23.02   Exhibition opening ‘ Morphium – Hallucinations of a Kabarett  – 18-22hr

“In Art, only the bizarre is beautiful” – Charles Baudelaire

Morphium: Hallucinations of a Kabarett is your intimate invitation to discover the provocative and colourful characters featured in Berlin’s only Weimar Republic inspired theatre play. Le Pustra’s Kabarett der Namenlosen has been interpreted through the imagination of Berlin based artist, Alana Richards. This deconstructed Cabaret and its habitués will be exposed in a gallery environment, presenting a unique collaboration binding together portraiture, film and installation whilst intertwining theatre production and figurative painting.

The exhibition takes its title from a composition by Mischa Spoliansky – originally written for the scandalous dancer Anita Berber – named in homage to Morpheus, Greek god of sleep and etymological root of the opiate that had so infected Weimar Berlin. This song features prominently in Kabarett der Namenlosen, creating an ominous atmosphere steeped in mystery and melancholy.

Morphium is a continuation and extension of the Theatre play which looks more closely at the fictional archetypal characters – “The hallucinatory Nameless” – found in the deliciously tawdry Cabarets, riotous Revues and decadent Gender Bending Dance Halls of the wildly creative and sexually liberating Weimar Republic years in Berlin. This epoch has been very well documented and explored but still has the power to fascinate artists, historians and bohemians alike. In today’s unstable climate one can perhaps find echoes of the 1920’s; we may find ourselves once again standing at the precipice.

The Ballery shall play host to the exhibition and is located in in Schöneberg. This neighbourhood was once home to many artists, writers and Bohemians of the period – Christopher Isherwood, Marlene Dietrich and Claire Waldoff among them – and its thriving gay nightlife and performance heritage makes it the ideal backdrop for Morphium: Hallucinations of a Kabarett.

So enter a smoky underworld of scandal, intrigue and self indulgence, captured by Richards on canvas. Using slow drying oil paint and a traditional technique she has produced a series of individual portraits that capture the very essence of these shadowy characters.

Dates: 23 February 2018 – 6 March 2018
Location: The Ballery, Nollendorfstraße 11 10777 Berlin

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