VOLKSBÜHNE
Berlin
Revisiting Reza Abdoh: Film Program and Discussion
04.04.

Film, Discourse
English

18:00 Doors and Bar Open
19:00 Screening of “Reza Abdoh: Theatre Visionary” by Adam Soch
20:30 Discussion between Adam Soch and Cathrin Mayer, curator at KW Institute for Contemporary Art
21:00 Screening of “The Blind Owl” by Reza Abdoh

Please note you are welcome to join us for all the evening’s parts or for parts of it.

The evening combines filmic approaches to the work of Reza Abdoh within the accompanying program of his current solo exhibition at KW Institute for Contemporary Art. The documentary Reza Abdoh: Theatre Visionary (2015) by Abodoh's long-time video collaborator and archivist Adam Soch presents a vivid portrait of the theatre director through video footage and interviews by former members of the dar a luz theatre company. Afterwards, Abdoh's iconic film The Blind Owl (1992) will be shown, underlining his signature visual language, which was a prominent feature of his theatre plays.

Adam Soch fled communist Eastern Europe in 1980 to seek creative freedom in the United States. He has since worked as a documentary filmmaker and made films for theater sets. Most notably, he worked with director Reza Abdoh, designing projections for his plays The Hip-Hop Waltz of Eurydice, Bogeyman, The Law of Remains, Tight Right White, and Quotations from a Ruined City. He also produced THE BLIND OWL Reza’s first and only feature film.

The Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art has introduced images of his work to their study collection. For television, Mr. Soch is one of the four originators of the ARTS Channel's Classic Arts Showcase, a program broadcast nationally 24 hours a day featuring the classic arts of music, ballet, opera, theater, documentary and dance.

Volksbühne’s collaboration with KW Institute for Contemporary Art is on the occasion of Reza Abdoh’s solo exhibition at KW Institute for Contemporary Art. Over a career that spanned twelve years, The late Iranian theater director Abdoh (1963–1995) pushed his actors—and audiences—to their limits. His aesthetic language was relentlessly, recklessly inventive, borrowing from fairy tales, BDSM, talk shows, raves, video art, and the history of avant-garde theater. The hallucinatory dreamscapes he produced spoke forcefully and eloquently to the ugly political realities of his time—from government-sanctioned racism to the Reagan administration’s refusal to acknowledge the AIDS crisis to war mongering at home and abroad. He was already one of the most compelling figures in American avant-garde theater when he died of AIDS in 1995 at the age of thirty-two. Near the end of his life, Abdoh insisted that he didn’t want his plays to be restaged. Traces of his work were to be found on videotapes passed around experimental theater circles, many of which serve as the basis of the exhibition at hand. This exhibition around Abdoh’s work is co-produced with MoMA PS1 and curated by Bidoun (Negar Azimi, Tiffany Malakooti, Babak Radboy) and Krist Gruijthuijsen.

Photos: Filmstills, The Blind Owl, Reza Abdoh, 1992


media

Past Activities

Revisiting Reza Abdoh: Selected Readings from his Plays and Discussion

dar a luz members Tom Fitzpatrick, Tom Pearl, and Tony Torn will be reading from Abdoh’s plays “Bogeyman,” “The Law of Remains,” and “Quotations From a Ruined City”. Readings will be followed by a group discussion with the three actors, along with fellow dar a luz members Michael Casselli, Sandy Cleary, Peter Jacobs, Raul Enriquez and Brenden Doyle.

Reza Abdoh founded dar a luz theater company in New York City in 1991. Over the course of four years, the company staged the plays The Law of Remains (1992), The Hip Hop Waltz of Eurydice (1992), Tight Right White (1993), and Quotations From a Ruined City (1994).

Tom Pearl worked with Reza Abdoh (Father Was a Peculiar Man, Bogeyman, Law of Remains, Tight Right White, Quotations from a Ruined City) and was an original member of dar a luz. Tom continues to pursue creative projects and lives in New York City.

