A PERFORMANCE inspired by two of the 20th century’s most influential and controversial thinkers will invite Fremantle audiences to become part of the action as a “live social sculpture” to confront themes of fear and power.
Artists Jennifer and Horst Kornberger have drawn on the philosophy of mystic educator and philosopher Rudolf Steiner and German artist Joseph Beuys for The Rehearsal, part of the new Brink Festival, at the historic Naval Store on March 25, 27 and 28.
Extinctions around the globe, climate crisis, and social and economic inequalities drive the performance, but despite a slightly apocalyptic preamble the artists say the message is intended to be one of urgency rather than leaving participants feeling oppressed.
“The Rehearsal is not entertainment, it’s an invitation to sculpt courage with others,” they said in a statement to the Herald.
Steiner is known for his belief in the occult and developing a curriculum based around spiritualism known as anthoposophy, but the artists say he was also a “fearless whistleblower” who called out the violent greed of capitalism as much as the spirit-crushing aspects of communism.
“He placed human dignity at the centre and suggested we think as social artists and shape society as a dynamic, sustainable artwork,” they wrote.
“Joseph Beuys, arguably the most influential artist of the 20th century, developed all his social sculpture works out of this thinking with society as a living, collective artwork.
“The Rehearsal is directly inspired by Beuys’ activism, or ‘artivism’.
“We are on the brink of environmental and societal collapse.
“We need ways to think with nature and think with culture and harmonise them.
“Steiner, like Coleridge, showed a way to think that keeps the world whole by seeing how the parts support each other.
“Democracy is still in its infancy; Steiner showed a way to think its future as a dynamic ‘threefold’ artwork.
“It’s not an ideology; it’s not even Steiner’s idea, because he observed it already trying to come into being at his time.
“The artwork of society is a global human demand. That sounds very relevant to us.”
Get tickets and information on all the Brink acts, including Tomas Ford, Randa’s Disco Show, Chicken Licken puppet performance, Kavisha Mazzella’s Empty Sky Cosmic Cabaret and Shifting Sands at http://www.brink.org.au