I, Artist. I, Citizen.
2018/2019 — Season 63
Peter Mlakar • Dragan Živadinov

Odilo. Obscuration. Oratorio.

Directed by: Dragan Živadinov
Co-production: Kino Šiška Centre for Urban Culture
Première: 20. 4. 2018
Wednesday / 24 Oct / 20:30 / Tribune (SNT Maribor)
  • Theatrical chorus, Franz
  • Theatrical chorus
  • Sara Dirnbek
    Theatrical chorus
  • Theatrical chorus, Göring
  • Jure Henigman
    Odilo Globočnik
  • Theatrical chorus, Himmler
  • Theatrical chorus, Member of the Slovenian Home Guard
  • Theatrical chorus
  • Theatrical chorus leader
  • Theatrical chorus
  • Theatrical chorus
  • Theatrical chorus
  • Žiga Mlakar, Pino Zupančič
    Members of the Slovenian Home Guard
  • Jan Kmet
  • Luka Bokšan, Darjan Anej Fras, Benjamin Jeram, Aljaž Mamič Lebar, Blaž Novak
  • Gašper Šenica
  • Žan Augustinčič, David Farčnik, Blaž Fideršek, Matej Kurinčič, Miha Mihaljčič, Juš Šoltes
    The Faculty of Arts Octet
  • dr. Tjaša Ribizel
    The Faculty of Arts Octet artistic director
  • Set and costume design: Dunja Zupančič
  • Introvision: Janez Pipan
  • Dramaturgy: Tery Žeželj
  • Music: Dario Seraval
  • Choreography: Marko Mlačnik, Ivan Peternelj
  • Design of digital constructions: Boris Balant
  • Animation of digital constructions: Gregor Balog
  • Language consultant: Mateja Dermelj
  • Lighting design: David Cvelbar
  • Sound design: Jure Vlahovič
  • Make-up artist: Nathalie Horvat
  • Assistant director: Anže Rogelja
  • Production assistant: Jera Topolovec
  • Stage manager: Liam Hlede

Odilo Globočnik (or Globocnik), known as Globus, was born on 21 April 1904 in Trieste, to a Slovenian family originally from Tržič in the Gorenjska region. He debuted in politics as a visible member of the Austrian Nazi movement in 1922. Globočnik became one of the leading Austrian national socialists and he played a crucial role in the fall of the Austrian government and the Anschluss. Himmler, who was aware that Globočnik’s mercilessness and devotedness to the cause could be valuable, named him SS and police chief for the entire region. He was responsible for the destruction of the ghettos in Warsaw and Białystok, for the forced resettling of the Polish people and for Operation Reinhard – the setting up and control of the entire network of concentration, labour and extermination camps of Bełżec, Sobibór and Treblinka in the Lublin region, in which more than two million Jews and 50,000 Roma were killed. In his final report of the operation, he states that he confiscated from the Jews, in money, precious metals and clothes alone, more than 180 million Reichmarks worth of property. From some reports it is possible to conclude that it was probably Globočnik who proposed the gas chambers to Himmler as a tool of implementing the "Final Solution".

In the media

Živadinov renounces the verisimilitude, the realism that philosopher Peter Mlakar, the author of the play about Globočnik which was the base for the performance, links to Nazism, which he calls the greatest realism. And it’s the non-literalness, abstractness, that prevents this would turn into just another narration in politics and biography. The rituality reveals the metaphysics of the evil of the Nazism, itself nothing but a ritual of crime.

Že dolgo ni Živadinov s svojo estetiko deloval tako učinkovito aktualno in v neposredni komunikaciji s sporočilom. Tehnična brezhibnost in koherentnost koncepta je vnovič osupljiva. Redka, edinstvena pravzaprav v današnjem teatru.

The position of theatre artists leaves no doubt: Nazism is (or was) absolute evil, and Odilo Globočnik one of its most efficient executors. 'A very talented criminal' who plans the destruction of Poland while bowling. The man who led the murder factory that was the Rižarna (Risiera di San Sabba) in Trieste. So he doesn’t have the right to speak or appeal. This is why his words are chanted by the choir. Likewise, the attitude is very clearly stated towards the (Slovenian) Home Guard members whom in the performance Globočnik addresses as 'compatriot Home Guards' and wants them by his side, in Gorica and Trieste, as he considers Slovenians to be his people. The performance doesn’t open the question of Nazi collaboration, but shows the Home Guards as – less important – helpers to absolute evil. So in the end [the performance] advises them: be unheard, invisible, immobile. Without the right to appeal.

(Poljanka Dolhar, Primorski dnevik, April 28, 2018)

Odilo. Obscuration. Oratorio. is in the first place a performance-statement, and with this also an overt political gesture, which is in its stance (total condemnation of Nazism and categorical refusal of its “derivatives”) extremely direct, although at times perhaps not evenly clear. It is in fact a one-hour incantation ritual of exorcising evil from the community that thoughtfully moves away from the regime of the 'dramatic' and also from any kind of concrete personalisation, including the eponymous (non-)hero; the role of the true protagonist is taken over by the chorus as the representative of the audience and the carrier of the idea of the performance. In this, the performance refers to ancient Greek (pre-)theatre forms, which to a certain point also reflect in the organisations of the stage space, the difference being that this is not a ritual revival of 'mythical' content – the content is convened simply to 'demythologise' the session and finally destroy it – or, in the words of the choir: 'We will only revive you to kill your name.'

[In the performance Odilo. Obscuration. Oratorio.] all elements, acting, space and lighting, music, choreography and of course the text harmoniously deconstruct his [Globočnik’s] name. By placing his words and his uniforms into the mouth and onto the bodies of the chorus, this name was disembodied and disintegrated in the spoken words and in the choreographic  presentations and it disappeared into the air following a clear decision that the possibility of reconciliation or acceptance is nil. […] This also leave a mark on the ending of the performance, when the ensemble removes Odilo’s uniforms, by listing 11 concentration camps in Poland they respectfully bow to the victims and don’t come back for a well-deserved applause. Theatre and reality conflux into one, and the message of the Odilo. Obscuration. Oratorio. contains so much light that it resonates unburdened for the further reflection.

With the symbolic act of annihilation of Odilo’s name, Odilo. Obscuration. Oratorio. also constructs itself as a theatre intervention or a protest against the renascent forms of fascism, racism, sexism, xenophobia and nationalism that are becoming a part of the performance with the textual allusions to the contemporary politics of intimidation and oppression (focus on family, reduction of female persons to the social role of only mother, pushing women into the private sphere, intimidating racist and nationalist politics, intimidation against 'stealing jobs' etc.). So it is not just about killing Odilo’s name, but also about the killing of the oppressive politics that are only just emerging.

Ubijanje imena ni le ubijanje človeka ali osebe, temveč ideje, ki jo je nosil. S tem ne ostane ob robu aktualno političnega mrmrajoč kritike, temveč jasno in glasno zavzame stališče, česa si ne bi smeli več dovoliti. Nedopustno je, da se iz zgodovine nič ne učimo in mirno gledamo ekstremistična nacionalsocialistična gibanja, ki ponovno požirajo spravo, mir ter razumnost. Zlo je potrebno zličkati do obisti in ga vreči v grob. Za zmeraj. Upajmo, da tokrat za zmeraj.

Guest performances

  • Bitef, Belgrade, Serbia, 13 Sep 2018
  • Maribor Theatre Festival, Maribor, Slovenia, 24 Oct 2018
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