Stian Westerhus
Impossible Metallic Slaughterhouse

Thursday 22 May, 7 pm
Parking garage beneath Oslo konserthus - Munkedamsveien 14, Oslo

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Stian Westerhus (b. 1979) is a guitarist with an enviable technique, a powerful stage presence and a vast creative imagination, and he is also emerging as one of the most important improvisers, composer and collaborators working today. He plays both solo and in constellations such as Monolithic, Puma, Nils Petter Molvær and others.

For the Only Connect festival Westerhus will premiere his commission work Impossible Metallic Slaughterhouse, inspired by J.G. Ballard’s novel Crash, performed in a parking garage.

Crash was published in 1973 and explored both the disturbing implications and horrific possibilities of contemporary society's increasing dependence on technology as intermediary in human relations. The story is told through the eyes of narrator James Ballard, named after the author himself, but it centers on the sinister figure of Dr. Robert Vaughan. They both become sexually aroused by staging and participating in real car-crashes. It was a highly controversial novel when published, so was the film adaptation by David Cronenberg in 1996. 

The original Crash (1971) is a short film by BBC, featuring the real J.G. Ballard:

Excerpt from Crash (1973) by  J.G. Ballard:
"Trying to exhaust himself, Vaughan devised an endless almanac of terrifying wounds and insane collisions: The lungs of elderly men punctured by door-handles; the chests of young women impaled on steering-columns; the cheek of handsome youths torn on the chromium latches of quarter-lights. To Vaughan, these wounds formed the key to a new sexuality, born from a perverse technology. The images of these wounds hung in the gallery of his mind, like exhibits in the museum of a slaughterhouse."

Only Connect:
J.G. Ballard

22 - 24 May 2014

About the festival and Ballard theme