Tonight, Lights Out!
On December 8, 2007 the Bild Zeitung, Germany’s most important tabloid and Europe’s best selling newspaper, was proclaiming with big letters on its front page: “Tonight, lights out from 20:00 to 20:05!”
In the name of climate change everybody in the country was invited to make this small gesture and exercise his or her basic democratic right. “5 minutes for a better world” was the explicative subtitle of the action. This action appeals to ambivalent feelings. It is first of all remarkable that a right wing populist tabloid like the Bild Zeitung suddenly felt the popularity of the thematic of climate change, which it was denying for so many years. It designed a clever action followed by a large part of the population because it was appealing to everybody’s own democratic right and duty. By performing this small symbolic action of switching off the lights people were part of th large community who cares for climate change and who is determined to solve this problem together. For the time of five minutes…
The situation itself of a whole country being intentionally in the dark is also a great trigger for imagination. What was happening in those cities, in those houses? Were people sitting on the bench together remaining silent? What were they thinking about? Did they hope their action would have true consequences? Of what kind?
14 oktober 2017
Concept, text, performance:
Production & Assistance:
Maarten Westra Hoekzema, Mathias Domahidy
Stichting Infinite Endings
Frascati Theater, STUK, Zeitraumexit, Theater Zeebelt