Mr. Schmidt and Mrs. Schmidt, Mrs. Schneider and Mr. Schneyder, Mr. Schulze and Mrs. Schultze are people like you and I: people with obsessions, heartbreaks, panic attacks, aggression, social phobias and fears of different kinds. They all go out of their way to unlearn their fears, and end up in the fear-of-flying seminar of a best-selling author who wants to heal the world of its ever-increasing phobias.
To give up fear is to step out of the secure space, the everyday bunker, bungalow or office, where nothing unknown occurs and life is conceivable—perhaps limited and frightened, but still possible. Into this nightmarish home most people are able to settle: anxiety neuroses and depression are increasingly common psychological illnesses if the health insurance statistics are to be believed. There is the fear of terrorism, illness, old age, poverty, unemployment, failure or death, but also the general terror of insecurity and the rapid growth of the security sector in the private and public spheres. The seminar participants in junk space experience processes that are different from what they had planned on. What initially was supposed only to reduce anxiety increasingly comes to look like strategies of competition and increased performance, accompanied by an obsession with security and a territorial defense against milieus and situations that penetrate from everywhere: the walls close in, and spaces that should remain outside find their way to the inside, where the participants remain trapped within themselves and their collective fear.
Kathrin Röggla has written about anxiety control and people ruled by a terror which - as the title borrowed from Ren Koolhass shows- goes far beyond the fear of flying. (Thomas Jonigk)
3 D, 4 H
UA: 29.10.2004 · steirischer herbst, Graz (Koproduktion mit dem Theater am Neumarkt, Zürich) · Directed by: Tina Lanik
Translated into: Catalan, French, Spanish