2022/2023 — Season 67
Bara Kolenc

Metamorphoses 4°: Blackholes

Directed by: Bara Kolenc
Co-production: Mladinsko Theatre (Ljubljana), Schauspiel Dortmund, Kino Šiška Centre for Urban Culture (Ljubljana)
The final version of the text was created in collaboration with the entire team. Performed in English and Slovenian with surtitles.
Première: 10. 3. 2018
  • Dramaturgy: Goran Injac
  • Assistant director: Ana Laura Richter
  • Music and noise: Matevž Kolenc
  • Lighting design: Peter Pivar
  • Set design: Bara Kolenc, Barbara Stupica
  • Costume design: Ana Laura Richter, Slavica Janošević
  • Stage manager: Urša Červ
  • Translation into Slovene: Miklavž Komelj, Tina Malič
  • Translation into English: Aleksandra Žerjav
  • Language consultant (Slovene): Mateja Dermelj
  • Language consultant (spoken English): Aleksandra Žerjav
  • Language consultant (written English): Jana Renée Wilcoxen

A black hole is a point of pure singularity. It is the impossible condition of the possibility of both, matter and anti-matter, it is a point of total destruction and a place of creation. Using a black hole as a metaphor, the project deals with the erosion of the Western tradition of humanism that has, throughout the history of imperialism, acquired aggressive characteristics, and whose collapse into itself we can currently observe in the re-structuring of the positions of power, the status of truth and of ethical values. Are we today still able to be humane? Are we able to look into another person’s eyes, into the black hole of his pupils? Are we able to understand the point zero, the metaphysical point of the phenomenon of a black hole in order to transcend the stereotyping and prejudice? What if humanity is not an emphatic gaze into a fellow human’s pupil of the eye, but a radical confrontation with the possibility that the eye of the other is merely a screen reflecting our own dreams, desires and fears? What if a black hole is not somewhere on the other side but rather a rupture within ourselves?

In the media

The performance successfully transfers the form of an interview or a discussion to the stage; a physicist (with a changed name in the performance) gives interviews in different times-spaces (e.g. in prison, at home, at the studio, in different time periods) which always gravitate towards a 'black hole' of his life; the sentence of collaboration with terrorists. The performance establishes fragmentation and inconclusiveness of information that create a network of human existence also through the performative fragments, short scenes that appear between the interview/interviews and address in a fragmentary manner the topics of artificial intelligence, the gaze, the (in)abilty of contact with a fellow human and others. What we only catch in passing, from one facet, is stuck in this passing and always gravitates towards it. This general discovery connects to the discovery of representation of terrorism within Western politics and the total oversight of the complexity of either our own position or the position of other. The performance is unpretentious and surprisingly unburdened in speaking about terrorism and the realities of modern politics, while at the same time addressing the general questions that in return explain the very hopelessness of the current political situation.

The performance doesn’t tackle the treatment of the current of migrants and refugees, but is nevertheless interested in the core of the European crisis at the encounter of cultures. Or more precisely, its inability to confront, this inability being a symptom of the inner European crisis and the crisis of the individual from the Western world.

The fourth of the Metamorphoses, a continuing project that Bara Kolenc is creating in relation to Ovid’s monumental work, is marked by the duality of the material, language, narration style and concept. […] The multi-layered juxtaposition of both ends of the performance leaves the unity of their meaning to the fragile balance that rises like a mist and disappears in a second. The feeling of general hopelessness and the looming threat are channeled through the complexity engulfed in dystopian blackness from which light never escapes, yet still contains a utopian crack through which it wiggles in nevertheless.

These different perspectives of looking at things, this construction of parallel realities is an excellent reflection of the text of the performance, distinguished by a multi-layered record of a story of a Muslim scientist, a story the tragedy of which is reflected in the question: So what are you first, a Muslim or a scientist? The creators of the performance juxtapose social layers of his story to his inner world, while the layering of reality is reflected also in the performative code of the performance as a whole, which is based on the intertwining of different genres and procedures. The textual level is complemented by musical and visual landscapes, the documentary arch of the performance is cut by poetic notes and grotesque performative inserts, and the fragmentation of the total of reality is reflected also in the simultaneous performing both on stage and livestreaming of selected fragments of the performance on the internet. Which is then the reality that is our reality?


  • Metamorphoses 4°: Blackholes has been awarded the "Werkauftrag des Theatertreffen Stückemarkts 2016", funded by the Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung (bpb).
Thank you:

Simon Kardum, Erik Valenčič, Dan Adlešič, Michael Dittmar, Julia Danila and a certain someone