20. oktober 2019: Theatre As Assembly - Spheres of radical imagination and pragmatic utopias

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Lecture by Florian Malzacher An assembly in the context of activism is a place of gathering, of building a community, and of experimenting with different procedures of democracy. But recent years also have seen a number of artistic attempts to use the form of assemblies to invent new public spheres. Using the unique possibilities of theatre to create temporary communities, these works not only mirror society but also try out social and political procedures, with which societies can be thought, played, performed, enacted, tested or even invented. The ways how theatre is used for assemblies that give room for radical imagination as well as pragmatic utopias are manifold and not seldom contradictory in their aesthetical as well as their political positions. But what unites them is the aim to expand the field of theatre, to push its very means and possibilities, to find ways of engaging with the social and political issues of our time and by this also giving inspiration to activism and political thinking beyond the artistic realm. Florian Malzacher is a freelance curator, dramaturg and writer. He was co-programmer of steirischer herbst festival in Graz 2006-2012 and Artistic Director of the Impulse Theater Festival (in Düsseldorf, Cologne and Mühlheim/Ruhr) 2013 to 2017. He was co-curator of programs likeTruth is Concrete in Graz (2012), Appropriations (Ethnological Museum Berlin, 2015), Artist Organisations International (HAU Berlin, 2015), Sense of Possibility (St. Petersburg, 2017) or Training for the Future (Bochum, 2019). Florian Malzacher has edited and written numerous books on theatre and performance and on the relationship between art and politics. His latest publication is The Work and Life of Nature Theater of Oklahoma (2019) Photo: Laimonas Puisys / BIT Teatergarasjen

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