SPOR festival 2016: The Great Pretender by Zachary Oberzan

15 maj 2016 kl. 19:00 - 21:00

Godsbanen, Aabne Scene, Skovgaardsgade 3-5, 8000 Aarhus


THE GREAT PRETENDER
En hybridforestilling - skuepil/film/koncert af og med Zachary Oberzan

Zachary Oberzan er en amerikansk teater- og filminstruktør og sanger hvis karriere begyndte på New York Nature Theater of Oklahoma, dog har han gennem de senere år arbejdet med egne solo-projekter. Oberzans forestillinger har referencer til både høj og lav kultur, som han bruger til at fortælle sin egen historie. For eksempel Your Brother. Remember? fra 2010, hvor han mixer sit eget liv med Jean-Claude Van Damme, eller Tell Me Love Is Real, hvor han flirter med skikkelser som Whitney Houston, Serge Gainsbourg og Bruce Lee.

The Great Pretender, Oberzans nyeste forestillingshybrid fra 2015, er ikke anderledes. Ligesom i forrige forestillinger kombineres film, teater og performance. Oberzan er inspireret af 1990-filmen Close Up af den iranske instruktør Abbas Kiarostami. Denne fiktive dokumentarfilm var en genopførelse af den sande historie om en iransk mand, der foregav at være den iranske instruktør, Mohsen Makhmalbaf, og derigennem inddrog en intetanende familie i et ikke-eksisterende filmprojekt. I The Great Pretender har Kiarostami angiveligt lavet en film om en mand, der foregiver at være kunstneren Zachary Oberzan. Bortset fra at Oberzan selv spiller rollen som Oberzan-imitatoren. Og her stopper det ikke - ud over filmen, er Oberzan også selv på scenen, hvor han imiterer Elvis-sangen "The Great Pretender" (som i øvrigt ikke er skrevet af Elvis).

Forestillingens synopsis
I foråret 2015 mødte en mand tilfældigt en teatertekniker på en bus i Antwerpen. Manden udgiver sig for at være den berømte amerikanske film/teaterinstruktør Zachary Oberzan. Han blev hurtigt introduceret til hele ledelsen på teatret deSingel og lover dem at skabe en ny forestilling til deres teater og også at bruge dem som skuespillere. Efter en uge med prøver, blev personalet mistænksomme. Manden blev afsløret som en bedrager og blev anholdt af belgisk politi for svindel.
Den kendte iranske filmskaber Abbas Kiarostami læste om episode i en avis og bliver dybt fascineret. Han filmer retssagen og rekonstruerer hændelsen.
Frem træder en kompleks historie om en mand, som er splittet af dybdegribende spørgsmål om egen identitet, frustration og kunstnerisk virksomhed. Historien glider over i vores eget liv, hvor mange af os selv kæmper med at finde ud af, hvilken rolle vi spiller i verden.

Credits:

Iscenesættelse, idé, performer, adaption: Zachary Oberzan (inspireret af Abbas Kiarostami og Hussein Sabzian)

Dramaturg/producent/manager: Nicole Schuchardt

Lys/lyd/video: David Lang

Kostumedesign: Dorothea Andrae

Korsangere: Maya Mertens, Diede Blok

Teknisk team og produktion i Aarhus:

Pappagallo og Godsbanen

Co-produktion:

deSingel Internationale Kunstcampus, HAU Hebbel am Ufer Berlin,

Beursschouwburg Brussels, Vooruit Gent, Black Box Teater Oslo, Gessnerallee

Zürich, Teaterhuset Avant Garden Trondheim, brut Wien


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THE GREAT PRETENDER

A hybrid performance - theatre/film/concert by and with Zachary Oberzan

Zachary Oberzan is an american theater and movie maker, performer and singer whose career began in New York Nature Theater of Oklahoma, however, the latest years he has worked with solo-projects.

Oberzans performances have references to both high and low culture, which he uses to tell his own story. For example, Your Brother. Remember? from 2010, where he mixes his own life with Jean-Claude Van Damme, or Tell Me Love Is Real, where he flirts with figures such as Whitney Houston, Serge Gainsbourg and Bruce Lee.

The Great Pretender, the latest performance hybrid from 2015 is no different. As in previous performances film, theater and performance are combined.

Oberzan is inspired by the 1990 film Close Up by the Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami. This fictional documentary was a reenactment of the true story of an Iranian man who pretended to be the Iranian director Mohsen Makhmalbaf, and thereby incorporated an unsuspecting family in a non-existing film project. In The Great Pretender Kiarostami reportedly made a movie about a man who pretended to be the great artist Zachary Oberzan - but Oberzan plays the role of the Oberzan-imitator. And it doesn’t stop here - in addition to the film, Oberzan is present on the stage where he imitates Elvis’ song The Great Pretender (which, incidentally is not written by Elvis).

Performance background
In the Spring of 2015, a man randomly met a theater technician on a bus in Antwerp. Claiming to be the famous American film/theater maker Zachary Oberzan, the man was soon introduced to the senior staff of deSingel Internationale Kunstcampus, where he promised to create a new work using them as actors and their theater as the location. After a week of rehearsals, the staff grew suspicious, the man was revealed as an imposter, and was arrested by Belgian police for fraud. Renowned Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami read about this minor incident, and deeply intrigued, filmed the trial and re-constructed the events leading up to it. What we discover is the very complex story of a man torn by profound issues of identity, frustration, and artistic creation that spill over into our own lives, as we ourselves struggle with what role each of us are to play in the world.


Credits:

Conceived/directed/designed/adapted/cinematography/edited/performed

by Zachary Oberzan, as inspired by Abbas Kiarostami and Hussein Sabzian

Backing vocalists: Maya Mertens, Diede Blok

Dramaturgy/producer/manager: Nicole Schuchardt

Lights/sound/video technician: David Lang

Stage consultant: Eike Böttcher

Costume Designer: Dorothea Andrae

Technical team and production in Aarhus:

Pappagallo and Godsbanen

Co-production:

deSingel Internationale Kunstcampus, HAU Hebbel am Ufer Berlin,

Beursschouwburg Brussels, Vooruit Gent, Black Box Teater Oslo, Gessnerallee Zürich, Teaterhuset Avant Garden Trondheim, brut Wien







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