Elias Kautsky on Unannounced

Killing the Pineapple

Is it possible to see a performance as a life? The curtain goes up: birth. The curtain comes down: death. Here is the obituary:

It starts well, a group of people gathers at MDT in anticipation of something unknown yet to come. It is a regular gathering with drinks and conversations, with music that makes you feel comfortable. From the speakers comes a soft base accompanied by a brisk guitar – it plays for as long as it takes to forget why we are gathered here. At an undecided moment some break free from the groups in the room and intervene with the regularness of the gathering. They start to place cards here and there. Cards with drawings of fruits, a hand, a shadow hand, a little figure holding things, some letters dancing around. A card with a ladder is placed on someone’s foot, another one gets a card attached to his chest pocket. Something is unfolding in the room, but it is unannounced. At the time when we realise that the invisible curtain of this performance has gone up, we are given an invitation to follow one of the card handlers. Each of them leads one group on a different discovery route through the house. In the childhood of the performance, the dominant chord is phenomenological. The handheld projection, which choreographs our sight, is an attempt to create a language and to make sense of the surroundings. 

The performance in its adolescence has a darker mood. We have now arrived at a dimly lit stage and people appear as distant shadows. Is there someone behind me? Who is performing and who is merely watching? The language we just learned does not seem to be sufficient.

Then suddenly, the somber prelude is over, and adult life has begun, characterised by a jumble of ruptures, sounds and lights. The furniture is moving, and absurd scenes are flashing by. At one point everything turns dark and silent, as if the cord was pulled out, and then follows blazing spotlights in our faces. Silence, squinting, blinking, looking, waiting, is it all over? Is the invisible curtain going down? No, it is just a near death experience – revived by a shot of adrenaline – the show goes on. 

I realise however, that we are coming to an end later on, when a door of light appears in the dark. After that, meaning is back, and it has matured. This time the projections form sentences and conclusions, and by doing this they are silently closing the coffin of the performance. A group of fruits, it must be the ones that were depicted on the cards, have gathered to take part in the burial. At first they are mourning. Then the pineapple starts playing a melody, and the rest of the fruits join in. The fruits march out from the funeral in a cheerful tune and we follow them in the room where it all started. And as it was with the beginning, the end is also unannounced. The only gesture that suggests an ending, is the pineapple that is being sliced and served to the audience.