Excerpts from Richard Wagner’s first opera Die Feen (first performed in Munich in 1888) take us on a journey into the Wagnerian cosmos of mythical figures: King Arindal must rescue his love, the beautiful fairy Ada. To break the spell she is under, he must perform superhuman feats that take him all the way to the underworld and help him fulfil his desires and finally even achieve immortality.
The streets are dark. Die Feen resounds from the speakers of parked cars. As the music piece evolves, it travels from one car to the next. Each of these passages is accompanied by the car’s interior light illuminating. Ten parked cars are activated in this manner, culminating in a long line of light and sound.
The metal car chassis with their combustion engines and mass-produced contrast the mythical imagery used by the young Richard Wagner. German Romanticism encounters the urban present; the reality of metropolis with the symbolism of the late 19th century. Industrial artefacts become hybrid actors, blurring the dichotomy of nature romanticism and a belief in progress.
In the sound performance Music Requisites, the third act of Richard Wagner’s opera “Die Feen” (Fairies) resounds from the speakers of parked cars. The streets are dark. As the music piece evolves, it travels from one car to the next. Each of these passages is accompanied by the car’s interior light illuminating. Eight parked cars are activated in this manner, culminating in a long line of light and sound.
The cars—as typical parts of everyday life, standing for movement, travel and relocation—are brought to life through the sounds of Richard Wagner’s music. The arias, duets and choral passages take us on an imaginary journey into a world of kings, fairies and magic. King Arindal has to free his love, the beautiful fairy Ada. In order to break the spell, he undergoes endless efforts, which lead him to the kingdom of the underworld. With the help of the magician Groma he succeeds and is united with Ada forever.
With their motors, gasoline pipes and no less with their industrial design, cars mirror the technological developments, world economies, conflicts and policies of three centuries of human history. This is precisely the time frame when the Western world underwent its most rational era. In Music Requisites, the vehicles take on the role of amplifiers and together with the accompanying light, they intertwine legends and the mystical world with the technological or even scientific developments that guide modern life. They become platforms for telling a fantastical story, followed by the emotional Wagnerian music and the Symbolism of the late 19th century. The dramatic opera passages, affect the listener`s psychology, while unwillingly denouncing modern life.