Zara Notes

Footage by Julie Ouedraogo

“Ah, with what long seeking and solving and failing and learning and re-attempting! Human society – it is an attempt –so do I teach—a long seeking…” ~ Zarathustra
Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra

Zara Notes is an interactive exploration of Nietzsche’s Thus Spake Zarathustra. Audiences entered to find a man claiming to the the German philosopher’s fictional prophet. This Zara man took them through the tenets of his philosophy and then invited them to use the materials in the space to build sculptures illustrating his tenets/tablets/tables. If a “table” was “insufficient” in its expression, hammers were passed around and it was smashed to pieces. Something new would then have to be build from the fragments.

Zara Notes, 2014. Photo credit Jennifer Apple
Zara Notes, 2014. Photo credit: Jen Apple


Michael Mut Project Space, April 3rd-May 3rd 2014*

For the month the piece resided at Michael’s gallery, the performances lasted up to six hours. Spectators came and went as they pleased. At the end of each day, things were left as they were to be resumed the following day. It was a seemingly endless cycle of creation/destruction/recreation that lasted for the full month the piece resided there.

HERE, August 6th-8th, 2013

This beautiful theatrical version of the work was created with a full design team.

Direction: John Kurzynowski
Set/Props: Sarah Dowling
Sound: Eben Hoffer
Lighting: Jon Cottle
Scent: David Bernstein
Stage Management: Hannah Zucker

Figment Festival, Governor’s Island,  June 8th-9th, 2012

This early version of the work featured expressive table cloths instead of full table sculptures. Artists were given passages of the text and asked to respond to them in the form of these cloths. The artists featured were:

Sarah Dowling
Kate Gunther
Katie Stevens


“He who hath to be a creator must first be a destroyer and break old values to pieces!” ~Zarathustra
Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra

*This production was made possible through the generous funding of the Puffin Foundation.

Puffin Foundation