Theatre cut-up based onWilliam S. Burroughs‘s novel
Ghost of Chance
Time is a human affliction; not a human invention but a prison. So what is the meaning of one hundred sixty million years without time? What does time mean to foraging lemurs? No predators here, not much to fear. They have opposing thumbs but do not fashion tools; they have no need for tools. Man was born in time. He lives and dies in time. Wherever he goes, he takes time with him and imposes time.”
William S. Burroughs: Ghost of Chance
Ghost of Chance is a book about the conflict between human civilization and nature, and Handa Gote has been concerned with this theme for quite some time. The main motif of the story is the decay of the pirate community on Madagascar. Burroughs sees that behind the conflict leading to the community‘s demise is the senseless violence that destroys natural harmony and Captain Mission’s utopian project. This lost opportunity results in resistance and hatred from which it seems there is no escape. Humankind becomes trapped in the very cage it forged, the cage of time. The killing of a sacred animal starts off a spinning spiral of death, violence and destruction, the seeds of which were hidden in the utopian project of idyllic cohabitation between various people and the natural world from the very start. Ghost of Chance’s main theme is thus the uncontrollable human urge to destroy.
In Mission the performance this tale is created (through the use of illusory theatre and film techniques) and then destroyed (inspired by Burroughs much-loved “cut-up“ method for destroying written text which he borrowed from Brion Gisyn).
The cut-up method, as used by Burroughs and Gisyn, is not about anarchic destruction for its own sake, rather it reveals surprising links, inspiration from places other than the usual formal methods, a sharp insight breaking up the uniform way of looking at the material. Handa Gote has been developing and trying out its own special cut-up method in recent years. Brian Gysin claimed that “literature is fifty years behind painting.“ And surely another discipline behind painting (and the visual arts) is theatre.
Mission is a story about the wasted ideal of peace, which is vanishing along with the entire era that made it possible to cultivate any such ideal. This is a story about how it is impossible to keep peace with the world, with time, with nature, and with oneself. It also gives witness to the impossibility of giving witness to the above, for we are also witnesses of the death of language and its degradation into groups of names.
created by: Švábová, Dörner, Hybler, Procházka, Smolík