March 31 – April 22, 2019 at kunstbau



A precarious SINGSPIEL

Of the Utopian Attempt to Produce Change Together
A Precarious Singspiel by Beate Engl, Leonie Felle and Franka Kaßner

Performance and Installation
2pm-8pm, Entrance free

PREKÄROTOPIA is entirely fictitious. Any resemblance to actual events or living persons, however, is hardly coincidental.

The artists Beate Engl, Leonie Felle, and Franka Kaßner star in the roles of Speaker, Poupée, and Trickster, who live in the system PREKÄROTOPIA between dance number and wrecking ball. The play’s title blends the “precariat*” and “utopia” in a kind of ambiguous figure—depending on one’s angle of view, it is an emblem of possibility or utter impossibility.

Dramaturgically and musically, too, the performance is a roller coaster of contrasts and sudden shifts: now trapped in individualistic and misanthropic isolation, now filled with euphoria by their shared struggle against the existing realities, the characters are neither static nor prototypical, developing over the course of the play, approaching, and ultimately failing to achieve, mutual understanding.

Altogether twelve songs with lyrics and music by the artists—including a breathy chanson, impassioned agitation, and a bawled punk ballad—outline an aesthetic of political-ideological difference and raise questions concerning the form and impact of joint political action. With a nod to Bertolt Brecht’s definition of the “Beggar’s Opera” as a play for rather than about beggars, PREKÄROTOPIA is proposed not as a diagnosis of contemporary society but as a vehicle of communication.

PREKÄROTOPIA is based on an unorthodox interpretation of the tradition of the Singspiel, a—usually comedic—theatrical performance with musical interludes. Emerging in the early eighteenth century, the format evolved into a simpler middlebrow counterpart to the lavishly produced courtly opera. Engl, Felle, and Kaßner have taken inspiration from a wide range of models, from Soviet-era visual artists’ theater productions and revolutionary leftist workers’ songs from the 1920s to German revue films to American 1950s aqua-musicals and Neue Deutsche Welle music videos.

Lenbachhaus hosts the play’s premiere, to be followed by two additional performances. The installation of sculptures, musical instruments, costumes, songs, and videos is on display at the Kunstbau for the entire duration of the exhibition.

* “Precariat” designates the part of a population that lives in or is at risk of poverty due to uncertain living and working conditions.

Curated by Stephanie Weber


A record is published in parallel to the exhibition by the Munich label GUTFEELING RECORDS

The production of the record is supported by the Cultural Department of the City of Munich.


Sat, March 30, 2019, 7pm
at Lenbachhaus
Admission free

Sat, March 30, 2019, 8pm
Admission is free, but you need an armband, available inside the Lenbachhaus on opening night starting at 6:30pm. Please note that for fire safety reasons, admission to the performance is limited to 400 visitors. Thank you for your understanding. If you are unable to attend the opening night performance, please note the additional performances:
Fri, April 5, 2019, 8pm
Thu, April 11, 2019, 8pm
On April 5 and 11 the Kunstbau closes at 6 pm and opens at 8 pm.
Entrance to the performances and to the installation is free

by Art&Feminism

Fri, April 5, 2019, Lenbachhaus
Sat, April 6, 2019, Z COMMON GROUND, Zschokkestr. 36
Talk + Workshops + Performances + Concert + Party
For further information please click here.


Thu, April 18, 2019, 6pm
Beate Engl, Leonie Felle, Franka Kaßner and Stephanie Weber, Curator, Contemporary Art
in German

Duration: 1 hour.
Admission free

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