Osiris coverage – 2002

Premiere: 23rd November 2002, Trafó, Budapest

Gábor Goda: The principle of disintegration

The central theme of the 2002 performance entitled Reports on Osiris

“The nature and the man’s destiny comprised in it: a fragmentation, disintegration.       No matter, if we talk about the Big Bang or the separation of continents, or the specification of different human activities.

Everything falls apart, disintegrates, passes away: ideologies, nations, languages, relationships, emotions, the body; the man himself. Yet, the man full of fear and anxiety won’t tolerate it, won’t let it happen. Anything that resists disintegration will get isolated, for it fears decay, and the unknown and alien impacts, such as viruses, information, cultures. At a given moment, during the dissolution process, it rather chooses to close up, isolate, exclude the impacts of the world and its dangers, critique or infections, than letting the law of the universe devour its life and the products of culture and civilization. At this point, however, a fraction is created, which behaves as a reef or a congestion in the process of disintegration.

Often, this fragment takes on a life of its own and insists on perpetuating the transitional state it got into. The fragment is left alone, isolated, and separated from its relations with the outside world, and therefore, it degenerates and brings about the agents of its further disintegration and decay: disease, madness and terror. The fragment experiences this inner activity as a catastrophe.

And yet..

The world scattered into pieces could be seen as one whole again. What is fluid, spreads out in unregulated way. What is fluid is unitary. The sea consists of myriad of drips, and yet the sea is one. What is solid, but can be broken into parts, is comparable to the fluid. Such is the desert. The civilized world falling apart continues its fragmentation and disintegration until it finally appears whole again. A rock split in two. Two rocks. Two rocks crash: four smaller rocks. One round, one plain, one sharp and one scratched. They go on bumping into each other, falling apart to further little pieces. They break into the colors of the rainbow. Lots of tiny colorful stones. They collide. They nuzzle against the wind. They go on breaking up to further pieces, scatter and crumble. Every stone is different. A huge whirl of stone-dust-cloud in the air. A unified whole again. Such was, and such will be the man. A Dust – spirit – cloud.”


Distinctiveness, poetry, myth, absurdity. The descendents of Osiris – dismembered into fourteen pieces – and Isis re-enact the old story. What seems invulnerable from outside, is decaying inside and will disintegrate in the end. An isolated, sterile world cannot escape decomposing from inside. Images of harmony are always gruesomely enigmatic. Profane rites, events engendered by pictorial and musical phenomena.

Theatre of deeds.

The Japanese tearoom turns into a TV studio where Erzsi Kiss, a (live) singer comments on the world like a reporter covering events – sending memorable images and sounds (for instance Schubert’s Death and the Maiden).

The essence of the dramaturgy of Artus performances is rhythm, visuality, unexpected turns and contradictory deeds. The scenes are organized around a central idea and they become analogies to this main theme. The rhythmic structure of the images and events gives space to viewers’ contemplation and creativity.

Artus challenges the audience to watch more attentively what they are doing on stage. Seeing the deeds generates questions and answers for everybody, beyond the “correct” intellectual interpretation or understanding.

“The Osiris doesn’t try to achieve unity and self-restriction in its methods and its web of associations. The choice of theatrical methods are unlimited, the performance freely roams intime and space, across cultures, it picks up whatever it needs: there is a geisha, an Egyptian sarcophagus, Christian myth, 19th century costume and contemporary operating table, shadow show, dance and live music (universal music to match this diverseness; I’ll come back to thistopic later on).” / Andrea Tompa/

Photo gallery

Reviews in English & in Hungarian

Mestyán Ádám: A mítosz nyelve
Andrea Tompa: Gábor Goda’s Theatrical archeology

Further documents


Video of the entire performance



Tamás BAKÓ, László CZÉTÉNYI, Kati DOMBI, Bea GOLD, Judit GYIMESI, Erzsi KISS, Péter LIPKA, Andrea NAGY, István OLDAL, Orsolya SIPOS, Lea TOLNAI, Nina UMNIAKOV, György TR. SZABÓ

Set designer:


Costume designer:




Light designer:



Gábor GODA