Tom Fitzpatrick lives in Los Angeles and is active in films and TV. From 1985 until 1995, Tom worked with Reza Abdoh, appearing in 10 of his productions during that time.

Tony Torn, an original member of Reza Abdoh's dar a luz company, is an actor, director and teacher. He currently manages Torn Page in New York City, a studio space named in honor of his parents, actors Rip Torn and Geraldine Page.

Volksbühne’s collaboration with KW Institute for Contemporary Art is on the occasion of Reza Abdoh’s solo exhibition at the institution. Over a career that spanned twelve years, the late Iranian theater director Abdoh (1963–1995) pushed his actors—and audiences—to their limits. His aesthetic language was relentlessly, recklessly inventive, borrowing from fairy tales, BDSM, talk shows, raves, video art, and the history of avant-garde theater. The hallucinatory dreamscapes he produced spoke forcefully and eloquently to the ugly political realities of his time—from government-sanctioned racism to the Reagan administration’s refusal to acknowledge the AIDS crisis to war mongering at home and abroad. He was already one of the most compelling figures in American avant-garde theater when he died of AIDS in 1995 at the age of thirty-two. Near the end of his life, Abdoh insisted that he didn’t want his plays to be restaged. Traces of his work were to be found on videotapes passed around experimental theater circles, many of which serve as the basis of the exhibition at hand. This exhibition around Abdoh’s work is co-produced with MoMA PS1 and curated by Bidoun (Negar Azimi, Tiffany Malakooti, Babak Radboy) and Krist Gruijthuijsen.

Photo: Patrick Veyssière
The Hip-Hop Waltz of Eurydice, Reza Abdoh 1990

[logo kw 100]

Revisiting Reza Abdoh: Theater workshop

Registration info: This is an active class where all will be asked to directly participate, but is inclusive of all types of physicality and levels of ability. You can also attend as an observer. Spots are limited, to purchase a ticket (5 / 3€ reduced) please write an email to besucherservice@volksbuehne-berlin.de and send your name and whether you would like to take part as a direct participant or an observer.

Workshop for actors and performers: revisiting Reza Abdoh, led by original dar a luz company members Tom Pearl and Tony Torn.

This theater workshop led by actors Tom Pearl and Tony Torn invites actors and performers to engage with the work of Reza Abdoh. Workshop participants will be revisiting Abdoh’s plays “Law of Remains” and “Quotations From a Ruined City” in particular, restaging these canonical works with an eye to incorporating new idioms and new configurations.

Reza Abdoh founded dar a luz theater company in New York City in 1991. Over the course of four years, the company staged the plays The Law of Remains (1992), The Hip Hop Waltz of Eurydice (1992), Tight Right White (1993), and Quotations From a Ruined City (1994).

Volksbühne’s collaboration with KW Institute for Contemporary Art is on the occasion of Reza Abdoh’s solo exhibition at the institution. Over a career that spanned twelve years, The late Iranian theater director Abdoh (1963–1995) pushed his actors—and audiences—to their limits. His aesthetic language was relentlessly, recklessly inventive, borrowing from fairy tales, BDSM, talk shows, raves, video art, and the history of avant-garde theater. The hallucinatory dreamscapes he produced spoke forcefully and eloquently to the ugly political realities of his time—from government-sanctioned racism to the Reagan administration’s refusal to acknowledge the AIDS crisis to war mongering at home and abroad. He was already one of the most compelling figures in American avant-garde theater when he died of AIDS in 1995 at the age of thirty-two. Near the end of his life, Abdoh insisted that he didn’t want his plays to be restaged. Traces of his work were to be found on videotapes passed around experimental theater circles, many of which serve as the basis of the exhibition at hand. This exhibition around Abdoh’s work is co-produced with MoMA PS1 and curated by Bidoun (Negar Azimi, Tiffany Malakooti, Babak Radboy) and Krist Gruijthuijsen.

Photo: Patrick Veyssière
The Hip-Hop Waltz of Eurydice, Reza Abdoh 1990

[logo kw 100]

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