Caspar Western Friedrich
Concept, Staging and Design by
Caspar Western Friedrich combines the epic qualities of the Western movie genre with the metaphysical questions of romantic painting. This play will enter the repertoire of the Munich Kammerspiele. As in much of Philippe Quesne’s work, the play evolves intuitively out of its title, wandering freely in a vast field of research, and is shaped in the formative process of rehearsals. This new work is composed for the Flemish actor Johan Leysen, one of those adventurers of contemporary theater and cinema, from Godard to Hollywood. Through the eyes of this mysterious and solitary figure, undemonstrative yet tormented, with an affinity to both the cowboy and the artist Caspar David Friedrich, a landscape unfolds through the vast machinery of the theater. A landscape that, as in the paintings of German romanticism, portrays as much an internal state as external scenery, playing with natural materials and shaped in the plasticity of mists lit by liquid sunlight. Caspar Western Friedrich presents an unending quest towards an unattainable horizon, thus questioning the place of contemporary man in the world. Inspired by the collective imagination of Western movies and by the contemplation of paintings, this show represents and reinvents our relationship to nature, between a desire for domination and a desire for protection, between conquest and contemplation, exploitation and ecology.