Karl und das 20. Jahrhundert

I did drawings and animations which were used as backdrops for the play "Karl und das 20. Jahrhundert".  Karl and the 20th century  It is written – after the novel of the same name by Rudolf Brunngraber – by Ingo Hülsmann, who also directed it and played some parts in it on the studio stage at the Schaubühne in Berlin.

This scene, the WAR OF THE SYSTEMS unfortunately went into the bin during the last days of rehearsal, the appearing heads being just a sad substitute for the actual actors, but I thought it nice to start with. Robert Beyer as Taylor, Ingo Hülsmann as Marx.

The play
actually beginns where the book ends: In 1930, forty year old Karl Lakner jumps in front of a train. On stage, this is when his troubles begin.

He gets into a history-limbo, a space ship's holo-deck where pre and post WW1 politicians, diplomats, journalists, businessmen and kaisers are reenacting the shenanigans
that led up to the Great War and the sad developments that came in its drift.
For further references, have a look at the The Sleepwalkers.
Olivier Hess made all this great photographs and generously allowed me to publish them on this blog!

... my task was to illustrate Karl Lakners doomed second passage through life on earth in charcoal drawings and animations:

Karl Lakner,
 isn't ready yet just to be dead after all. So he gets the rare opportunity to try and live his life again.
He is a toddler now in his mother's laundry, she is a poor washing woman in Vienna. The year roughly beeing 1892

Basic animation, but imagine Karl in his red jumper behind the projection doing things.
(The projection was on warm-grey net lace which reflects enough light, but lets you see through too.)

It looked like this in the next scene. One review described him as some poisonous dwarf.

Karl has to deal with his irresponsible father and to split up with his girlfriend Marie because he has high moral standards and wants to become a teacher. The later takes place on

a tram ride 
into the city.

The terminus.

And the terminus from outside the tram. Karl gets out and was supposed to meet Fräulein Petrinak at the Pest-Column where they should have a little chat about the newest scientific discovery: vitamins. 

Karl Lakners hopes and expectations
had to be postponed. He is a soldier in Lemberg now, suffering his first breakdown.

Somewhat like this:

The crossing 
of the River Bug. Karl and his captain survive a shell, Karl gets promoted , meets Marie in the street, and his adventure on a fighter over Italy.

Captain: The snow. The white, clean snow!
Karl: Come now, sit down, it's alright, you are still dazed. The air pressure has blown all the blossoms off the trees like a spring storm.
Captain, as in a dream: Sure thing, the blossoms, the white blossoms! Everything covered in white blossoms! Yes, look at it , Lakner, these snow white blossoms, that's the war!

"... Oh, you bloody capronis, six against on! 
I will get you! ratatatatatata! Haha! Down with you into the piave, my friend! Ah! Here they are again! Ratatatata! Haha! Oh. Oh shit, they got me! Ahhhhhhh! 

But Karls survives with the help of an italian nurse...

get's jobs but is loosing them too...

...and finally meets Marie again, but all goes woefully wrong...

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