Published in:
TDR: The Drama Review 55.4 (2011): 144-151.

Re-printed in:
The Live Art Almanac: Volume 3, eds. Lois Keidan and Aaron Wright (London: Oberon Books, 2013).

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Willkommen to Gob Squad’s revolution! Gob Squad: a German-English artists’ collective, based both in Nottingham and Berlin. Gob Squad: conceiving, directing, and staging ‘live events’ since 1994. Gob Squad: ever determined to toe the mixed-media line, working always on the borders between theatre, visual art, film, and new media. Gob Squad: a love child of the contemporary European (and dare we say) ‘postdramatic’ performance scene.”

“Eventually, a cohort of Gob Squad revolutionaries enter the space through the doors leading from the lobby, strumming Bob Dylan’s ‘The Times They Are a- Changin.’ Live, acoustic versions of John Lennon, Neil Young, the Velvet Underground, and so many others make their appearance throughout the show. As do film clips from Harun Farocki, R.W. Fassbinder, and the Weather Underground. The Anarchist Cookbook and texts by Rosa Luxemburg, Chomsky, Baader and Meinhof, René Pollesch, and Eisenstein make their way across the stage at other points as well. Could the irony be any thicker? Or are we meant to take Gob Squad seriously? Are they really attempting to ‘retrieve the spirit of revolution from the archives of history, and set it to work in the center of our capitalist reality’? Or are they hoping to demonstrate the very futility — absurdity even — of revolutionary fervor and the amazing ability of a global market society to absorb all opposition? ‘Is the spirit of revolution still with us? Or are we too far from Russia 1917 or the spring of ’68’? Are we meant to mourn the very co-optation of our utopian consciousness? Or are we here to rehearse the uprising?”

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