„Cages“ (complexe 5)

  • Exhibited at the Galery Walter Storms, München, 2008 

 

Picture overview

 

The piece “Cages” is based on Aeschylus’ trilogy “The Oresteia” (first premiered in 458 B.C.).

 “Cages” is an attempt to re-enact and re-interpret this ancient tragedy with purely visual means:

As in the original “Agamemnon”, the first part of the Oresteia, the piece begins with the prologue of the palace guards and the entry of the homecoming soldiers, who take their place in the cages at the back of the stage and so form the choir of the piece.

Next comes the dialogue between Agamemnon and Clytemnestra under the influence of Apollo. In “Cages”, the murder of Agamemnon and Cassandra inside the palace, which isn’t visible in the original piece, takes place in almost complete darkness, after which both murder victims return to the stage. Their immortalization in transparent (sepulchral) steles then forms the setting for “The Libation Bearers”, the second part of the Oresteia.


Apollo, who is also the “mastermind” of the action in the original piece, is here portrayed as a modern bureaucrat, who convinces Orestes to murder his mother Clytemnestra. In this sense, Orestes is no longer understood as the hero of the piece, but instead as a compliant victim of outside interests. The subsequent murder therefore also fails to be the confident act of a hero, but is instead an act of desperation under the pressure (in the physical sense also that of the advancing steles) of a relentlessly utilitarian society. The thus awoken Erinyes pursue Orestes as his “guilty conscience”, transform themselves in the further course of the piece into black-white-and-red surfaces on the faces of the cages, and finally triumph over Orestes and emotionally destroy him as expected.