Art is not mental exercise, but contemplative effort
Theatre is not self-fulfillment, but service
Fifty years ago, a clown-marionette was born which was given the name Gustaf as befitting its appearance. The sculptural process had an amazing effect on me. Already in its rough shape, I began to look at it as a critical spectator and not as the maker, and was overwhelmed. I just had to move this marionette, watching it move in its mirror reflection, and to my astonishment, seeing life where in reality no life existed. Or was it alive? Gustaf made such a strong impression on me that I just had to share this with others and began to show him to friends -- still unpainted and clothed only in a red loincloth. And so, through Gustaf, I became a puppeteer.
The dramatic form has remained essentially, very simple -- no sets, nothing resembling a traditional puppet theatre. I perform in full view of the audience on an open and empty stage. Only the precise direction of the stage lighting concentrates attention onto the figure.
Fifty years performing with a single marionette -- well, not quite. Of course, an entire ensemble has been formed, but the unrivalled star is Gustaf and it is indisputable that his scene is the oldest in the program. Clown Gustaf was a stroke of luck and determined my entire career. The mutual inspiration, while performing, has become increasingly intense and acknowledged. We are even beginning to look alike. My entire life has been devoted to this work, even my private relationships.
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