Anders Härm

“Be Drunk, Be Very, Very Drunk”, 2002-2006

documentation of a lecture-performance

Homo Novus Theater Festival, Riga, 2005

video 20’45”

Be Drunk, Be Very, Very Drunk talks about the relationship between alcohol and philosophy. Based on Deleuze and Guattari, Anders Härm links becoming an (conceptual) idiot with alcohol, and later reaches Guy Debord considering Situationists International the first deliberately drunk revolution. The brandy consumed in the course of the lecture makes the academic presentation an ironic human experiment which tests the limits of acceptable and non-acceptable. The criticism does not fall only on the academical mannerism but also on the academy as an institution that is based on over-exploited concepts which smother creativity.

The documentation of the performance was born as an exchange with Latvian Television, who insisted a post-presentation interview from the lecturer before the performance. Härm agreed on the condition that the Latvian Television records the performance from the beginning. The recording reached the lecturer but the interview was dropped.

Between 2002 and 2006 the performance took place at many festivals, including  Baltoscandal in Rakvere, HOMO NOVUS in Riga, SPIELART in Munich and at Theatergarasjen in Bergen, where the last presentation of the performance took place. The presentation is accompanied by four drinking songs from the Norwegian performance art group Baktruppen. The title of the performance has been borrowed from the lyrics of Why do I cry for you?, the last song of the lecture.

The documentation of Anders Härm’s lecture-performance was acquired for the EKKM collection by a half-liter bottle of Napoleon brandy, which was consumed during each presentation. The presentation transcript can be found in Anders Härm’s book Diary of a Semionaut (2009).

Anders Härm: ‘On the back cover of the book by Slavoj Žižek called Looking Awry there is a quote from one review stating that Žižek is doing ‘philosophy as stand-up comedy’. Well this statement attracted me because with the lecture Be drunk, be very, very drunk I tried to do the exact opposite, to do stand-up comedy as philosophy. Nevertheless the starting point for this lecture was an offer to participate at the dead-serious conference for dead-serious art historians, philosophers, sociologists etc. It was the context that is always filled with sterile concepts and boring talks failing to have any connections with the real world that it so desperately tries to achieve.’

Media: ‘Anders Härm was nominated this year for the Konrad Mägi Painting Award, but he dismissed himself because he had not produced any paintings. Recently, he gave a promise never to perform with his drinking performance Be drunk, be very, very drunk.’ Postimees, 24.12.2005