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Monumental X-Mas
Edible landmarks for an altenative X'mas celebration

Photo:Chang-Chih Chen

Photo Documentation Please click on the photo

Presidential Office Hybrid Gate Taiperlin

post theater has collaborated with 7 architects (with Christian Fuchs as advisor) on creating 7 architectural plans how to re-built famous monuments in Taipei and Berlin as ginger-bread monuments. In 7 workshops with different types of Taipei residents (different ages, genders, professional backgrounds) post theater and the respective architects built these monuments in a "ginger-bread factory" at the TAV Gallery in Taipei in an area where the walls were covered with the commissioned architectural plans.
The workshop participants learned about the cultural history of ginger-bread ("Lebkuchen") in Germany and the tradition of ginger-bread houses. Then the participants were invited to share their opinions / feelings towards the landmarks / monuments they were building including a lot of historically charged buildings like the Chiang Kai Sheck Memorial Hall or the Grand Hotel. In the case of the two Berlin monuments, the Berlin TV Tower and the Brandenburg Gate post theater introduced these to the Taipei participants. These workshops were also observed by other visitors to the gallery or passer-bys.
Eventually all ginger-bread monuments were installed at the German Cultural Center Taipei. There they became a live-video film set / stage design for a puppet theater piece. post theater re-told the Christmas story of Mary and Joseph in the city of Taiperlin, a hybrid city consisting of Taipei and Berlin monuments. The characters, including a translator-angel (performed by Chin Mu) were all bread-based puppets that were "acting" in front of the monuments in which they requested accommodation. Since no one offered them a place for the night, the city of Taiperlin was punished -to be eaten by monsters - acted out by the audience.

The final performance was the highlight of the German Cultural Center's Christmas event. Germany is very much associated with Christmas in Taiwan. So MXM was highly occasion- and site-specific. In the context of very heated debates around Taipei monuments from the KMT-era that were taking place at the same time, the humorous way of dealing with it made MXM not just timely but also very popular. The audience enjoyed devouring politically contested landmarks very much. post theater's interest in MXM was to research a general populationŐs relationship to their local monuments and the way they represent / generate history. This research is part of the larger post theater project on the " Making / Performing of History" in East / South-East Asia which already started earlier in 2007 and will continue in 2008 with several projects, most prominently a symposium and workshop under the patronage of Waseda University, Tokyo. The project mainly studies school books and monuments as the most official methods to generate history. The focus lies on the representation of JapanŐs presence in its Colonial era and World War II, but also extends to other "oppressed" histories in the region that followed this time.


Collaborating Architects / Performers: Yu-Lin Liu, Yu-Jing Tsao, Fu-Le Chao, Jia-Hao Wang, Yi-Ting Huang and Jun-Fu Yang
Live Translation Performance: Chin Mu
Architectual Advisor: Christian Fuchs (ON Architektur)

Concept / Video / Puppet / Performance : Max Schumacher, Hiroko Tanahashi

Produced by the German Cultural Center and Tapei Artist Village
Supported by Goethe Gourmet

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