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performance

Matt Saunders on Jonathan Meese’s Mother Parsifal

AT THE END of John Boorman’s 1974 cult film Zardoz, Sean Connery and Charlotte Rampling sit in a cave and age quickly through the rest of their lives while Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony booms. The cuts move with the music, so each new phrase of orchestral high Kultur seems to bury them deeper under campy pancake and latex. As pretentious tableau, it pits lifetime against geological time, and as eccentric comedy, it transforms the two sex symbols into Pirate’s Cove theme-park skeletons. From Jonathan Meese, I expected something of the same.

Jonathan Meese Is Mother Parsifal set the young artist alone against the well-over-five hours of Wagner’s slow-moving epic in the vast scenery storehouse of Berlin’s Staatsoper Unter den Linden. There Meese performed three shows in March, with music piped in live from the new Eichinger and Barenboim production of Parsifal, which was playing simultaneously

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