Du bist der Nächste (You’re next)

The PAZZ performing arts festival in Oldenburg explores the fascination with biographical storytelling.


… In his thrilling production, Ringside, British artist Mem Morrison presents biographical storytelling which establishes an analytical distance from painful childhood experiences by confidently stylising existing formal elements. This work is the final piece of a multi-part project in which Morrison works through the trouble spots of finding his identity as an English homosexual with Turkish-Cypriot roots. In Ringside, Morrison recalls a wedding celebration which he attended with his parents at the age of twelve. Amidst the close circle of family and the deeply symbolic rituals, the boy is jolted into an awareness of the incompatibility between what is expected of him and his otherness. The statement “You’re next” whirs around the room like a mantra. The way Morrison invokes Cypriot music, the way he dances, sings and speaks, or makes the little plastic bridegroom from the wedding cake fly around the dance floor like an astronaut and eventually become ensnared in the endlessly long white table cloth, ending up as the bride: these are breathtaking images which tell a universal tale of an inescapable search for one’s own path.