Wölfl’s work also contains echoes of the past; it’s possible that his work consists entirely out of these echoes. Sound catchers, reflections. Even elements of his own work can be found in new pieces, seeming to creep into works from the past, walking backwards; for example, the re-staging of “Lamm” featured a microphone on fire, and “von mit nach t” includes a ladder on the wall, which had stood for Mount Zion in another lifetime. Another Starfighter takes flight, this time projected on the wall, seeming to fall forever. The dancers are kitted out in their trusted cardboard angel attire, like emissaries from a higher force who can resist the power of gravity. Whereas “Revolver” had voluminous ball gowns and “CHOR(E)OGRAPHIE / JOURNALISMUS: kurze stücke” sequined suits, this work features wedding dresses, conspicuously disguising murder in solemn white lace.
“I wish I might become like one of these
Who, in the night on horses wild astride.” The dancer Yuki Takimori recites this Rilke poem with a noticeable accent in the 2011 work “Short Cuts/Kurze Stücke”. In “von mit nach t”, imaginary horsemen race past the chopped up wreck what had once been a fancy car. An aphorism from Martin Heidegger about wisdom is quoted, as is the speech by American president Lyndon B. Johnson about the “deep shadow of grief” cast by Robert Kennedy’s assassination. The dancer Kristin Schuster rhymes “pornography” with “democracy” and reads aloud an article about musical interiority from the magazine “Lettre International”. Nicolas Mansfield declares: “It’s in the moments between the movements“. That seems about right. Wölfl has previously spoken of the moments of stillness that are unique to dance.
This time, the ‘movements’ are called “cha cha cha”. Maybe “dadada” in disguise. Exquisite and effortless, the dance is performed both alone and with a chorus. The dancers kick and cross their feet, heads turning, hips bopping, shoulders or arms lifted, to the right, left, right. They are always holding something, a revolver in one hand, a small black book in the other – the book of books, in fact. As if everyone were born with both of these extensions and intentions. The work neutralises these evil thoughts, aestheticising and exaggerating them. The books held in front of their faces appear like golden bars covering the eyes, like a new device used for ‘augmented reality’.
The viewer can find NEUER TANZ hilarious, moving, deafening in terms of noise and deadening in terms of duration. Viewers can be mesmerised by the repetitions, by the work’s insistence, and be inspired to think or to simply watch aimlessly. The latter properly belongs to the “Pina” sphere in Wuppertal. Worlds do not separate the artist who goes only by his last name and the artist with the famous first name; in fact, they crossed paths in the early 1970s at the Folkwang Hochschule in Essen-Werden. One of the photographs that Wölfl published in 2009 in a glossy publication created for the event Ruhr.2010 – Kulturhauptstadt depicts her in a more easy-going mood. It’s 1970. He said that they used to goof around in the theatre’s storage room and smoke. Back then he studied photography and spent most of his free-time with dancers, many of whom would go on to start Tanztheater, like Reinhild Hoffmann, Susanne Linke or Wanda Golonka, who co-founded NEUER TANZ in 1987. Wölfl’s work belongs to its own genre, especially in light of its inexhaustible ability to mask and unmask that which we call “the theatre”, “dance”, or “NEW’.