The Ruhrtriennale 2018 focussed on perspectives from the global south. In the 2019 edition we will examine aspects of European self-criticism; this year artists address their own privileged European existences in diverse ways. This raises the question: who has the right to represent who and in which contexts? The crisis of representation is a result of the realisation that European democracy is and has always been a racist construct based on power and privilege. At the same time, it is an urgent necessity to defend the idea of democracy and more than ever to stand up for a diverse and open society and for public life that is transnational – in order to bring about a democracy that has never yet existed in terms of equality. The time to do this is becoming ever shorter.
In response to this current situation the artiste associé Christoph Marthaler will devise his new music theatre creation about the decline of democracy and its shocking practices of exclusion and national ist ideologies. Four other Ruhrtriennale works reflect Europe’s loss of status and influence. At the Jahrhunderthalle the Hungarian film and theatre director Kornél Mundruczó creates a music theatre produc tion Evolution out of an encounter with György Ligeti’s Requiem in a musical, scenic and visual space of fear that something will reappear out of history: “The beast comes back” (Mundruczó). In his new world premiere All the good at the Maschinenhalle Zweckel, Jan Lauwers from Needcompany asks himself what legitimacy he can have as a white artist in an inter-cultural context. In his new creation of arresting visual and musical fragments Everything that Happened and Would Happen Heiner Goebbels scrutinizes the European history of destruction with the distance of an ethnologist. With Henry Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, remembered David Marton is engaged in an archaeological project that seeks to unearth fragments of European culture. Many of the artists working at the Ruhrtriennale 2019, including Christiane Jatahy, Faustin Linyekula and Ofira Henig, use very different forms to examine the effects of centuries of European dominance on contemporary biographies, individual experiences, desires and imaginations. Marlene Monteiro Freitas will bring her amazing Bacchae – Prelude to a Purge to PACT Zollverein. The much sought-after Israeli choreographer Sharon Eyal will present the world premiere of her new work Chapter 3 as part of the Ruhrtriennale, as will the Brazilian choreographer Bruno Beltrão.
To help us get through the crisis in good spirits, visual artist Jonas Staal will train audiences for the future. Chorwerk Ruhr’s concert features works by Luciano Berio and Alessandro Striggio. And there are also two major concerts to look forward to by Klangforum Wien with the conductor Sylvain Cambreling along with a new series of MaschinenHausMusik. The Junge Triennale’s long term project #nofear is also continued and extended. Third Space will be brought back to life again by the artists’ collective raumlaborberlin with exuberant communal rituals, and we will also host the latest round of the festival campus for international students.
I wish you and us an exciting festival season!
Artistic Director Ruhrtriennale 2018 2019 2020
PS.: I will also be happy to present the programme to you in person. You can find information about this here.