead end, they give themselves new rules for expressing themselves (…). And slowly their self-reflection slips into a dreamlike journey through time, back to that turning point in history when everything still seemed possible. A gauze curtain falls and a wall of dense undergrowth is projected onto it. The former border region of the Berlin Wall has become a social divide. But slowly the camera zooms closer and closer into the green until a black hole opens up, through which the performers simply slip backstage, into another space-time. The stage becomes a magical floating place between yesterday and today, between concrete slab and mahogany interior – and the performers climb around in it, as in their most daring utopias. Suddenly, everything seems possible here, including joining forces with two other colleagues from Seoul and Siberia via video. And for the length of one performance the world is a better place.”
Doris Meierhenrich, Berliner Zeitung, 08.12.2022

“After ten years, She She Pop once again open the drawers at Berlin’s HAU in which they autobiographically sought to engage in a dialogue between East and West. Among the books from the past, which they divide into what can go and what should stay, they also discover old utopias. Which are still worth something to us today, in the midst of a war and an increasingly visible climate catastrophe, after all the debates on identity politics and a growing awareness that our white Central European perspective of prosperity is perhaps in itself more a problem than a solution?”
Georg Kasch, Nachtkritik, 08.12.2022

“Visions of the future from the past. In general, much here revolves around the future, visions, utopias. (…) The protagonists undertake a journey through time, which takes them both into the past and into the future. It is a journey on which the women repeatedly change planes. The planes of time and perception. And over and over again, they come up against barriers, walls.
Antje Bonhage, rbb-online, 07.12.2022