Henning Bohl

Galerie Karin Günther/Nina Borgmann

Kabuki fascinates us with its emotional intensity, achieved through splendid costumes, expressive song, and complete mastery of the body. It is less about the expressive potential of complex plots than about the virtuosity of the performers, their faces covered by masks of makeup that grotesquely mimic facial expressions. The narrative sequences, which follow a strict set of rules, provide the framework for the formal principles of the theater, which always remain the same. Henning Bohl adopted Kabuki as frame of reference for his latest work, Theater Heute (Theater Today), 2004, and, in his own rather idiosyncratic way, connected it to modernism. A large, freestanding wall of abutting canvases partly covered the windows of the gallery like a translucent screen. Attached here and there to the wall are ornamental motifs such as bamboo stalks, a masklike face with rosy cheeks, small birds,

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