The medieval novel The Ship of Fools which is based on the image of a ship filled with fools, seafaring through the oceans of life, is a metaphor not only depicting the foolhardiness of mankind - the detailed descriptions of the different fools within the ship describe current character traits as well as ancient ones.
The timelessness of this story appealed to Danielle de Picciotto and Alexander Hacke, inspiring them to compose a show based on eleven fools described in the book, presenting the seduction of follies, their downfall and hidden assets by means of music and projected visuals.
The artists De Picciotto/ Hacke are known for being unconventional, always involved in discovering new ways of presenting avant-garde ideas or interaction among cultures and generations. With the performance The Ship Of Fools it was their objective to explicate the novel by Sebastian Brant in a very contemporary spirit - emphasizing that medieval themes are astonishingly up to date politically, religiously and sociologically - mirroring them in different cultural traditions to highlight their international relevance with oriental rhythms, American sideshow and country themes, south pacific tiki aspects or Berlin underground statements. The interaction among text, music and video represents a state - of - the - art approach to classic literature, traditional and electronic music, art and film.
The artists present each of the 11 chapters with a short recital of Brant's original text. After reading they illustrate the described fool with music and visuals. Deep bass lines, scraping metal, melancholic autoharps, violent guitar riffs, bizarre sound recordings, electronic break beats, long forgotten tango tunes entwined with Hackes magnificent singing and Danielle's mystic lyrics are illuminated by intricate projections depicting illustrated scenes of fools debauchery, burlesque dance clips and colorful tiki animations (all drawings and filming by Danielle de Picciotto). The artists present a magical world (a dreamlike mirror of the one we are all living in) this live performance is charged with laconic humor and fantasy inviting us to not only be seduced by its follies but also be conscious of its possible downfall.