VOLKSBÜHNE
Berlin
Samuel Beckett/Tino Sehgal
10.–12.11.17
main stage

Drama, Visual arts, New Music
Open end

The Volksbühne presents an evening on art and language, with one-act plays by Samuel Beckett and works by Tino Sehgal. The programme will unfold in the entire building: on stage, in the auditorium and the foyers, thereby traversing different formats and modes of interaction.

Beckett devised a new form of spoken theatre with his monologues. In these literary-poetic compositions Beckett is concerned with the mental spaces of theatre and television, which influence how we understand and use language. Not I (1972) is one of the most radical spoken-word theatrical works of the 20th century: minimalistically condensed, fragmented, monologic yet polyphonic. Footfalls (1976) and Eh Joe (1966) is a rigorous arrangement, where sight and sound are played out against each another and what remains is the voice.

Tino Sehgal represents a radical redefinition of art and how it is experienced. His works, usually presented in exhibitions, only take shape when the viewer encounters them. Since 2000, the Berlin-based artist has been constructing live situations, in which interpreters engage with the visitors, either through conversations or through singing. Sehgal took his first dance classes in the mid-1990s with Kresnik dancer Liliana Saldaña at Volksbühne’s youth theatre P14; His early aesthetic socialisation was strongly marked by Kresnik and Schlingensief productions at the Volksbühne, as well as by Einar Schleef’s work at the Berliner Ensemble. “It was as a 19-year-old at the Volksbühne, that I understood that in art basically everything is possible. That may sound banal, but it was decisive,” says Sehgal.

What Beckett and Sehgal share is that they both situate themselves in relation to the traditions of theatre and art, whilst simultaneously moving beyond them. Their encounter brings different approaches on art and language into dialogue: a late-modernist poetry infused with existentialism meets an artistic practice that seeks to engage in dialogue with the visitors to reflect on prevailing figures of thought and fundamental structures of our time.

Photo: Landesarchiv Berlin, Oskar Kaufmann, around 1933

Cast Beckett

with: Anne Tismer, Morten Grunwald

Director: Walter Asmus
Stage & costume design: Alex Eales

Cast Sehgal


Tino Sehgal
Various works
U.a. Including Nikita Broadbent, Wiley Joy, Simone Kanda and Frank Willens
Musik: Andreas Karperyd, Ari Benjamin Meyers and works by Pierre Huyghe and Philippe Parreno

media

Illustration: Klaus Roth

Photo: Østre Gasværk Teater, Christina Hauschildt

Photo: Klaus Roth

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