“The Empire Strikes Back" is an experiment in sci-fi anthropology. Suffused with nostalgia for Empire, Ariel Efraim Ashbel takes his ensemble of performers, musicians, scientists, artifacts and robots on a voyage through the history of the future, the future of race and the science of difference. A work of visual and ideological hybridism, "The Empire Strikes Back" indulges in the arresting representational fierceness of Empire, while declaring war on both the violent racist legacies of 'humanism' and the uncreative dystopia of identity politics.
“The Empire Strikes Back” is the sequel to the piece “All White People Look The Same To Me,” which was the international troupe's debut in HAU3 in 2013. In an exuberant, hybrid revue, Ashbel's new work plays with a wide range of historical, textual, visual and musical references from Afrofuturism to constructivism, science fiction and Techno-culture. Taking off where his last show concluded, the Empire strikes at a further sensual, spatial and choreographic abstraction: from identity to the body; from representation to surface; from White people to the black box of the theater. Faced with fierce humanist resistance, Ashbel's mob of freedom fighters combats evil lords, opening up a horizon of new theatrical mutations and unimaginable spectacles.
Production: Ariel Efraim Ashbel and friends. Co-production: HAU Hebbel am Ufer, Kampnagel (Hamburg), FFT (Düsseldorf). Funded by Capital Culture Fund Berlin.