THE EICHMANN TRIAL // Work in progress
The upcoming production of the “PathosMathos Company” seeks to open up the Eichmann Trial to a performative investigation, with the premise that the trial was a performative show trial, by setting a re-enactment of the Eichmann trial in Jerusalem in 1961.
Today, 58 years after the trial, the conventions of representing the legacy of the Holocaust have changed and the context of the trial has opened up to more than just the known testimonies and courthouse occurrences. Much has since been researched, written and published about the trial and its details, and recently, more and more official records of the trial have become open to the public, allowing for an investigation that was until now, fairly restricted.
By incorporating the huge amount of Data from different resources now available about the documented historical event, we wish to create and expose the different layers at work here: The first layer representing the protagonists of the trial: Hausner - the prosecutor (as the designer of the event), Arendt – the philosopher (as the critic), Haim Gouri – the journalist-poet (as the chorus). The second layer we seek to add, in order to open up critical questions, is that of information (historical, theoretical and dramatic), available and gathered since the trial. The third and final layer being that of our performers, bringing to the stage their own personal perspectives and reactions. Through this layering we wish to re-examine the planned dramaturgy of the trial as well as its effects on the construction of a cultural narrative.
Throughout our work, we are constantly confronted with questions about re-enactment and possibilities of representation. Choosing to bring the monumental event that is the Eichmann trial into the medium of theater, we wish to place this myth under scrutiny, opening it for the audience today, who is at most oblivious and blind to its details and effects, while raising questions about justice, collective and national consciousness, and the formation of history. The artistic freedom we have, as we are not expected to “perform justice” but to address the “performativity of performing justice”, enables us to open numerous, wider, more complex perspectives, in order to create an (aesthetic) experience, shedding new light on what can become visible and tangible.
If our aesthetic strategy in a performative reenactment of the trial is to replicate the different elements - space, time, participants’ actions - and then allow ourselves to aesthetically open the framework, the rhythm and the scale, we thus hope to turn the invisible to visible, undermine that which is taken for granted, and fracture the hegemonic relations between signifier and meaning.
Clip from our work process:
LILACH DEKEL-AVNERI director | LIAT FASSBERG dramaturg
Performers: IRIS EREZ | KEREN KATZ | IFTACH JEFFREY OFIR | MICHAL WEINBERG | DORON TAVORI
Shot&Edited: MAYA STARK
KEREN KATZ, Untitled, Paper Cutout (2019).