Meet Bertolt Brecht and Degenerate painter Otto Dix. Kinda. Fact or fantasy? Either way, they’re yours to devour. Sing rousing songs, witness delicate movement sequences, touch your muse, and queer the facts. Lift a stein at Philly’s only Authentic German Beer Hall and meet us in the bathroom.
Baal & Dix is a new immersive work that looks at prominent masculine artists of the Weimar Republic to explore how Jewish, Queer, and Femme identities manifested in the work. Live performers and pre-recorded video combine in this mixed media immersive performance piece.
What do we do with “problematic” artists who are considered the masters of their field? How do we separate our response to the artwork from the human beings who created it?
What if we like some of this toxic work? What does that say about us?
Are we ok?
Bertolt Brecht and Otto Dix are undeniably powerful and pervasive artists who left a huge footprint on their respective fields. Both had problematic relationships with women, nationalism, and sex work. Both used cultures outside of their own to exotify their work. Both had an unexamined affinity with homoeroticism and queerness embedded into their worship of the masculine.
So what do we do with them?
Baal & Dix invites you to peel off the rind and spit out the seeds in this new immersive piece.
All performances will be held at Brauhaus Schmitz. Grab a beer before, during, or after the performance. Brauhaus boasts the World’s Largest German beer selection with 34 rotating drafts with another 100 German Flaschenbier (Bottles).
Between the beer, the songs, the bad accents, and the ill-advised use of suspenders, Baal & Dix promises visitors a not-completely unproblematic dive into two of Germany’s premier artists. There will be sausage. Prost!
For ages 18+
Health & Safety
Proof of vaccination is required to attend this event, and masks must be worn for the duration of the performance. Audience members will be asked to show proof of vaccination before entering the venue. Both digital and physical proof of vaccination are accepted. Please plan accordingly.
This performance contains brief graphic language and brief suggested violence. This piece explores systems of oppression in canonical art. Topics include sexism, homophobia, nationalism, and war-based trauma. Sexual assault is referenced but is not depicted.
Created by Die-Cast
Ensemble: Ross Beschler, Anthony Crosby, Colleen Corcoran, Jarod Hanson, Rachel O’Hanlon-Rodriguez, Chris Sannino, Han Van Sciver
Director: Brenna Geffers
Musical Composition: Han Van Sciver, Chris Sannino, and Ensemble
Partially created with the CA+MP Residency.
About the Artist
Die-Cast was founded in 2017 by Thom Weaver and Brenna Geffers to explore new relationships between the visitor and space. Die-Cast incubates work within spaces that are often inaccessible to audiences or are not thought of as performative spaces. We look to fill those spaces with the work and have the work shaped by the space in turn. Die-Cast does not fit easily into any box. Our work is genre-busting, tech-savvy, and site-sensitive. We’ve taken over derelict ballrooms to explore Lovecraft’s dangerous nationalistic tendencies, placed our immersive adaptation of La Ronde in a historical mansion to challenge the hetero-normative all while exciting audiences and garnering accolades along the way. We have been nominated for the prestigious Harvey Award for Best Adaptation of a Comic Book, alongside Hollywood Blockbusters like Marvel Studio’s Avengers: Endgame. We have been featured at Art Week Miami 2020. Our public works installation Temporary Occupancy combined pre-recorded and live-streaming video projections and won the Juried Prize of $20,000. We blur the lines between mediums, like our video installation for the I-Park Foundation Site Sensitive Biennial. Before the pandemic, we were experimenting with online platforms, using chatbots, Titoks, and choose-your-own-adventure digital words.
We believe in the collective creation model where all artists help create the work. We do not believe in the hero’s journey.