Tomaž Pandur’ s new theatre project Faust, based on Goethe’s crowning achievement, his great dramatic poem in two parts, reveals the fragments of this immense work, where the history of the legend's development and its expansion into broader moral and philosophical spheres represents also an intellectual history of mankind.
Even though it is based on the medieval legend of a man who sold his soul to the devil, it actually treats modern man's sense of alienation and his need to come to terms with himself and with the world in which we live. Over the past few centuries this story has matured into an archetypal myth of man's aspirations and the dilemmas he faces while trying to understand his place in the universe. It was called “the divine tragedy” because it deals with the micro and macro-cosmos, with the public and private, as well as with the question of knowledge. Faust’s stages of life and his confrontations with Mephistopheles are formulae of thought, a phenomenology of the human species. Goethe is convinced that the battle between good and evil is what drives humanity onward and this spiral dialectics is the basis of his relentless faith in the future of mankind:
Transforming the Faust legend into the intellectual and emotional climate of our own time Pandur enacts an alchemical process, where everything entering the theatre space transforms itself, and thus he constructs his own stage language, his own “Poetry and Truth”. Amid the eternal struggle against an omnipresent evil he enacts the eternal longing for what we do not posses, family, love, youth or beauty. Entering the field of magic, the plains of cosmic spheres, Faust is allowed to experience total fulfillment if only for a moment, including love, authority and power, but the contract with Mephistopheles (or with himself) signed in blood, transports him in the end back to his loneliness and the transience of life. Is he in his “theatre of the world” alone against the World or is the World against him? Is he a God or a slave? And does he achieve the knowledge of “when”, “how”, and “where”?
The discourse of human estrangement and fulfillment, the hallucinating and hallucinogenic discourse, recalls the entire human tragedy in an attempt to find the truth of every-man, as well as the climax of his life.
The confrontation with one of the greatest European myths inspires Pandur to revive and reinterpret the Faust legend, creating a performance, which dissects the psychology of Faust, his fears and solitude, his love and passion. In the beginning, Heinrich Faust at the peak of his intellectual strenght but also at the peak of his despair finds himself on the verge of a suicide, feeling completely lost. And he’d like so much to feel a moment to which he could say:
"Postoj trenutek, kako si lep!"
But how and where to find it, and feel it, where is it hidden?
In this Faust’s desparate and suicidal moment we enter into Faust’s inner landscape in the blink of an eye, into the particles of his real and imaginative world, into his search of that everlasting moment of joy and fullfilment.
His search is our search. A search which never ends.