by Joonas Lahtinen u.a.

4-18 June 2016 SOHO in Ottakring Festival, Vienna
STAGE Helsinki Theatre Festival
Freischwimmer-Festival: Sophiensaele Berlin, brut Vienna, Theaterhaus Gessnerallee Zurich, Künstlerhaus Mousonturm Frankfurt, FFT Dusseldorf, Kampnagel Hamburg

Stove, sink, refrigerator, microwave, storage, work surfaces – everything economically arranged, within just 4 square metres – this adds up to the dullest kitchen in the world, despite the cosy embroidery. The point of this optimization orgy: the shelves are full of canned ready meals. The festival motto, “Verwerte Dich!“, could hardly be embodied in a clearer or more concise manner. After all, kitchen is the ultimate site for exploiting ourselves; this applies especially to women. Products, workforce and time are used up there. The voice-over text fragments turn all this into a compact and direct “discourse performance”. Tages-Anzeiger, Zurich


EIN.KÜCHEN.BAU is a performance, an installation, a meeting point for the various aesthetic, social and political dimensions of the fitted kitchen. It brings together stories, histories and ideologies that underlie our contemporary understandings about cooking and household work.

EIN.KÜCHEN.BAU begins with a construction performance in which the kitchen is built up before live audience. The audience is then invited to explore the kitchen installation; to listen to the talking cupboards and to discover the many details both mundane and exquisite. The kitchen gets more and more equipped and decorated during the venue and will also be enlivened through short cooking acts. 

With her “Frankfurt Kitchen” (1926), the Austrian architect Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky laid the basis for all industrially produced fitted kitchens (in German: die Einbauküche). Her emancipatory aim was to render cooking as efficient as possible so as to allow the housewife of the twenties more free time for other things. In which ways has the fitted kitchen – both as a site and as a concept – contributed to our conceptions of the everyday, cosiness and, ultimately, our idea of the private sphere and freedom?

The modern “just-in-time” lifestyle could hardly be portrayed more concisely or aptly. “EIN.KÜCHEN.BAU” offered a highlight already in the first evening of the “Freischwimmer” Festival.  Westdeutsche Zeitung, Dusseldorf

Also the kitchen, this “centre of home” with its controversial connotations, has its language. Lahtinen brings this language into life. Der Standard, Vienna

Fitted kitchen. A rare and witty performance theme. Die Presse, Vienna


Concept, artistic director, performance: Joonas Lahtinen (FIN/A)
Dramaturgy, production, props: Luzie Stransky (A)
Technical director, sound, performance: Andreas Wiesbauer (A)
Stage: Kerstin Bennier (A)
Video: Deniz Soezen (A/TR)

EIN.KÜCHEN.BAU is a coproduction between Joonas Lahtinen u.a./Punatonttu and the Freischwimmer festival/brut Wien. Endorsed by the Vienna City Cultural Office (MA 7). Produced with support from the Finnish Institute in Germany and the Ernst-May-Gesellschaft in Frankfurt. We wish to thank the MAK – Austrian Museum of Applied Arts and Contemporary Art in Vienna.

The Freischwimmer festival is supported by Haupstadtkulturfond, Bundesministerium für Unterricht, Kunst und Kultur Österreich, Kulturabteilung der Stadt Wien, Stadt Zürich Kultur, Migros Kulturproduzent, Fachstelle Kultur Kanton Zürich, Pro Helvetia Schweizer Kulturstiftung, Kulturbehörde Hamburg, Kulturamt der Landeshauptstadt Düsseldorf, Stiftung van Meeteren Düsseldorf and Dussmann das KulturKaufhaus.

EIN.KÜCHEN.BAU at the Freischwimmer Festival 2012/13

Photos: Christian Rainer (top), Gerhard F. Ludwig  (bottom)

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