MisogynyPuppet performance, length 0 min

Misogyny, Illustration Tina Dobrajc
There’s a box in a black box. Another, multilevel venue is set into the contemporary theatre box. Equipped with puppets (robots), this box acts as a large machine producing fantasy, ritual space tricks, blurring the lines between the illusory and the real, between the micro and macro world. The performance, conceived as a mixture of a concert performance and a classic puppet performance, travels through history’s main expressions of misogyny, which is seeded in almost every loud and subtle, hidden corner of history. Through the stories of ancient times, Christianity, the Middle Ages and the modern age, the performance questions rooted ideologies and the culturally- conditioned essence of women. The performance addresses hatred towards women just for their gender and raises the question of whether or not we can truly avoid this historical cognisance and rationale.
The first part, The Creation, refers to the most remote memories of humankind. This is exactly where misogyny started—the part about Adam and Eve in the Bible, where we find the account of how the devil seduced Eve. This part places emphasis on the fundamental story of our civilisation and, at the same time, marks the beginning of modern countries, wars, society, politics and human insanity.

The second part, Words and Shadows, includes a collection of philosophical thoughts and explanations depicting women as evil. This part was conceived based on fragments from Sex and Character, a work by the German philosopher Otto Weininger. The text that reflects the development of male chauvinism summarises the entire Christian ideology and “philosophical” thought about women.

The third part, called Veneration, is dedicated to the Christian cult of Mary, the impossible ideal, which a real woman was not and is not able to achieve, since she has to undergo the biological burden of bearing children, while Mary conceived her perfect child immaculately and with great protection from the angels.

The theme of the fourth part, entitled The Horror Machine, is the perverse witch trials.  This part is based on two texts: a work about witch trials in Slovenia written by Matevž Košir, and one of the most infamous books ever to be written—the Malleus Maleficarum (Hammer of Witches) from the 15th century, which was used by inquisitors to identify witches, conduct trials, and implement verdicts.

The fifth part, Birthing Machine, includes the historical period of wars in Europe, from the 17th century to the Second World War, when women were forced to bear more and more soldiers, who died in pointless, dirty wars.
Silvan Omerzu is an all-round puppet artist and fine art practitioner with a distinct style exposing his artistic purity. He is interested in puppets as images or statues perceived through rituals and ceremonies. He employs a unique approach to combining technology and materials with the purpose to create designs and statues characterised by primal energy. His last performance at the Ljubljana Puppet Theatre was
You’re it! He received a number of Slovenian and international awards, including the Prešeren Fund Award.

Premiere: April 2021, Stage under the Stars, Ljubljana Puppet Theatre

Co-produced with the Slowind Association.

Authors: Nebojša Pop Tasić, Silvan Omerzu
Directed by: Silvan Omerzu
Composed by: Larisa Vrhunc