I am a Problem

The starting point for Mondtag's production is a myth about Maria Callas (1923-1977). In order to achieve her dream figure, the world-famous opera singer is said to have ingested a tapeworm with a glass of champagne.

Legend has it that the parasite led to an astonishing weight loss of 50 kilograms within a short period of time. Callas' uncompromising endeavours to shape her own appearance according to her ideal ideas, as well as its flipside, the dissolution of her own body, form the leitmotifs of the exhibition.
A scenic parcours transforms the MMK 2 into a stage space with winding paths on which we encounter border crossers and doppelgangers, silent rebels and failed existences. The staged works range from Andy Warhol's "Kellogg's Cornflakes Box" and a new, expansive pneumatic sculpture by Plastique Fantastique to the MMK's most recent acquisitions, such as Will Benedict's music video "I AM A PROBLEM", which gives the exhibition its title. It is the sometimes timid, sometimes unruly gestures of resistance that Ersan Mondtag traces in the works and which he turns into the modern anti-heroes of his narrative.
With texts by the author Thomaspeter Goergen – spoken by members of the Hamburg Thalia Theatre ensemble – Mondtag gives the works a voice and allows them to become actors of their own longings and fears. Mostly in conflict, their dialogues revolve around existential themes of being human, such as the transformability of one's own identity, the striving for perfection or the transience of organic matter. Mondtag's production reveals how the metamorphoses of the physical become symbols of private and social disintegration. The pursuit of perfection ultimately leads to aggression, fanaticism and violence. For those who are prepared to sacrifice themselves are also prepared to sacrifice others.

Photo credit: Axel Schneider


22. September 2016 – 18. February 2017