Delete Beach by Phill Collins at HAU Hebbel am Ufer in Berlin
Delete Beach, a new work by Phil Collins, opens on Wednesday 28 September at HAU Hebbel am Ufer in Berlin as part of The Aesthetics of Resistance, a festival organised to mark the 100 years since the birth of Peter Weiss, one of Germany’s foremost dramatists, novelists, and intellectuals of the last century.
Lemming or Burner — how will they remember you? Delete Beach is a futuristic tale set in the near future of a schoolgirl who joins an anti-capitalist resistance group. In a society in which carbon-based energy is outlawed but which continues to toil under the regime of expansion and growth, petroleum is the fighters’ refuge. They smoke it, squander it and hand over their bodies to the sea, to eventually provide fuel for future struggles. Inspired by idyllic Scandinavian landscapes and the eco-feminist themes which propose anime as a political genre, Collins’ new work riffs on the ongoing transformation of the beach from a trope of enjoyment and leisure to a contested site of adversity and trauma. His collaboration with STUDIO4°C, one of Japan’s leading animation studios (Tekkonkinkreet), and award winning composer Mica Levi (Under the Skin) brings to life a world at once familiar and disquietingly corroded, left unmoored of any certainty in an age after the end of oil. For the installation at the HAU3 Houseclub, Delete Beach is conjured up as an incongruous, melancholy shoreline, crashing in from another dimension to play host to an expanded animation environment.
Since the 1990s the focus of Collins’ work has been the position of the individual and the collective in our image-dominated society. Over the years, he has explored various popular formats—from documentary, karaoke and reality television to soap opera, teleshopping and music video—and has collaborated with, amongst others, disco-dancing Palestinians, fans of The Smiths across three continents, Kosovan Albanian refugees, the youth of Baghdad, anti-fascist skinheads in Malaysia, and inmates at one of the United States’ largest prisons.
Delete Beach is the latest in Collins’ continuing collaboration with HAU Hebbel am Ufer. In 2011, his teleshopping performance This Unfortunate Thing Between Us took place over two consecutive nights on stage at HAU1 and was broadcast live on German national television. The sound installation my heart’s in my hand, and my hand is pierced, and my hand’s in the bag, and the bag is shut, and my heart is caught, realised with guests of GULLIVER survival station for the homeless in Cologne, has been regularly presented between 2014 and 2016, and his feature-length documentary musical Tomorrow Is Always Too Long had its Berlin premiere at HAU in 2015. Last year marxism today (prologue) and use! value! exchange! have been part of the festival Spectres of Marx.
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HAU Hebbel am Ufer in Berlin Delete BeachHAU3 Houseclub, Tempelhofer
Opening Wednesday 28 September 2016, 6pm-9pm
29 September – 8 October 2016 (each day between 6pm–9pm)