Shooting Bourbaki

- 5 swiss boys performing on their self stabilizing strategies and the teenage urge to shoot

By Haug / Kaegi / Wetzel

What is a target? What happens when you close your eyes and your hand meditates in the air? What do boys dream of? Who can shoot faster than their own shadow? What happened to General Bourbaki in January 1871?

Every September Zurich celebrates the legendary “Knabenschiessen” (lit: boys shooting). Boys and girls aged between 13 and 17 are invited to strike targets with the bullets from their high-speed guns. Apparently, the process of aiming and hitting is a rite of initiation. An elderly person explains how to handle a gun; the child takes aim, takes a deep breath, and finally pulls the trigger. The youngsters are introduced to the philosophy of shooting: the importance of being in the right mood, of concentrating, finding one's own rhythm, controlling one's strength, being unemotional, of holding one's breath when pulling the trigger.

The protagonists of “Shooting Bourbaki” are five 13-year-olds from Lucerne. As their voices deepen, they begin to realise that a single hacker can be more powerful than a mass movement. Prior to the casting only two of the group had met. From the outset communication was mainly physical. They got to know each other by testing each other's strength, by finding a place in the group - in a pecking order which changes according to the particular exercise. Films, music, computer games and their own experience and fantasies in situations of conflict are the material base. Choreographies of strength - and laughter, too, is a weapon. 

by: Helgard Haug, Stefan Kaegi and Daniel Wetzel

with: Valentin Erni, Thomas Hostettler, Diego Krauss, Ahmed Mehdi and Adrian Seitz.

A Production of luzernertheater and Expo.02 (AMJ).

Cooperation Dramaturgie: Olaf Kroeck

Cooperation Stage Design: Viva Schudt

Coproducers: Künstlerhaus Mousonturm (Frankfurt am Main), Neues Cinema (Hamburg), Sophiensæle (Berlin), BIT Teatergarasjen (Bergen) and Avantgarden (Trondheim).

Performances at: luzernertheater (UG, Lucerne), Künstlerhaus Mousonturm (Frankfurt/M.), Sophiensæle (Berlin), Neues Cinema (Hamburg), Avantgarden (Trondheim), BIT Teatergarasjen (Bergen), Arteplage Mobile du Jura (Ship at swiss Expo.02, departing from Biel, Murten, Yverdon les Bains, Neuchâtel), Tafelhalle (Nürnberg, Festival off/limits).

Premiere: jan. 24 2002, luzernertheater (UG, Lucerne)

Winner of the Impulse Award 2002 – Performances at Studiobühne (Köln), Prinz Regent Theater (Bochum), Ringlokschuppen (Mühlheim) and Forum Freies Theater (fft, Düsseldorf).