Thoughts in February 2021

Erstellt am: 13. Januar 2021
Kategorie: Blog

The reason why I find myself in our movement kreak[K]tiv musiktheater stands up is that, for me, from the very beginning it has seen the human being, i.e. the artist, and not just the art as the focus of its efforts.



The reason why I find myself in our movement kreak[K]tiv musiktheater stands up e.V. is that, for me, from the very beginning it has seen the human being, i.e., the artist, and not just the art as the focus of its efforts.

With all of us lacking performance, mediation, and work opportunities during the pandemic, the existential and social problems of people are currently the focus of our work.  We do not have to explain the painful loss of artistic expression to each other, just as we cannot explain it to those who do not feel it. It should therefore not be in the foreground.  Our material problems are ultimately no different from the worries and needs of other solo self-employed people.

After the pandemic has subsided, the arts in theatres are indirectly in danger due to cutbacks, the withdrawal of the state, and a general shift of attention to material things. This threatens us and our livelihoods; we must join forces – in solidarity with all associations and communities – to counteract this.

However, art per se can be disembodied, cold and unsympathetic, narcissistic, and at the same time infinitely great and aesthetic; the human being can sink in it and beside it without this sublimity suffering. Thus, an art business like a theatre can achieve infinitely valuable things and at the same time treat the people who accomplish it appallingly inhumanely, also partly due to structural problems from outside or wrongly selected people in leadership positions, this also happened before COV SARS 2 and happens daily.

For these considerations, I see the focus of the current work not in helping art to its right, but its artists, in terms of economic security.  Thus, certain groups, such as those of solo artists, are being subjected to a continuing „special sacrifice“ in the pandemic for the benefit of all, without being compensated for it. Now one can point to the „general risk of life“ of all self-employed people and shrug one’s shoulders, but in the current situation when the public sector, as the operator of the theatres and employer without any real operating risk of its own, shows the freelancers the door without default rules, this circumstance becomes scandalous.

We experience a great gulf between us and society, which obviously does not care about us as much as we have always hoped. This is something we have to accept and can only change in the long term. In my opinion, it would be wrong to try to convince people of the importance of art and culture with a crowbar, especially in these times.

I see strengthening the position of culture and with it art, in our society and possibly anchoring it better in Basic Law as an important long-term goal. However, I am convinced that artistic freedom in this country is not in a bad way.  Neither are plays forbidden, nor is it forbidden to write them, nor is their censorship, only performing live in front of people is currently denied to us. I personally find it unjust that a blanket ban was imposed here, even though all the theatres made an effort, because the unequal treatment with church services, for example, is incomprehensible to me. While the protected feeling of togetherness between celebrants and congregation is considered elementary and the very similar community-building feeling of theatre performance is just as worthy of protection, can also give comfort, overcome the feeling of being alone, and forms us as social beings, politics has decided against it across the board. Finally, this is also unjust because a certain group of people whose existential basis is precisely these places of the encounter were not offered any prospects of earning money or alternatives and were hardly supported.  The social security of permanent theatre employees is an example of how the work of artists can be protected as a matter of course by simply equating it with other working environments.  This must be achieved for freelancers as well.

How should we draw attention to ourselves? Those who do not recognize the special position of theatre in civilization, who classify it as leisure fun and a dispensable luxury, will resist saving it all the more, the more they will be accused of not „understanding“ its importance.

This is similar to when people get up the courage to go to the theatre for the first time and have to feel like art philistines in an abstract, provocative production when the director or theatre cannot or will not take away this feeling.  Therefore, we should continue – in my opinion – to be careful not to blame others or to vent our disappointment.  We should also not refer to artistic freedom in connection with justified criticism of those in power, which is not so much in question, as we should refer to equal rights and professional freedom.

Politicians need clear and factual, well-researched facts in order to be able to change conditions. Well-intentioned and powerful roundabouts, of which we know many, generate 1000s of clicks from the bubble of like-minded people, but obviously do not catch the attention of those who can help us.

The path of persistent objectivity is the right one; not slackening in clarifying grievances and at the same time making realistic proposals for improvement will bring us success. And where things are unresolved, the courts must help, that’s what they are there for.

Music theatre and its artists are standing up. Finally.