The Medea myth is a story of love and betrayal. Medea betrays her family and sacrifices her brother because she has fallen in love with the stranger Jason and helps him steal the Golden Fleece. The two become a couple, returning to Jason’s homeland, where King Pelias, who commissioned the robbery, denies Jason the promised throne. Kreon grants Jason and Medea asylum in Corinth. Meanwhile the couple has two sons, thus becoming one family. Then Kreon offers his daughter’s hand in marriage to Jason and to chase Medea and the sons out of the country. When Jason allows himself to be drawn in, Medea kills the children.
Rieke Süßkow’s treatment of the material detaches it from its mythological roots. Her Medea does not come from another culture, is not a sorceress, not an extroverted avenger, but a figure of Western modernity. With her, the family becomes a contested terrain for love, happiness, power, and social status. Through a strong aesthetic approach and without language, Süßkow succeeds in an interpretation that instinctively transfers the lines of conflict and structures of violence into the epoch of the 20th century, a time which had begun to herald the end of barbarism.
Rieke Süßkow, b. 1990, studied theater, film and media studies in Vienna and realised her first works in the independent scene before studying direction at the University for Music and Theater, Hamburg. She completed her studies with MEDEA in March 2019. The work was shown at the FIAT Festival in Montenegro in September.