An epic two-night cabaret banquet, “Eat the Rich” at HAU Hebbel am Ufer approaches various modes of delightful resistance through music and performance, conversation and food. It’s named after the popular political slogan often used in opposition to wealth inequality, and commonly attributed to 18th century philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau, then popularized during the French Revolution. A similar sentiment of dissatisfaction with the current order drives both evenings’ set menu, hosted by 3hd and responding to the violence of normativity, colonization, social upheaval, and the erasure of personal and queer histories.
The eight “course” dinner theater transforms the HAU2 performance space into a sophisticated scene of artists navigating a chaotic landscape marked by death and decay, beauty and power. It’s directed towards giving voice to that which has been silenced through food—somewhat like Rousseau’s otherwise gruesome metaphor warning, “When the people shall have nothing more to eat, they will eat the rich.” There’ll be no munching on the moneyed class here, except in the event’s narratives of dissent, autonomy, and cultural expression facilitated through the social role of communal feasting.
Artist and cook Caique Tizzi will provide the apéritifs, engaging the senses beyond just the eyes and ears—through taste, smell, and touch—as a means of learning and connecting with the “Eat the Rich” microworld. The interdisciplinary and intersensory banquet follows a loosely-connected process spanning diverse artistic domains, exploring the possibilities of experimental music theater and musical installations within a platform like 3hd organizers, Creamcake. Arvida Byström explores the future of food and sex in conversation with AI love doll “Harmony,” and Élie Autin dismantles the negative depictions of vengeful Roman goddesses, as well as bacchanalian priestesses who worship the god of wine and revelry. Odete investigates the intersections of magic, history, and transexuality, and Cassie Augusta Jørgensen deconstructs the Western fetish for ballet and sadistic notions of beauty with “Debris in a Skin-Tight Corset.” Hengameh Yaghoobifarah gives a toast and Krista Papista enacts the fight against nationalism, through the reinvention of folklore—constructing a queer phenomenology through destruction. Martins Kohout’s very personal ceremony mourning both the loss of a loved one and what’s left behind in any transition, echoes a collective grief in the face of rising political, economic, and climate uncertainty and a longing for change for the better.