Boris Ondreička
The Abyss

Performance / Commissioned work


Literaturhaus Graz

Production specifics
Commissioned and produced by steirischer herbst ’19

The abyss is an ongoing obsession in Boris Ondreička’s practice as a visual poet and performer. His hypnotic visual-poetry performances combine hundreds of quotes from fields ranging from mysticism to political science with a vast archive of images. Ondreička thus creates a pseudo- or para-phenomenology of the abyss and delves into its attendant notions such as alienation, schizo- and xeno-cultures, crisis, catastrophe, and the occult, confronting all of the weird creatures and creations of the apocalyptic imagination. In his performance for steirischer herbst, Ondreička explores the pre-apocalyptic atmosphere of the early 20th century, as found in Karl Kraus’s famed drama The Last Days of Mankind. He draws upon this and many other sources to ask whether Georg Lukács was really so right in his rigorous condemnation of those who stare into the abyss too long.