.. hot wax, plaster, some white powder, colored water and presumably a lot of air not only to breathe, but to activate the instruments, were the main ingredients of Miet Warlop’s rock spectacle (or opera?) “Fruits of Labor”. There is glitter, 60s look and 70s hairstyle wigs, there is guitar play, bass and drumming, Jesus cruzified in a sort of Sufi robe. There are rocking and craving songs, and even a lonesome trumpet. In this piece absurdity and poetry unite on a splattered stage and the audience congratulates.
Labor? The fruit of this specific event seems to be based on relentless movement. Animation is key and if nothing else is available things at least turn: actors stand on turntables, a giant plaster LP contributes to the sound production, a whirling dance reminds sufi trunings and then there is a huge rotating yarnwinder swinging the lose end of a string of fabric round and round ….
Fruits of all this seemingly senseless motion is not only a thoroughly admirable evening of entertainment, but also the serendipity of beauty in these movements, defining its inherent goal. It might be obvious as in the sound of dripping water on a drum placed right underneath, or even accented as the on/off water fountain arching in changing colors across the stage, again aiming at an open drum that obviously is part of a closed-circuit system to keep the stage from drowning. Contributing as the ripping sound of cloth, irritating as the waxed hands or captivating as the turning spindle.
The leaflet of the HAU Berlin describes the show as “a psychoactive parade of objects” that is also “an artistic reaction to a world that is falling apart. A reaction that positions its own glittering chaos against control and restriction.” Or one might want to add: it is an getting to the mattering of things, the absurdity of definitions that always tries to define from our position. In Miet Warlop’s words: “Let’s try to go beyond, leaning over the balcony of language. / What else can be an alternative to plain reality than trying to grasp the soul of things?”