The Field, The Mantel (performance, 2011)


"These are the founding fathers. That's me there, on the right."
-Cupola Bobber


Starring Buffalo Bill, Groucho Marx, Malcolm X, Ronald Reagan, Martin Luther King and Lyndon B. Johnson, the performance explores how a nation’s history gets told and why.


Four Stars from Time Out Chicago: "This is an uncanny performance, and one Chicago should embrace..."

"What makes their work so compelling are the additional elements of Cupola Bobber's homemade, minimal visual aesthetic and their charmingly inelegant, often hamhanded choreographed movements. " - New City Chicago






Two performers in knee-length nightshirts poke their way through a set of 65 cardboard boxes, unpacking their large archive by dreaming, and filling in the void that is the narrative history(s) it suggests. Both performers are like Buffalo Bill Cody standing on the moon, before anybody else. They discover the race races that were in the Wild West Show - Cody’s show that defined the still-young America for much of the world - and the race war at the core of that show’s drama. They discover that all of it is their national history, and they want to do their part in imagining a new better future.

“The archive is a repository of dream material.The work of history is not memory work but dream work.”
-Steve Reinke

“The organism is fixed on top of a temporal converter – no, it is a converter of time.”
- Michel Serres

see also:

The Field, the Mantel (exhibition)
Public Question Library: Graz (installation)
Reading the Library of Congress Classification (video)
The Dictionary of Endurative Actions (installation)

-> HR images available here.





Chicago, IL: 31 March - 16 April, 2011; Cupola Bobber Studio
Mannheim, Germany: 7 - 9 June, 2011; 16. Internationale Schillertage, Nationaltheater Mannheim
NYC (Bushwick): 8 - 16 March, 2013; Knockdown Center


The Field, The Mantle – Eine Auftragsproduktion der 16. Internationalen Schillertage in Kooperation zwischen dem Nationaltheater Mannheim und Cupola Bobber