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Alexander Hacke / Danielle De Picciotto

Titel / Title The Ship Of Fools 
Label Potomak / Indigo 
Total run time
90 min 
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This DVD is not so much a performance in "conserved" form, but a hybrid of “making of” documentary and live video, not strictly separating but intertwining both. This might irritate in the beginning, but soon you appreciate the artists´ comments as introduction to the separate parts, explaining or pointing out what otherwise might be missed. And just the subject of this project definitely kickstarts your little grey cells up there.

The internationally renown artist couple Danielle De Picciotto (Space Cowboys, Ocean Club) and Alexander Hacke (Einstürzende Neubauten) had discovered the novel “The Ship Of Fools”, by Sebastian Brant, written about 500 years ago - and what is also stunning for the audience, those medieval themes are astonishingly up to date and could easily be mistaken as an analysis of the current social situation!

They interpret the text in a very contemporary spirit, far away from Pagan romanticism. Mostly electronic and sometimes very unusual instruments are used, musical styles stretch from Electronic music, Ethno, Country/Hillbilly to Doom/Metal, videos are screened in the background, and all those elements are somewhat unseparable; a "Gesamtkunstwerk" that doesn´t fit into any genre and could perhaps only be compared with another project of this kind: Laibach.

Both multi talented icons have been working unconventionally for years – ever involved in discovering new ways of presenting avant-garde ideas or interaction among cultures and generations. „The Ship Of Fools” represents their interaction among text, music and video, a „state-of-the–art” approach to classic literature, traditional and electronic music, art and film. Intelligent entertainment with a good dose of humor, visually or musically, that for my taste only needs a bit too long to take off - but then it´s truly exciting, you feel the sudden urge to get the book for pondering over those texts in depth, and to see a "foolish" performance indeed live.

My personal highlights: "On Ready Anger", "Of Dancing", "Of Prattling In Church"
The main language is English, available are English, German, French and Spanish subtitles.

Klaudia Weber

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