Giesinger Kulturpreis 2016 -15 minutes of fame – Mjunik Mini Musical – A reflection on what is trash…


Andy Warhol was stating in the sixties: “in the future everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes”. This came true for all the participating artists during the competition “Giesinger Kulturpreis 2016” on the trashiest modern musical Munich could offer. International performers, musicians, composers, dramatists gathered in order to present five really distinct productions during the past Thursday, June 21st evening.

The consideration once one organizes such a competition on the trashiest piece ever, is how much sense the plot has to have or to define explicitly what exactly trash is. Thus, the interpretations in the performances could not differ more than they did.

The First piece “Inside Out” was a punk opera where the female performer was searching in a radical way for her identity. All accompanied by punk music, hair style and looks. The question arises: is Punk culture really trash?

“Abgef(r)akt” was a piece with a classical singer and a pianist making the audience travel through different musical epochs. Starting with some Kunstlieder by Schubert in the late romanticism, taking it through propaganda music of Hitler’s time, to the fifties and finally ending up with Conchita Wurst, the Eurovision winner in 2014. The interesting part was that on the screen behind the stage an audience appeared, which portrayed the reception of the music during the cited epochs. Continuously digital men and women were leaving or coming back to their seats. The question here is: should we reflect on what is trash today regarding past music genres? Should we always take into consideration the music reception in the past times or should we make up own minds?

The next performance “Das Biest in mir” was kind of an improvisational piece in search of the beauty but then the beast was conquering the beauty. The two female performers constantly changed outfits to represent in theatrical way the manifold character of the beauty. Also here the question arises: what is trash, should it be judged by the current principles of beauty and is then beauty trashy if the role of the beast prevails?

“Short-lived” was a representation of neurological processes occurring to an Alzheimer patient. Extending the audience to the stage and via four loudspeakers recorded sounds and phrases appeared sometimes as background, sometimes as foreground to the performer’s role consisting in singing and murmuring phrases. The effect of distinction of reality and inner voice was clearly portrayed and experienced as if one would be in the brain of an Alzheimer person. Is trash a mental concept that arises once one is ill or is trash something created by the humankind consciously?

“SAUER! KRAUT! EHRE! RUHM! The Rise and Fall and Rise and Fall of Helga Krebs her INTERGALACTIC Brats from Mars” is a portrait of Magda Goebbels, the wife of Germany’s Nazi propaganda minister, who was sent to the Mars in pregnant state and is rising her son to become a singer accompanied by a Japanese pianist. Since there is no connection to the earth, the son learns in a placatory way through images of stars appearing on the screen behind the stage, changing cloths and wigs. Magda Goebbels does not only acquire a new name, Helga Krebs, for her new existence, she is also a bi-sexual person. This fact confuses her son even more. This was the trashiest performance according to the jury. Here the question arises: what does a performance, which confuses the audience citing all celebrities and symbols of epochs in a chaotic way want to express? Or how should it be perceived: should the audience simply run away because it is meaningless trash?

Arts has become sort of the same as media nowadays. We are constantly bombardized by meaningless, non-significant and weird artistic expressions, which have their meaning in their context. Thus, arts becomes exclusive and accessible only to a certain group of people who can identify themselves with one or the other performance. It is really difficult to reach out to masses, which is also great. As audience we have to stay selective keeping our individual standards of beauty in mind.