THE PERFECT WAGNER RITE
KW Institute of Comtemporary Art, Berlin (2016)
Import Projects, Berlin (2016)
The RHA, Dublin (2016)
Extracts from Berlin and Dublin shows; livestreamed with an iPhone
The Perfect Wagner Rite is a contemporary gesamtkunstwerk based on the German composer Wagner’s 'Ring-cycle operas'. The point of departure is Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw’s 1898 pamphlet 'The Perfect Wagnerite' which posits itself as the layperson’s guide to the Ring-cycle. Greenan filters Shaw's reading of Wagner’s work through the fetishizing gaze of the contemporary tourist in Berlin, eliciting a parallel between cultural and sexual voyeurism. Significant motifs and librettos are modified with references to club culture, BDSM, Bavarian folk art, German expressionism and Weimar cabaret. Six performers and five musicians activate the exhibition in a LARP-inspired operetta and gameshow, accompanied by a live-streaming pornographer. The central structure of the set is a full-scale replica of Bernard Shaw’s famous rotating writing hut, repurposed as a peep show and changing room for the performers.