Das Licht im Kasten

(Strasse? Stadt? Nicht mit mir!)
[The Light Box]

Elfriede Jelinek’s hilarious yet heartrendingly sad text examines the phenomenon of fashion across a panoply of vistas and contexts, including baroque vanitas, the cover of Vogue, Plato’s cave metaphor or Gisele Bündchen’s H&M bikini ad displayed in light boxes in underground stations around the world. Jelinek converts the silent writing of clothing as it imprints on the surface of our bodies – »as though it doesn’t dare to touch our lava-hot core« – into a tempestuous storm of speech that oscillates between haute couture and the high street, while examining the latter’s devastating impact on sweatshop workers in the developing world. Her exuberant and stimulatingly dense script contrasts outlet stores with online shopping and archetypes of femininity with male phantasies while examining the intersections between economics and the environment. The Light Box investigates links between ancient myths, Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason, Heideggerian concepts of Being and Time and modern body culture, latching on to recent phenomena such as the selfie as well as ages-old human traits like our longing for a perfect life that, alas, is governed by time and the ticking of an immutable clock. The Light Box views fundamental questions about our naked existence through the prism of the trivial and superficial. The same phenomena recur time and time again, Jelinek posits, and only their form changes.

Elfriede Jelinek

Elfriede Jelinek

Elfriede Jelinek, who was born in 1946 and grew up in Vienna, now lives in Vienna and Munich. She has received numerous awards for her literary works, which include not only novels but also plays, poetry, essays, translations, radio plays, ...

Plays by Elfriede Jelinek

U: 02.01.2017 Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus (Regie: Jan Philipp Gloger)