Video and performance, 2005

Appearance as Lou Salomé: 3’30”
Lou Salomé A Roma Teatro di Cani: 5’22”


Lilliana Cavani’s film “Beyond Good and Evil” and photos of Lou Salomé – the friend of artists and femme fatale – steering a cart pulled by Nietzsche and Paul Ree with whom she’d lived in a relationship with for a while, became the starting point for the video performance and a series of photographs taken by Kozyra. The work was shot in the Schwarzenberg garden and palace located in Vienna. In Kozyra’s interpretation the characters undergoing the dressage are Nietzsche and Rilke (whom Salomé also knew), or rather actors–dancers in dog masks, but with distinctive and recognisable facial features of the philosopher and the poet. The Lou Salomé project was prepared at the time when Kozyra was also working on “In Art Dreams Come True” [hyperlink], therefore we can see mutual influence of the two projects. However, while in “In Art…” Kozyra is the material – a doll – a toy in the hands of Gloria, Viagra and Maestro who shape her, in the “Appearance…” she plays the role of a dominatrix completely in control of the men – dogs. Final credits are accompanied by Kozyra humming the Queen of the Night aria from Mozart’s “The Magic Flute”.

The same year Kozyra organized a special performance with dogs in Italy. At Kozyra’s performance of “Lou Salomé a Roma” in Teatro Universale at the Romaeuropa theatre festival, audience members with dogs were especially warmly invited; as guests of honour they didn’t have to pay for their tickets and could take the best seats in front of the stage. First, the audience could see the Viennese film “Appearance as Lou Salomé”, with added sequences of Lou, Rilke and Nietzsche visiting main tourist attractions in Rome. The following part was live – there was a kind of Rilke’s and Nietzsche’s dressage performance on stage, conducted by Lou Salomé, in which the commands were given in Italian. The performance was interrupted by waiters circling among the crowd and handing out dog treats on silver platters, it was also interrupted by cameramen recording the action on stage as well as the dogs nervous and anxious due to the noise and a mixture of scents. Therefore, the performance took place on and off stage.

Additional information

Kozyra’s original idea included the role of Nietzsche-dog and Rilke-dog played by Gloria Viagra and Maestro known from the cycle “In Art Dreams Come True”.

“Appearance as Lou Salomé” was prepared for the “Impossible Theatre” exhibition in Kunsthalle Vienna.

“Appearance as Lou Salomé” is housed in the collection of the National Museum in Warsaw.