Susanne Sachsse with XIU XIU
An installation with 27 horn loudspeakers | video | 40 miniature slide viewers | photos, objects, and paper
Based on the libretto antioper
(1970) by KURT W. STREUBEL
A true story. Formalist! Forbidden! GDR in the 1950s! East German painter and printmaker Kurt W. Streubel (1921-2002) was one of the last members of the Bauhaus. His formalist-abstract images put him in conflict with the cultural politics of his time, which heralded socialist realism as an artistic, civic, and national duty. His formalist art gets labeled cosmopolitan, against the German cultural heritage, and in violation of the national consciousness. Because of a work ban, Streubel demands that the state provide him a formalist pension, a tongue-in-cheek term he coined. The state surprisingly gives in and pays him 200 marks a month for two years. He was only 31. 1970: Kurt W. Streubel plans an opera. antioper
. A libretto. Streubel's libretto is a graphic work that turns rhythmically arranged texts into ciphers. His texts, some of which are presented as a kind of concrete poetry, are politically encoded, ambiguously charged sentiments that put pressure on the constriction of thought by absolutist ideologies. „Look here, I am Lenin.“ (Kurt W. Streubel)
"I met Kurt W. Streubel in 1981. I was only 16 at the time, and a close and long friendship developed between us. He asked me to become his assistant. I decided to become an actress. Decades later, I took his libretto of the antiopera as the starting point for a reflection on formalism, politics, and friendship." (Susanne Sachsse)
In collaboration with: Şenol Şentürk, Martin Siemann and Maximilian Brauer, Jonathan Berger, Glen Fogel, Richard Gabriel Gersch, Ruth Schönegge, Angela Seo, Marc Siegel, Jamie Stewart.
With generous support from ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen), the Rudolf Augstein Stiftung, the Senate Department for Culture und Europe (Berlin), the Goethe-Institut New York.
Many thanks to Ute Streubel, Catrin Streubel-Ohlsen, Iris Streubel-Stegner, Sebastian Stegner, Wolfgang Bruhm and Ellen Sachße.
is a Berlin-based actress. In 2001 she co-founded the artists' collective CHEAP. Sachsse has worked internationally in various performance, film, and art contexts with Yael Bartana, Jonathan Berger, Zach Blas, Phil Collins, Keren Cytter, Vaginal Davis, Natascha Sadr Haghighian, Bruce LaBruce, Laibach, Ligia Lewis, Josiah McElheny, Vegard Vinge & Ida Müller and Xiu Xiu. She is a recipient of the Premio Maguey Queer Icon Award at the Guadalajara International Film Festival. In 2021 she opens her first solo exhibition at Participant Inc in New York City.