REDCAT Premieres KAMP By Holland's Hotel Modern
REDCAT, CalArts' downtown center for contemporary arts, begins the Fall 2018 season of adventurous international and LA performances with the stunning stagecraft and object theater from Rotterdam's Hotel Modern and their most acclaimed work KAMP, September 20 - 23, 2018.This marks the return of the company which made their LA debut at REDCAT in 2015 with their production of The Great War, which depicts the horrors of World War I. The LA Times called it,"astonishing...ingenious...a handcrafted multimedia gem." In KAMP, the entire stage is filled with an elaborate and meticulously rendered scale model of buildings, train tracks, and thousands of miniature figurines, which are artfully manipulated by Dutch visual and performing artists Pauline Kalker, Arléne Hoornweg and Herman Helle, as they recreate a miniature depiction of the place where Kalker's grandfather spent his final days: Auschwitz. Critics and audiences around the world have been awestruck and profoundly moved by the way the performance collective Hotel Modern makes the unimaginable imaginable: a deliberate atrocity of mass murder, committed in a city built especially for this purpose. Large video projection shows live footage of the meticulous and wordless object theater, as the performers move the figures and set pieces, filming them like giant war reporters with micro cameras. The handcrafted scene of a horrific concentration camp becomes a posthumous memorial for Kalker's grandfather and millions of others, as we bear witness to a the processes and mechanisms of this factory of systematic torture and murder. Pauline Kalker: "My grandfather was murdered in Auschwitz. This theme was very dominant in my family, the difficulty was to find a suitable form, and in the beginning, of course, we thought we were not up to the task. At any rate, I was afraid of the reaction in my Jewish environment, but I was encouraged to confront the younger generation with the Shoah." Collaborator Herman Helle agrees: "Shall you show a dozen prisoners or 300? Where in reality were hundreds of thousands?" The real Auschwitz-Birkenau was about 20 times larger than the model shown. No spoken text clouds the view of the death factory. We have made the dolls as small as possible, but just so that they remain recognizable as humans." Hotel Modern blends visual art, puppetry, music, film and performance in expressive theatre productions. The group's visual language is rich and sometimes playful. Scale models play an important role in their work, allowing Hotel Modern to view the world literally from a macro perspective. The horror of war is a frequently recurring theme in the group's work: Kamp is a theatrical portrait of Auschwitz, while The Great War depicts the First World War as seen through the eyes of the soldiers. Hotel Modern also make absurdist, lighter-hearted work, such as Shrimp Tales, which is a high-spirited portrayal of humanity in which 350 real, dried shrimps play the roles of people. The members of Hotel Modern are idealistic in the sense that they believe that theater can foster a sense of reconciliation. They seek to offer solace in a world where people are sometimes afraid of one another. The group achieves this not by presenting a rose-tinted vision of the world, but by formulating a refined, confronting and poetic interpretation of reality. Hotel Modern was founded in 1997. Hotel Modern members are the actors Arlène Hoornweg and Pauline Kalker, and the artist and performer Herman Helle. The composers Arthur Sauer and Ruud van der Pluijm often collaborate with the group.