Komuna Otwock: “The Future Of The World”

WHY THERE WILL BE NO REVOLUTION – PART 3

The Future of the World works around the “work in progress” formula – each version of the spectacle that was presented was different. In the first part the performance refers to the history of the founders of RAF (the Red Army Faction – a radical left-wing group in Germany operating in the years 1970- 1990) who opposed bourgeois capitalism and initially wanted to introduce positive changes, but when they saw that their activities did not produce any results, they resorted to terror and violence. The fate of Andreas Baader, Ulrike Meinhof and their companions is presented by means of live songs. The second part deals with the powerlessness and weakness of Baader’s “children”, who have no way of efficiently implementing the social ideas of a just and good world. The only thing they can do in this situation is to maintain their human dignity and express their protest. On the initiative of the ghosts of the RAF activists they plan to assassinate George W. Bush – as an example of the incorporation of evil – but this does not bring about any change.
Music: Mariusz Szupla Szuplewski (initially), Bartek Rączkowski, Julia Kubica.

Reviews:

The ironic vivisection of the RAF myth, which is still alive in anarchistic circles. After 27 years Baader and Meinhof arise from their coffins in order to persuade their late-begotten children to fight American Imperialism, but their offspring do not want to listen. In vain does Baader throw knives at the picture of the American President, and Meinnhof bitterly curses “ capitalist swine.” Instead of glorifying violence, the Commune shows its parody – the history of the emergence and downfall of the RAF is told in the convention of sweet disco songs sung by the artists terribly out of tune. At the same time they perform clumsy dance movements copied straight from the San Remo festival. The spectacle shows the weakness of alternative communities, which have no tools for fighting the system, because some forms of protest, such as terrorism, have become compromised and others are inefficient. Baader’s and Meinhof ’s children have no alternative. What if they burn a supermarket? – Ten others will replace it. What if they boycott elections? – Politicians will take decisions without their participation. What if they call capitalists swine and bourgeoisie? – They will buy their products anyway.
• Roman Pawłowski, The Gazeta Wyborcza 2006

A simple text often made up of slogans and unfinished sentences is being rhythmically shouted out: the actors as if “spit out” different sequences of words in this way ruining the natural melody of language. The way the text sounds on the stage is given shape by the simultaneous movements made by the actors. These are not only physically exhausting, but at the same time require constant concentration. The sequences of repeated actions, such as walking on balance beams, beating the rhythm with their bodies and voices, (…) force the performers to be perfectionist in their performance and require a maximum of concentration. The actors, therefore, speak as if countering their “gymnastic exercises”, they continually fight to maintain the balance between the rhythm of the word and the activity. The pace is additionally dictated by the live performance by two musicians creating and mixing sounds.
The spectacle is divided into two parts – the first recounts the downfall of the “embodied revolution”,i.e. the history of the Baader-Meinhof group who (…) transgressed the dangerously thinline between the ideal and ideology becoming totally overtaken by the phantasmatic illusion of thelatter. The anarchists from Otwock clearly and legibly uncover the stupidity and senselessness ofactivities designed in this way, and show they have no influence on reality anyway. The second partis a fictitious story of an alter-globalist hermaphrodite – the offspring of Baader, who refuses to leada bloody fight with Bush and chooses peaceful activity within the social framework. In this way theCommune exposes the character of contemporary revolutionary outbursts of various kinds: in theirextreme form they lead to the flourishing of terrorism, in a milder form – to pseudo-activity whichis ridiculous in its inefficiency.
The Cracow presentation of The Future of the World was really conducted in a much more energetic, faster, more rapacious way. The music and the actors’ voices influenced the audience in a much more intensive way; their activity on the stage was executed at an extremely vivacious pace, as if heading towards an unknown destination in a mad rush. The same spectacle shown almost eight months later in Poznań turned out to be much more balanced. The Commune brought its form to perfection, allowing itself to calm emotions. The result was a bitter performance, full of a distanced coldness and auto-irony. What sticks in our mind are only monologue sequences, said live in the direction of the cameras in a way which is both calm, and endowed with an icy cynicism. Two actors stand in the back of the stage, but the audience see their faces looking straight into the lens of the camera, on TV monitors standing on both sides of the stage. While the performers list the subsequent items on the list of senseless activities which provide us with the necessary illusion of influencing reality (Let’s all eat veggie-pizza!), the grotesque hermaphrodite, i.e.the offspring of Baader, rejects its father’s revolutionary legacy of revolutionary fighting.
(…) As a consequence, the spectacle remains a personal confession of the Otwock anarchists which mercilessly reveals the failure of ideals aiming to change the world for the better. In an uncompromising way the artists admit having failed and being powerless. They will not fight for a better tomorrow, because they do not see the road that leads in that direction. The only remaining thing is to do one’s own thing, to try and find one’s place within the framework of the civic society. Members of the Commune do not, however, give any ready-made suggestions for solutions. They bravely admit their weakness. The Future of the World is a manifesto which in a closed, perfectionist, consistently built form ruthlessly announces the aimlessness of future manifestoes.
• Marta Keil, Dialog, 2007