O.K. – The Musical (Run Through)
O.K. is an ongoing project based around the history and lore of Kline’s hometown Kinderhook, New York. O.K. synthesizes and expands on Kinderhook’s mythology and attempts to construct a fresh overview of local history through the exposition of historical documents, videos, replicas, interpretive research, and collaborations with local students, craftspeople, filmmakers, and other community members. Central to the overall project is the creation of a community theatre musical which develops and expands through various exhibitions, performances and workshops internationally. The format of a theatre musical was chosen as an effective model for amateur participation and its flexibility in allowing complex narratives and research to be more easily reabsorbed into local lore by engaging with a wider swath of the public.
The project has thrived on collaboration and participation, featuring poster designs from elementary school students from Ichabod Crane and Berlin, as well as the efforts and talents from over 100 other adults and students in Berlin and Denmark who were involved in set creation and design, costumes, acting, singing, instrumentation, and countless other tasks.
In April and Maj 2023 we presented Christopher Kline’s exhibition “Early Labyrinth”, a part of a sprawling complex of works, that includes, but is not limited to, music, writing, merch, visual art and performance. At the opening on April 22nd 2023, both Christopher and Bananskolen performed.
Kline himself considers Early Labyrinth a clandestine entity, a multi-headed community, a scalable troupe which sent its Info-Ministry representative to Friisland to head up the production of a series of recruitment videos, Agitprop and forced confessions in anticipation of its upcoming album and communiqué “DO YOU WANT TO BE PART OF THE CRIME OR PART OF THE PUNISHMENT?”
EARLY LABYRINTH is “thematically punk” yet sonically channels far funkier spirits to guide it through the ancient maze of human song craft. Soulful hooks of class war, smooth harmonies meditating on military torture, and choral refrains to stave off end times become tools for carving out space beyond the omnipresent police state.
Find more info on this fascinating, and somewhat disturbing project on the dedicated project website here. It contains a link to a bandcamp page with the songs of the Album “DO YOU WANT TO BE PART OF THE CRIME OR PART OF THE PUNISHMENT?”
About the Artist
Christopher Kline is a Berlin-based artist whose projects have ranged between activated installations, social practice, video work, and music. His multi-year project “O.K.–The Musical” was a historical research project which took the form of community theatre with past exhibitions and performances at TATE Liverpool, ARKEN Museum for Moderne Kunst, KW Institute for Contemporary Art (Berlin), 1646 (Den Haag), CCA Ujazdowski Castle (Warsaw), and La Casa Encendida (Madrid), among others. He has co-run the Berlin project space Kinderhook & Caracas with Sol Calero since 2011.
Go to Christopher’s website to find out about his projects.