New York Journal of Books: Sengl “continues legacy of acid-tongued Austrian artists”

Sengl cover FINAL RGBNew York Journal of Books explores the symbolism and impact of The Last Days of Mankind – A Visual Guide to Karl Kraus’ Great War Epic, based on artwork by Deborah Sengl:

“Sengl’s art itself plays with the tensions of life and death in her use of taxidermied rats. These once living animals are now turned into frozen props for a play that is all about death. Unlike purely biological or zoological taxidermy dioramas, these rats are anthropomorphized, mimicking human activities in miniature. […] The initial reaction to seeing the white rats wearing the tiny corsets and holding rat-sized guns results in deeply conflicted emotions. Cuteness and horror collide in these miniature scenes.

“Sengl continues the legacy of acid-tongued Austrian artists from Kraus and Kafka to more contemporary voices like Thomas Bernhard and Elfriede Jelinek. Her adaptation of Kraus’ war epic, The Last Days of Mankind, makes it more accessible to audiences and helps to render the experimental play into a more comprehensible whole.”

Read the full review by Karl Wolff.

Deborah Sengl - Die letzten Tage der Menschheit, 2013
Act I, Scene 7