Komuna Otwock: “The First God Must Be Killed”

The springboard for the spectacle is provided by the ritual of killing inspired by the writing of Mircea Eliade. The performance deals with the first god, who was chaos and nothingness and only longed to sleep. The world emerged as a coincidence from a seed that fell on the ground. The first god wanted to kill humanity, because it disturbed the silence he craved. He was murdered by his own children. But since the first god is immortal, the story keeps repeating itself. The actors perform strongly codified dance-like gestures: the men with metal spears and the women with jugs, water, sand, herbs.

They are accompanied by trance-like music played by the whole group directed by a few percussion players on metal industrial objects, barrels, the percussion, as well as contemporary images projected on three large screens showing the details of the ritual being played.
Macio Moretti , Mariusz ”Szupla” Szuplewski, Andrzej Załęski


The young people asked the audience to participate in a kind of ritual, whose climate was created by the pulsating, dynamic rhythm beaten by members of the group on drums, metal objects, the floor of the stage. We heard that the world had emerged by coincidence: god dropped a seed while asleep and when he saw what he’d created he wanted to destroy humanity. But it was people who killed the god. This “mythological” (or rather myth-creating) text announced by the actor from the height of a metal pole can be understood in various ways: as the necessity for initiation, gaining independence, and above all – the need for being active, taking action in a hostile world. A similar interpretation can be given to the whole spectacle, which is composed of precisely planned, simultaneously executed sequences of movements, “ritual shouts”, video projections on three huge screens hanging high around the stage (usually showing what is happening below in a more striking, more interesting way), as well as the declaration read out by the leader from pieces of paper, which are then burnt on the hearth in the middle of the stage. The performers, dressed in heavy boots, military trousers and undershirts, build a high, metal structure at the back of the stage (on which they jump without being secured). This is then fitted with ropes designed for them to hang from in acrobatic positions with their heads down. The particular activities, presented in cycles of repeated sequences (drums, shouting, a subsequent portion of the text, choreographic arrangements) bring the audience into a trance, intrigue them, draw them into a world of a kind of ritual which is performed with a visible engagement and devotion. The quite explicitly phrased “propositions for interpretation” present the positive programme of the group: – to look – to See, to feel – to Act. These declarations (which are additionally pronounced with an affected, posh accent) can be funny for today’s blasé cynics. But the good vibrations emanating from the performance by the Otwock Commune, their authenticity and faith that we must think in a positive way and act (in different areas of life) in the name of goodness have an absolutely positive value. And the fact they are not afraid to declare: “what makes sense is the state of no-Sleep, which is sometimes called revolution.”

• Agnieszka Fryz-Więcek, Didaskalia, 2000

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