Frank Castorf – Dämonen AKA Demons (2000)

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Life, Death, God, Salvation, Revolution? Those living in the abyss have left the worst behind. Dostoyevsky’s “Devils” takes place in the transition between religious belief and materialistic ideology, foreshadowing not only the approaching death of God, but also the collapse of socialism. Written in the 1860’s, the novel opens not only a philosophical panorama of different types of human quest for transcendence, but also establishes such fateful bonds among those involved in the quest that in the end only state terror can prevent widespread annihilation. Beauty and terror mate before dusk.

Dostoyevsky worked with real events related to Russian terrorist Nechayev and met with “the father of Russian anarchism”, Michail Bakunin. In the end, however, terrorism is long ago exhausted, the search for a meaning has become useless, and every single goal has become obsolete. The only thing left is the way itself, the collapse of ideals and life goals, or the road to action, to the struggle, to war. Freedom, the old evil, is to blame for everything. In one of the last houses next to the Russian West border, somewhere between Paris, Texas, Cindy Sherman, Dogma 95 and Duma 2000, Frank Castorf stages Devils with stage design and costumes by Bert Neumann.

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