freely adapted from Ivan Goncharov's novel OBLOMOV - Transcription by Nele Stuhler
PREMIERE: 11th November 2021
In November 2020, a video from the federal government caused a commotion. With the hashtag #specialheroes, the politicians called on people to be “as lazy as racoons” and to turn the “couch into a front line”. The message was clear: he who stays at home is a hero. Tasteless or a funny gag? Controversial discussion arose among the public. The narrative of the naysayers, the objectors or the idle is often found in literature; think for example of Melville’s Bartleby the Writer, Thoreau’s Walden or Moshfegh’s My Year of Rest and Relaxation. Iwan Gontscharow’s protagonist Oblomov also stays at home, sinks into daydreams on the divan and is characterised by his sloth; ultimately not even his closest acquaintances are able to motivate him.
Which challenges would this member of the landed gentry face today? The image of homely heroism is becoming distorted. Look back over the past year of the pandemic to those whose phased self-isolation has turned into permanent withdrawal from society. What happens to the people who feel disconnected, who won’t go outside, won’t sit in cafés or theatres as soon the pandemic has been overcome because this year has left its mark on the way in which they interact with the environment and their own psyche? Luk Perceval tackles these questions in a project exclusively for a digital space.