Conte d’Amour (2010)

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“One person is shut in, all the others shut out – that is the ideological core of romantic love. I want only you! says love, I want you for me alone! says love, I want you to belong to me forever! says love. Whoever speaks thus thinks about one thing only: possession.” (Rainer Just in “Against Love – Seeking the literary traces of the Natascha Kampusch affair.)

Conte D’ Amour is a theatrical investigation of the ideology of romantic love, aiming at connecting the everyday habits of family life to its obscene double. Using the grotesque case of Joseph Fritzl as an expression of the repressed content of the ideology of romantic love, Conte D’ Amour is aiming at an ambivalence that is close to the Freudian experience of the “unheimlich”/”uncanny”.

In Institutet’s story Joseph Fritzl produces a monster by acting out what should have remained a secret fantasy (to captivate the object of love, to transgress the incest taboo) and this monster can’t be kept inside of the basement anymore. In his official daily life, Fritzl is trying to look like a normal patriarch, but the distorted nightmare of his incest family seems to return and haunt him. To deal with the situation, Fritzl undertakes a heroic mission and dives into “the other scene” – the basement – to plunge into the perverse dream world of his own invention. In the basement, that was supposed to be the fulfillment of an obscene fantasy of family and romance, our hero finds himself captivated by his victims.

Cast & Crew:
Director and Set Design: Mark Öhrn
Script: Anders Carlsson
Costumes: Pia Aleborg
Composer and Musician: Andreas Catjar
Light: Daniel Goody
Technical Manager on tour: Patrick Tucholski
Actors: Rasmus Slätis, Elmer Bäck, Jacob Öhrman, Anders Carlsson
Photo: Markus Öhrn
Production: Elin Westerlund, Alexandra Hill,
Artistic coordinator: Pamela Schlewinski

Conte D’Amour is produced with the support of: Swedish Arts Council, Kultur Skåne, Culture Skåne, Malmö Kulturstöd, Cultural Foundation Sweden-Finland, the Swedish Cultural Foundation (in Finland) and the Nordic Culture Point.