In Stifters Dinge, hybridization is decontextualization. Its starting point could be the assumption that the properties of an entity could find itself in a context other than its original. The actual enterprise of detaching something from its context results in the hybrid. The question of whether one should recognize or not recognize the original elements is probably not relevant in Stifters Dinge.
For instance, Goebbels uses traditional songs from Greece, New Guinea and Columbian Indians. It seems that Goebbels’ intention is not to arrive at an intercultural performance: he merely uses these songs as recorded by ethno-musicologists. Could this be considered as an ethical misuse?
How could we perceive hybridity in Stifters Dinge? First, as in all Goebbels productions, music, as an enveloping and ephemeral experience, is the tie that binds all the scenic elements together. It conditions the perception of the audience, what Bell calls a “human meditation” (152). Then, there is also a scene where a Ruisdael painting projected on a screen suddenly undergoes a color altering transformation. The staticness and finality of a painting is made to flow, therefore spontaneously providing a sense of oddity. This immediacy, intrinsic to this hybridization, makes it performative. Could hybridity be the (shocking) encounter in the present of previously heterogeneous (in time, space and nature) elements?
This seems to be the case here, as with the multiple types and levels of blurring what is given in the actuality. The blurring of time (e.g. juxtaposition of Levi-Strauss’ interview and Burroughs’ poetry); of space (e.g. transformation of the physical states of matter); of categories (e.g. fine art vs. folk art, art vs. non-art, natural vs. artificial); of the role of the performer (e.g. backstage hands as performers).
The experience of the performance in the “present” also yields ethical questions. What kind of response does the insertion of politically and historically charged discourses solicit? For example, Malcolm X’s speech could trigger a shift in the object of attention: should the audience focus on political implications or just on the sheer musicality of his voice? Is there something like a romanticizing of politics in this “trance” experience? Or maybe this division between focuses is too straightforward, the question would be are the effects of the hybridization going on stage enriching or enclosing Malcolm X’s discourse?:
“Reading the list of recorded voices that Mr. Goebbels incorporates into this work, including William S. Burroughs and Malcolm X, may make “Stifters Dinge” sound like some heavy-handed rant. But the texts are used as much for their expressive and musical elements as for their content. And Mr. Goebbels has a keen feeling for how to structure and layer an 80-minute piece of music drama.” (O’Hagan)
Does a political discourse, when subjected to artistic process, lose its politicality?
“Like Charles Ives, Goebbels embraces a wildly heterogeneous world with a quixotic faith that it's all connected in the end. His works don't exist on the usual good vs. bad continuum; the question is whether he broadens your senses.”(Stearns)
Bell, Gelsey, “Driving Deeper into That Thing: The Humanity of Heiner Goebbels’ Stifters Dinge” The Drama Review, Vol.54 No.3, 2010, pp.150-158
O'Hagan, Sean, “It was bound to be interesting...” The Observer, Sunday 20 April 2008 (http://www.e-flux.com/shows/view/5230).
Stearns, David Patrick, “Nothing to it: No - plot magic in N.Y.”, The Philadelphia Inquirer, 19 December 2009,
 “Though there is a progression to the events of Stifter’s Dinge, the piece moves forward more like a dream than a story.” (Bell 150)