Editorial October / November 2020

Editorial October / November 2020

Dear audience, dear artists,

these days, our TQW team is busy developing a comprehensive health and safety plan for our upcoming events. Despite all regulations we want our audience to feel comfortable. Because we miss you! Rethinking how events work means that we have also started to think again about the essence of art: To gather at the bar, or to find oneself as part of a group discussing the performance one has just seen – these are things one cannot take for granted anymore, things that are now subject to certain restrictions. To host events in times of pandemic uncertainty is a risky business, one festivals and theatres all over the world have to struggle with. But perhaps this is also a chance to focus on the essential, to realise that art is not just another event.

Nevertheless, going ahead with our first planned performance has already been a challenge. Initially, our season opening should have featured a big international production to be presented in Halle E, but the ballet ensemble we invited was not allowed to travel. This made it even more important for us to make the most of the opportunity of using Halle E and to show our audience what kind of things are still possible. For this reason, and by popular demand, we invited Doris Uhlich to stage Habitat / Halle E once again – but this time a ‘pandemic version‘. A few days later, Claudia Bosse will focus on the human body, or to be more precise, she will focus on organs and what role they play in sacrificial rituals. Perhaps they might even offer insight into the human condition today? In mid-October, we will welcome a star-studded trio. La Ribot, Mathilde Monnier and Tiago Rodrigues will present an apocalyptic slide show of human self-destruction, while they will also illustrate some potential exit strategies for the current, all-encompassing catastrophe. The Performance Passage at MQ, designed by Christoph Meier and curated by Andrea Maurer, will also be finally opened in October. And at the end of October, Miet Warlop will invite our audience to experience some kind of Sufi trip with her, that will see us all happily immerse in the coordinated mass of people.

In early November, a new series of events will take place under the title Imagining otherwise – How do we move from here? This will include performative forms and formats that reflect on current debates in Black Studies (Joana Tischkau and Cherish Menzo), postcolonialism (Jaha Koo) or physical unlearning (Katerina Andreou). Then, there will be another opportunity to see the long-awaited rerun of Florentina Holzinger’s already iconic piece TANZ. No less iconic is Klaus Theweleit’s 1978 book Männerphantasien (Male Phantasies), and we are especially happy to have him give a lecture at TQW! In late November, there will also be opportunity to see Linda Samaraweerová’s emotive and performative opera. And a few days later, Krõõt Juurak & Alex Bailey will show us what living with a baby, their son Albert, means on a social and gender-political level. A particularly relevant debate for many parents during the current crisis.

It might happen that one or more events cannot take place. Nevertheless, we are doing all we can to find alternative ways to make these events available in one form or another, and we hope that we can stay open for as long as possible during the winter months! In any case, we look very much forward to welcoming you soon to TQW!

Bettina Kogler (Artistic Direction & Programme) & Christa Spatt (Programme)