The latest performance by the artist group Akhe, a commissioned work for the international figuren.theater.festival Erlangen, revolves around Icarus, one of the most famous figures in Greek mythology. Icarus and his father Daidalus were imprisoned by King Minos in the labyrinth of the Minotaur on Crete. In order to escape, Daedalus invented wings for himself and his son and attached feathers to a linkage using wax. Before take-off though, Daidalus warned Icarus not to fly too high, since the sun’s extreme heat could cause him to crash.
What is the price of freedom and how can it be achieved? After Russia began its war of aggression on Ukraine, the members of Akhe fled St. Petersburg and now reside in France and Finland. The inventors, master builders, artists and alchemists of the “Engineer’s Theatre” are now staging their own flight experience. They too are constantly creating new things, breaking out, wanting to fly higher and higher, at the risk of burning themselves and crashing in the end. Diagonal sails and meter-long escape stairs become the visual dominants of the performance. Accompanied by fire, water and smoke, Icarus flies away from the ashes of the labyrinth in Erlangen.