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Jeff Koonsen

Disconcerting fact No. 1: The play is called Jeff Koons, but the kitsch artist Koons does not appear in the text.
Disconcerting fact No. 2: Not only does Koons not appear – no one else does either. Rainald Goetz dispenses with roles, dialogue and plot. The play starts with the third act, then jumps to the first act, switching between lyrical grandiloquence and lively rap, and ending rather abruptly with a sixth and seventh act.
Disconcerting fact No. 3: A sense of cohesion does not necessarily have to arise, but it may do. Goetz plays out a couple's relationship in (roughly) four variations – in a club, at a railway station, at an art gallery and finally the end of love (at a private art showing or a theatrical premiere).
(Christine Richard in the programme for the "Berliner Festspiele" at "Theatertreffen 2000")

Responses to the Play

You sense that (...): in this artist‘s life there's a lot going on, in, over and under. And you grasp: it is as impossible to understand such an existence, to pin down its associations, ideas and symbols, as it is to pin down the text itself. Much remains dark and diffuse, sealed off and cracked. (...) Jeff Koons does not actPremiere:lly appear in the play yet he is omnipresent: the name is an echo chamber calling forth a thousand associations. (...) there are no scenic directions. The pitch changes as abruptly as the setting. Poetry and snatches of conversation, lyricism and banality flow into each other – the langPremiere:ge throughout is rhythmic, musical. The open form and the absence of clear dialogue structure leave the text frayed, shimmering, but also enticing and puzzling, giving the director an infinite array of possibilities for interpretation and staging.
(Gerhard Jörder in "Die Zeit", 22 December 1999)

Jeff Koons is linguistic art, is lightness, is rhythm and stasis. The play tells of banality and gravity, of discussion and idle chat, of kitsch and art, of party and distress, of surface and abyss, of the addiction to appearance and the desire for reality.
(from the programme of the "Wiener Burgtheater")

Technical Details

Premiere "Deutsches Schauspielhaus Hamburg", December 1999
Director Stefan Bachmann
Cast As many people as desired, variety of sets
Rights Suhrkamp TheaterVerlag
Lindenstr. 29 - 35
60325 Frankfurt /Main
Tel. 069/75601-701, Fax 069/75601-711
theater@suhrkamp.de
Translations Theatre Library

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