© Benno Seidel

»I spent four hours in the exhibition, and I could have spent four more, it's addictive.« (The Guardian)

About the installation

What year did I turn 21? What happened that year? What experiences formed me, which events were important? And – how did I grow up?

In his long-term project 21 the Swiss artist Mats Staub creates portraits of storytellers as they listen to their own words. After a first encounter during which he elicits memories as part of a conversation, in a follow-up meeting three months later he captures the moment on camera when these storytellers hear the edited audio recording of their memories for the first time. No two reactions are the same: a gentle smile, a tear in the eye, a twitch from the corner of the mouth, exhilaration, regret, empowerment and a great deal more are reflected in these faces reacting to the sound of their own story.
Since 2012 Mats Staub has travelled with 21 through Europe, Africa and Australia. Over the years the collection that has grown from one location to the next has evolved into a remarkable gallery of the 20th and 21st centuries. This can now be experienced for the first time in its entirety at the Ruhrtriennale 2021. Eleven new portraits from the Ruhr region will complete the collection so that a total of 200 films featuring stories and memories from the beginning of the Second World War to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic can now be presented as a spatial installation in the Turbinenhalle.

»I spent four hours in the exhibition, and I could have spent four more, it's addictive.«
(The Guardian)

»Remarkable moments that are directly affecting and ›choreographies‹ of facial expressions: in his numerous projects Mats Staub […] is creating an artistic form of anthropology that science is unable to achieve. Repeat visits to this fabulous work are most worthwhile. That’s guaranteed.«
(Der Standard)

You can book a time slot online in which you can immerse yourself in the installation for two and a half hours. The total duration of all the portraits is 45 hours.

Coproduction with Künstlerhaus Mousonturm Frankfurt, Festival Theaterformen Hannover, Museum für Kommunikation Bern, Gessnerallee Zürich, Kunstfest Weimar, Kaserne Basel, Wiener Festwochen, Theater Freiburg, Noorderzon Festival Groningen, Adelaide Festival, Théâtre Vidy Lausanne, Centre d'Art Waza Lubumbashi, KinArt Studios Kinshasa, Festival Belluard Bollwerk International, Nationaltheater Mannheim, Centro Conde Duque Madrid, Maillon Théâtre de Strasbourg Scène Europénne, Hellerau Europäisches Zentrum der Künste Dresden, Ruhrtriennale

Parallel to our presentation of the complete edition of 21 – Memories of Growing Up during the Ruhrtriennale 2021, a new long-term project by Mats Staub will begin in the rear section of the Turbinenhalle, focussing on the present and the near future: Jetzt & Jetzt/Now & Now is a snapshot that saves a moment to return to and shows how people change over a period of two years. 100 participants from the Ruhr region will enter a dialogue with themselves as part of two encounters in 2021 und 2023, using hand-written letters and film recordings to capture the »now«. The results of these encounters will provide the basis for a new work to be presented at the Ruhrtriennale in 2023. Find further information on this site.

Produced by zwischen_produktionen.
Co-produced by Künstlerhaus
Mousonturm Frankfurt, Festival
Theaterformen Hannover,
Museum für Kommunikation
Bern, Gessnerallee Zürich,
Kunstfest Weimar, Kaserne
Basel, Wiener Festwochen,
Theater Freiburg, Noorderzon
Festival Groningen, Adelaide
Festival, Théâtre Vidy Lausanne,
Centre d’Art Waza Lubumbashi,
KinArt Studios Kinshasa,
Festival Belluard Bollwerk
International, Nationaltheater
Mannheim, Centro Conde
Duque Madrid, Maillon Théâtre
de Strasbourg Scène Européenne,
Hellerau Europäisches
Zentrum der Künste Dresden,

21-Erinnerungen ans Erwachsenwerden, Mats Staub
21-Erinnerungen ans Erwachsenwerden, Mats Staub | © Jörg Baumann
21-Erinnerungen ans Erwachsenwerden, Mats Staub
21-Erinnerungen ans Erwachsenwerden, Mats Staub | © Jörg Baumann
Trailer 21 – Erinnerungen ans Erwachsenwerden

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