room for humour

Press Archive 2007

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Fürther Nachrichten, 07.11.2007, CLAUDIA SCHULLER


Always teasing

Béla Faragó’s peek behind the scenes in the Stadttheater

"The audience is waiting for Katharina Wagner", is the title the artist gave the cartoon with gallerist John Hammond as onlooker in the foreground. Photo: Hans Winckler

No wonder everyone gets the image that they deserve: the minister who falls asleep in his theatre box, the entrepreneur that only comes into the theatre to do business, the yuppies that show of their designer wardrobe, the beer drinking stage hands that ogle the nude actresses. Faragó has drawn them all with a brisk pencil, charcoal and ink.


Really nicely vicious he unmasks appearance and reality. Always taunting, never letting anyone get away with a lie is his motto. To grotesquely exaggerate the figures and use the physiognomy to indicate the character, is all an essentiality. The whining child is naturally chubby. The social climbers who are demonstrating their eagerness to be cultural by a visit at the theatre have round potato noses, while the noses of the powerful are long and pointed. The simple-minded, he paints with large wrinkles on their foreheads.


The work that the artist has devoted to an incident in Halberstadt appears particularly bitter: In the East German province Neo-Nazis beat the daylights out of actors because they acted in the "Rocky Horror Picture Show", a trash-musical about transvestites and weird characters. These works do no longer deal with unpleasant snobs as in the other drawings, but Faragó here warns about highly dangerous intrigues.


After all, it was alleged, many citizens and even police officers have turned a blind eye rather than intervene. Faragó characterized the skinheads as prematurely aged brutal children and the police with giant peaked caps over their eyes rather looking away while the artists lay on the ground. Could the social importance of theatre to be clearer?