Tate Modern, 2011
Gregg Bordowitz presents a new lecture-performance about the legacy of Michel Foucault, introducing the major themes and philosophical insights of one of the most influential philosophers of the late twentieth century. It follows the work-in-progress The History of Sexuality Volume One By Michel Foucault: An Opera.
For this new iteration, Professor Bordowitz introduces Professor Hoyle who will reflect upon provocative questions such as:
'Lurching from one thing to the next – what binds?
What keeps the whole within times' compass?
How do words and things remain in place?
And do they?
Are parts matters of the whole, necessarily?
Isn't all just perspective?
A crooked framework?Point of View?
Merely a slice of a larger prospect?'
Presented on March 18, 2011 as part of Tate Modern Live: Push and Pull: A two-day performance event.
Featuring David Hoyle.
Premiered Tanzquartier Wien, Vienna, 2010
The History of Sexuality Volume One by Michel Foucault: An Opera is a work-in-progress adopting the dramatic musical form to stage the major themes and philosophical insights of one of the most influential philosophers of the late twentieth century. In this adaptation of Foucault´s great work, the philosopher will encounter one student, two rivals, and a sworn enemy - perhaps all of them are ghosts. Nothing less than a grand opera is required to stage the epochal theory of self-emancipation that is Michel Foucault´s unique legacy. The performance will be set against a backdrop drawn from Foucault´s biographical details; including his activism on behalf of prisoners´ rights, and his death from AIDS.
Let’s face it - an opera based on philosophy books is ridiculous. And yet, opera provides an emotional way to experience ideas. Maybe, through opera, we can explore how Foucault’s ideas are meaningful and still relevant. By rendering the History of Sexuality as theatre, we give embodiment to words in posture and voice. Gesture and disposition become magnified. Significance is amplified. This version for Vienna is only a fragment of the entire epic to come. All three books will eventually be realized as opera.
Ephebe—a young man
Foucault—an internationally famous intellectual
COP—the representative of the law
Sigmund Freud—the original psychoanalyst
Pope—a universal figure of exemplary religious devotion to the highest authority
California Academic—a mediocre college teacher
CONCEPT: Gregg Bordowitz/Paul Chan
DIRECTOR & LIBRETO: Gregg Bordowitz
PERFORMERS: Siegmar Aigner, Alexander Braunshör, Dietmar Bruckmayr, Mara Mattuschka, Moravia Naranjo
ORIGINAL COSTUME DRAWINGS: Paul Chan
COSTUME DESIGN: Kristine Woods
PRODUCTION: Tanzquartier Wien in cooperation with MUMOK
CO-PRODUCTION: Tate Modern London