In David Lynch’s “Wild At Heart” from 1990 Laura Dern and Willem Dafoe end up in a cottage or perhaps a hotel. Trapped in the middle of nowhere, because of some criminal act, Dafoe’s character Bobby engages in a sort of psychological terror, or perhaps it’s just a scene in that hotel room, but for now it’s still in a cottage. Endlessly he approaches Laura who is actually called Lola in the film, forcing him self on her repeating in a whispery voice the same words over and over again: “-Say fuck me… say fuck me…”
It’s intense and there’s a weird double innuendo playing out between them, disgust and sexual tension. “-Say fuck me… say fuck me.” It goes on Dern’s character fights herself but can finally not keep it up any more and with almost no sound the words come out. Bobby/Dafoe pushes away, takes distance from her in a millisecond and with a loud and ultra American accent says: “-Some day baby, but right now I’d better get going…”
This could be a very short blog-post, somehow retelling the scene feels more than enough. The nihilism in Dafoe is so elegant that there’s hardly anything to add. Of course the scene continues, Bobby slams the door behind himself and Lynch makes sure to have Dern perform all possible clichés. But let’s skip that part, let’s stop at the “-Some day baby…” cuz lately this is a feeling that somehow resembles my inner life after seeing some fresh performances. Performances that whisper, not always so elegantly – Dafoe is rather a better actor than most performance maker [e.g. in Impulstanz] – “-Say fuck me… Say fuck me…” from minute one and don’t freakin stop until the applause. There I am and I don’t know if I did say the words like Laura Dern or not, but I have a rotten taste in my mouth, and there is a house full of dance/performance lovers that seem to want to shout the words over and over again. These are performances so full of nihilism, they are not really degrading or humiliating, they are not badly performed or baked up with some pissy dramaturgy no they are simply and deeply nihilistic.
The performer, why not the choreographer or maker, comes on stage and from minute one, any kind of performance is dismissed, it’s self-referential up to the hairline – usually the guy has very little hair [why not shaved] – self-referential in the bad sense of the word, and announce over and over again – on stage one can’t dance, choreography is ridiculous and for children, form and content is bullshit, to perform is simplistic ego-boosting, discourse, though and intellect is garbage remember the audience just wants entertainment anyway, everything you do on stage is a cheap trick that’s already been done, participation is fuckin stupid, emancipated spectators French mumbo jumbo and so on. For an hour, sometimes two I have to endure endless nihilism – life, performance, dance, you, your friend and that girl you kissed in the lounge it’s worth nothing, total indifference, go home, die.
Why, I just wonder, you guys that make shows – why do you insist on making shows, when the only things you want to communicate is how utterly fuckin stupid I am, how incredible naïve I am and how totally banal it is of me to believe in anything at all [besides money of course…]. If that’s what’s on your mind you can also skip making shows, you don’t have to you know. You’re not forced to make dances, performances, shows, exhibitions or collaborate with anybody at all. Stop, it’s okay.
But what makes me even more tired is that this kind of performance has a lot of admirers, complacent young people that don’t want anything more profoundly, than exactly to say it “Fuck me…” even though deep inside they know that Bobby will jump away and say “Some day baby…” Are these people that like cut them selves with a razorblade to feel that they are alive, are these people that have just lost desire for a different world, are these indigo kids that have never experienced hardship, scarcity or social democracy proper and therefore can’t feel the eternal stench of this kind of nihilism – but suck it up as identity boosting. A kind of nihilism that at the end of the show bows and comes back for another one, a nihilism thanks the audience with an outstretched hand, a nihilism that makes itself absolutely untouchable, that dances, sings, acts, flatters and consumes gracefully and with excellent skill. That kind of nihilism, a kind of nihilism that makes others quite, that make those indigo kids’ eyes glow in the dark [“-I also want to be able to do that… No sorry, “-I will also be able to do that, I just have to unveil my inner skills.” HATE]
Of course I’m happy about nihilism but only a nihilism that brings everything with it, a nihilism that leaves nobody and after which there will be no applauds at all. Nihilism unbound, that takes no prisoners and saves nothing.
And mind you, on Friday 29 July Spangbergianism the book will be released in 4000 copies at Impulstanz Vienna, sort at midnight at Casino.