The splendor and misery of the Enlightenment


In a multi-part research and project cycle entitled “The Splendor and Misery of the Enlightenment,” Kommando Himmelfahrt explores the relationship between the historical Enlightenment, the modern living world and the ecological crisis. To do so, they turn to those clever women and men of the Parisian salons who, in the 18th century, brought together scientific thinking and responsible action for the first time: Les philosophes des Lumières.
The tremendous explosion of knowledge that has occurred since then has become the basis for the industrialization and exploitation of the entire world. But is this connection necessary? Or does Enlightenment thought also contain the germ of overcoming this abuse? Does Julien Offray de LaMettrie’s (1709-1751) dictum of “man as plant” not already contain its inversion? – “The plant as man”? Must we invoke such radical Enlightenment spirits to exorcise our consumerist demons?


FIRST: The probe: “Salon des lumières”.

Hardly anyone snubbed society so much again Aufllärungsphilosoph Julien Offray de LaMettrie (1709-1751). His life was chaotic, his work provocative, his views scandalous. He was far too fond of love, food and thought. In his books “Man as a Machine” and “Man as a Plant,” he describes man not as the noblest creature at the pinnacle of creation, but as a living being among others. LaMettrie’s living and death room was reconstructed by the theater collective Kommando Himmelfahrt and now becomes a liquor bar and stage for exquisite band concerts in the NTM’s theater café, to which you can end the festival day or really turn it up again.
After the concerts, the master opens his salon to the public and invites them to have a nightcap. For only when drunk, says LaMettrie, can one question human arrogance and practice new social practices.

Performance dates as part of the Mannheim Summer 2022
June 16 – 26, 2022

17 June | 21:30h | Liun + Science Fiction Band
18 June | 22:00h | Turnbulls
21 June | 22:00h | Tellavision & Derya Yildirim
22 June | 22:00h | Hob-Beats
23 June | 22:00h | Anna.Luca


KOMMANDO HIMMELFAHRT in collaboration with Eylien König (stage, objects) and Carl-John Hoffmann (media art)

Salon des lumières with:

Liun + Science Fiction Band
Lucia Cadotsch (vocals, synths), Wanja Slavin (synths, saxophone), Andi Fins (synths), Bernhard Meyer (bass), Andi Haberl (drums)

Josefine Turnbull (vocals), Joss Turnbull (Zurkhane, percussion, sampling), Mike Turnbull (Kalimba, Berimbao, percussion)

Tellavision & Derya Yildirim
Tellavision (vocals, electronics), Derya Yildirim (vocals, oud)

Magdalena Kordylasinska-Pekala & Miłosz Pekala (percussion)

Anna Luca
Anna Luca (vocals), Roman Babik (piano), Hanno Busch (bass, guitar),Chris Morhenn (drums)

Sean Keller (barman, real secretary)

“Glanz und Elend der Aufklärung” is supported by the Fonds Darstellende Künste with funds from the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media as part of NEUSTART KULTUR.