Spears into Hooks


“Behold: this is an exorcism, an exposition of malevolent forces, a conjuration of ghosts from recent and current history. ‘Spears into Hooks’ is an electronic opera. No nice melodies or easy-going grooves to hang on to, no soothing sounds to lull you into an illusion of serenity, no fun, no escapism. ‘Spears into Hooks’ is a warning alarm. It is for the strong-minded.”

Her latest project, Spears into Hooks in the form of an electronic opera, is entirely devoted to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Like more and more middle-eastern intellectuals and artists, Asher believes that there is no other way than to try to achieve peaceful coexistence between the two peoples who live in that land. She is also convinced that real mutual understanding will only have a chance if all the nightmares that haunt the collective minds of both people are mercilessly exposed, and bravely dealt with. Welcome to the nightmare of the 20th century. Like some possessed, digital-age shaman, Asher impersonates ambiguous and conflicting characters. She crawls into the skin of a ‘shahid’ (an Islamic suicide commando: “…another religious boy, again, does another act of a saint … nobody denies me in the sky”), then sneaks into the body of an inmate in an Israeli political prison, or into the sick mind of a demented ‘beloved commandant’ of Birkenau concentration camp (“Wunderbar”). One minute she is a vengeful God, bent on punishing the human race for their cruelty and stupidity, the next she’s an anonymous refugee trying to save her baby. Asher’s show is an intense, dark and agonising report from the war zone. It is like watching a movie shot on the frontlines of a cruel and absurd battlefield. Its intelligent, multi-layered soundtrack evokes Bosch-like, apocalyptic images that burn into your retina.
One moment we imagine we are listening to a Kurt Weill opera, the next we hear brutal electronic rythms…and then the digital noise is abruptly interrupted with a deafening silence. Asher juxtaposes angry screams (reminiscent of Diamanda Galas’ exorcising sounds) with the melancholy tunes of the gypsy Macedonian brass band Kočani Orkestar, or a Johan Strauss Waltz.
Asher’s unique sound and visual spectacle hits you in the stomach. No one leaves the hall indifferent, and that’s what it’s all about. Asher:”This project is a warning alarm. It portrays the individual as victim of a repetitive, brutal and addictive reality, a reality that generates chronic diseases that settle in everyone: cowardice and apathy”.

Vox, electronics, drumming: Meira Asher; sound, electronics: Daniel De Jong; lights: Jackie Shemesh; video: Jens Greuner & Meira Asher; stage design: Andreas Harder; video operater: Thomas Hutzler; a co-production of the Grand Theatre (Groningen), Sophiensaele (Berlin) & Meira Asher.

Organised by Cankarjev dom
The concert was sponsered by: Adria Airways.

Date and time of event: 
Oct 18th 21:00
Place of event: 
Cankarjev dom