EPISODE 2: Pharmakos (The Plague)

After their 2019 performance Grini and the futures of Norway, Rose Hammer is producing the performance Pharmakos (The Plague). Pharmakos is a Greek term that is at the origin of the word Pharmacy (remedy, solution) but which ethymologically means “the sacrifice or exile of a scapegoat”. Pharmakos will be presented in Sofienberg Kirke, Oslo, in October 2020, staging very freely different significant political and cultural events taking place around 1918, a very significant year in Norway’s history

A coincidence due to fate/ can be so sinister and fantastic in character/ that one is tempted to draw apparently logical, / but actually unfounded, conclusions./ During the course of 5 days/ The “Epidemic” manuscript was created and written down/ in and around this apartment./ That an actual epidemic/ was approaching during those 5 days,/ and that its awful outbreak and script completion coincided,/ is one of those inexplicable coincidences./ From “Epidemic”, Lars von Trier, 1987.

Rose Hammer started work on this episode in September 2019, adapting the novel The Plague by Camus to the 1918 epidemic of the Spanish Flu that swept Norway and the world, having a decisive effect in the politics of the XXth century. The recent, traumatic corona virus pandemia gave a twist to this production, turning it into an urgent, real time play, involving the unpredictable and the real, as well as the issues we had been working on since the start, such as the relation between disease/remedy (Pharmacy) and blame/redemption (Pharmakos).