Innovative: Heiner Goebbels
Over the past few years, Heiner Goebbels has established himself as one of the most brilliantly innovative creators in Europe. His new work, Stifter’s Dinge, typically fuses classical, jazz and traditional indigenous music with visuals, text and sculptural installation. In the newly converted construction hall P3, in Marylebone Road, this long-awaited co-commission by Art-angel and Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne unfolds a sequence of breathtaking imagination featuring five pianos stripped to their guts and suspended, an idyllic German landscape, a sulphurous lake and a plethora of technological marvels.
I read it as the engulfing of the human spirit by technology. Quotations from Claude Lévi-Strauss intimate a disenchanted view of man’s potential, while inanimate objects threaten to emulate and supersede human beings. But the glory of this richly comprehensive work is that you can understand it in many ways: an ecological interpretation would be equally convincing.
The sheer scope of the conception — from the primeval to the futuristic, taking in the pastoral and the industrial — invites a multiplicity of readings. The prodigality of the visual concept (Klaus Grünberg) and the stupefying technological wizardry help make this show something that resonates long after in the mind.
Evening Standard (GB), 16 April 2008