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Agnes Scherer, «The Teacher»

Until Tue, 04/05/2021
Cabaret Voltaire

In the work of Agnes Scherer (*1985), the “operettas” that she has been developing since 2015 occupy a special position. The unusual performance formats draw inspiration from basic theater forms such as processions, the mechanical theaters of the Baroque era, or even PowerPoint presentation. Scherer is interested in ways of liberating the work of art from the status of a passive object and giving it a magical power of action. At the center of “The Teacher” is a teacher figure, who is controlled by a student lying on the floor, under enormous effort with his feet. The teacher is thus placed in a didactic frenzy, a kind of hectic dance, sometimes monstrous and sometimes almost seductive. His lessons are illustrated by large diagrams that fall to the floor after 40 seconds, always releasing something new behind them. What the teacher presents sounds impressive and true, but it contradicts itself. The text, closely interwoven with Tobias Textor's fast-paced percussion, consists of aphorisms that Scherer partly heard from authorities and partly wrote himself. Together they analyze and demonstrate the rhetorical blueprint of so-called wisdom and its manipulative potential.

At Cabaret Voltaire, the installation to the operetta will be on display for the entire duration of the exhibition. At the opening on October 2, at the matinée on October 3, and by the end of the exhibition, Agnes Scherer will animate the production together with Tobias Textor (musicians/Berlin), Soya Arakawa (performer/Düsseldorf) and Claudia Barth (performer and activist/Zurich). Scherer's work is interesting from several perspectives in order to connect with the historical legacy of Cabaret Voltaire: on the one hand, in relation to the Gesamtkunstwerk and the confrontation of the audience with puppets, music, and a chaotic spoken text, and on the other hand in its reflection of language in authoritarian relationships.

Agnes Scherer was born in 1985 in Lohr am Main, Germany, and lives and works in Berlin. She studied art history in Tübingen and Vienna and fine arts at the Düsseldorf Art Academy. In 2019 she won the Berlin Art Prize. Most recently, her work has been shown in group exhibitions, including at the Galerie ChertLüdde (Berlin, 2019), the Kunstverein Düsseldorf (Düsseldorf, 2019) and the Galerie Sans Titre (Paris, 2018), as well as in the solo exhibitions: Orlando Tussaud, Philipp Haverkampf Galerie (Berlin, 2019/20); The Very Hungry, Horse & Pony (Berlin, Berlin Art Prize finalist show, 2019); The Teacher, Kinderhook & Caracas (Berlin, 2019) and Cupid and the Animals, Tramps (New York, 2018; London, 2017).

The Teacher was shown for the first time in April/May 2019 at the Berlin project space Kinderhook & Caracas, curated by Sol Calero and Christopher Kline.

Cabaret Voltaire

Spiegelgasse 1
8001 Zürich

+41 43 268 08 44

Tram 4/15: Rathaus
Tram 3/Bus 31: Neumarkt

Photography allowed

Opening Times

Tuesday: 14–18
Wednesday: 14–18
Thursday: 14–18
Friday: 14–18
Saturday: 14–18

Until Tue, 04/05/2021

Exhibitions and Dada-Library
Tue: 2-8 pm
Wed–Sat: 2-6 pm
or upon request

Tue-Thu: 6pm-midnight
Fri: 6pm-2am
Sat: 2pm-2am
Sun: 2-11pm

Public holidays: s. Website


Exhibitions: CHF 5/3
Free admission for children up to the age of 16 and for members

Events: CHF 10/5
Partially different
Free admission for members

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