The lighter side of gold

Interactive Presentation

In front of a small audience, Cornelius Puschke and Christian Winkler, two artists in-residence at Jagriti, presented a work-in-progress presentation called ‘Golden Angst’ at the Goethe-Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan recently.

Exploring the concept of gold, German theatre professionals Cornelius and Christian showcased the present stage of their work. Investigating the social, economic and spiritual value of gold, their work had different footage varying from newspaper articles pinned on a board in their room to shots at the Kolar Gold Fields and around Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram. The performance started with a flickering yellow bulb, which acted as the narrator (with voice-over) at the beginning of the performance. This was followed by a narration by the artistes and presentation of videos along with it.

The funny way of looking into the different aspects of gold and its impact on the
Indian society was a fresh idea and presented in the most catchy manner. The performance was interactive. At one point, the artistes asked the crowd about the gold prices of the day. In another instance, they put out a one gram gold coin in front of the audience and told them that they could take it.

Commenting on the performance, Christian said they chose this topic as they wanted to work on something economical and something that would be understood globally. “We read a lot of newspaper articles while researching and found out that gold is written about almost everyday in the newspapers, either in context of gold being smuggled or about changes in the gold demands or silver being the gold etc. That’s how the project began,” said Christian.

Reacting on the gold coin that was offered to the audience, Cornelius said that he didn’t expect the audience member to come and take it that fast. “I never expected anyone to react that fast. We had no idea how the audience would react to such an incident and it was interesting to see the different reactions,” he said. The crowd reacted interestingly to the performance. Christoph Bertrams, director of Goethe Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan, said that it was interesting to see such a performance and see the concept of gold through the two artistes. “The most interesting bit was how they got the audience involved in the act,” he said. Visual artist Smitha Cariappa said that the interesting bit was to see the bulb’s role in the work. “The concept of light corelated to the sun, which is golden in colour, came as something impressive to me. The wit and humour were good elements and dialogues by the narrator bulb like ‘I will always be there, but you shall die’ was intriguing and funny,” she said.

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