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BIENNALE DI VENEZIA MILO RAU RETROSPECTIVE   With the performance of the internationally acclaimed play “La Reprise”, four film screenings under the title “Activism & Intimacy”, a masterclass and a series of talks, the upcoming 2022 edition of the Venice Biennale Teatro produces and hosts a retrospective on the work of Swiss theatre and film […]


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Biennale di Venezia: Milo Rau Retrospective

BIENNALE DI VENEZIA
MILO RAU RETROSPECTIVE

 

With the performance of the internationally acclaimed play “La Reprise”, four film screenings under the title “Activism & Intimacy”, a masterclass and a series of talks, the upcoming 2022 edition of the Venice Biennale Teatro produces and hosts a retrospective on the work of Swiss theatre and film director Milo Rau.

 

Between 27 June and 3 July, the retrospective is at the same time a celebration of the extension of the artistic leadership of Milo Rau at the Belgian city theatre NTGent until the end of 2026. Shortly after NTGent presented its brand new season 22-23, showcasing the work of over 60 theatre makers from Belgium and far beyond, we are proud to announce the extension of the collaboration of NTGent with Milo Rau and the IIPM – International Institute of Political Murder.

 

To celebrate this, IIPM and NTGent invite you to a special screening of “The New Gospel” on 3 July (5pm) at Teatro Piccolo Arsenale during the 2022 Venice Biennale Teatro, as part of the Milo Rau retrospective. The screening is followed by an aftertalk with director Milo Rau (moderated by Andrea Porcheddu) on Rau’s work and future plans.

 

Full program Milo Rau retrospective

 

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  “FROM TRAGIC TO MAGIC” THE CITY THEATRE OF THE FUTURE   When Milo Rau and his artistic team started at 2018 at NTGent, they transformed the Ghentian theatre to an open, inclusive stage for everybody. NTGent became the center of countless heated debates about what a city theatre was and should be. As a […]


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“From Tragic to Magic”: a season of new collectives

 

“FROM TRAGIC TO MAGIC”
THE CITY THEATRE OF THE FUTURE

 

When Milo Rau and his artistic team started at 2018 at NTGent, they transformed the Ghentian theatre to an open, inclusive stage for everybody. NTGent became the center of countless heated debates about what a city theatre was and should be. As a critic lately wrote: “This company is undoubtedly the most ambitious theatre project in recent years.”

“From tragic to magic – a season of new collectives,” this is the slogan of NTGent’s first post-Covid season. Which actors, directors, performances and activists will fill NTGent’s venues next year? How will the season 22/23 look like? Who is NTGent’s Global Ensemble and how can we give all the different voices of society a home, a house and a stage? What is The City Theatre of the Future – and what is its mission?

 

Opening Speech

 

On Monday, on the occasion of the traditional season’s presentation, these questions were answered with a collective speech by five of the house artists of NTGent: Luanda Casella, Jesse Vandamme, Miet Warlop, Chokri Ben Chikha, Lara Staal and Milo Rau. The speech was followed by a video, presenting the coming season, and the Belgian premiere of “The Interrogation” (Édouard Louis & Milo Rau).

 

For season 22/23, NTGent will produce and invite more than 60 makers and shows from Flanders, Belgium, Europe and the whole world: “We unite professionals with non-professionals, actors with activists. Animals meet robots, sounds meet bodies – and even the climate itself will be present.”

 

Within a network of over 10 theatres all over Europe, we imagine a system to sustainably tour plays by recreating them in the context of every city. And we continue to produce films in Europe, Brazil and Iraq, create new editons of our “School of Resistance”, imagine campaigns and festivals – together with our local and international partners from Ghent and Flanders to the Mosul Fine Arts Academy, from the Venice Biennale to the Avignon Festival, from the Brazilian Landless Movement to the UNESCO. Join the magical journey of NTGent!

 

Find all information and tickets for the season 22/23 here, watch the season’s presentation video and read NTGent’s collective opening speech.

 

“Welcome to our new season! May it be terrifyingly beautiful!”
Luanda Casella

 

Season Brochure

 

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  “AN ODE TO FAILURE” THE INTERROGATION LANDS IN PARIS   The enthusiasm was great when, after a delay of almost a year, „The Interrogation“ by Édouard Louis and Milo Rau celebrated its premiere in Amsterdam last March. „A particularly captivating performance“, even „a triumph“ saw the Belgian critic Johan Thielemans, while his Dutch colleague […]


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“An act of universal humanity”: IIPM in Paris, Zurich, Valencia

 

“AN ODE TO FAILURE”
THE INTERROGATION LANDS IN PARIS

 

The enthusiasm was great when, after a delay of almost a year, „The Interrogation“ by Édouard Louis and Milo Rau celebrated its premiere in Amsterdam last March. „A particularly captivating performance“, even „a triumph“ saw the Belgian critic Johan Thielemans, while his Dutch colleague Sander Janssens summed up the piece like this: „The Interrogation is both a fundamental ode to failure and a rehabilitation of failure.“

 

This Wednesday, May 18, „The Interrogation“ will celebrate its French premiere at the National Theatre La Colline, performed by NTGent Global Ensemble actor Arne de Tremerie. The Paris showcase – also including Rau’s film “The New Gospel” – opens tonight with a public conversation on art and politics between playwright Wajdi Mouawad, director Krzystof Warlikowski and Milo Rau himself.

 

For some of the performance dates are still remaining tickets available. And for those who no longer get a ticket in Paris: On May 30, on the occasion of the season presentation 22/23, Louis’, Rau’s and De Tremerie’s joint performance will finally return home to NTGent!

 

Professionals

 

“AN ACT OF HUMANITY”
TELL IN ZURICH

 

Currently being shown at the Schauspielhaus Zurich is Milo Rau’s adaptation of the Swiss national play „William Tell”, staged with 20 actors and Swiss citizens. “Rau pulls out all the stops of his art”, wrote the weekly newspaper Die Zeit, Blick saw “the stage event of the year”. But the play divides the press like hardly any of Rau’s works before. While some critics saw „a deeply touching production, an act of universal humanity“ (Süddeutsche Zeitung), a “sovereign and smart” (Tagesanzeiger) and „masterful“ (RTS) work of art, other voices were much more negative.

 

Swiss radio SRF, for example, saw „too much zeitgeist“ and Deutschlandfunk “too little Friedrich Schiller”. But it was the right-wing newspaper Die Weltwoche that passed the harshest judgment on Rau’s „Tell“ which features, among others, a disability rights activist, a former forced laborer, the symbolic marriage of a sans papier and an anti-facist shaman: “Milo Rau seems to have found his destiny as the theatre’s chief integration and inclusion officer.”

 

Make up your own mind and visit one of the upcoming performances of “William Tell”. And for those who can’t make it to Zurich: In June, Swiss television will broadcast an in-depth documentary on the making-of „William Tell“ (directed by Julia Bendlin).

 

Shows

 

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“HANG BÜHRLE”: CLAUDE MONET LIBERATED   Milo Rau’s adaptation of the Swiss national myth “William Tell” premieres tonight (23.04.) at the Schauspielhaus Zurich. In the weeks before, Milo Rau and his team had carried out various accompanying events. Two weeks ago, the public marriage of a Sans Papiers (undocument migrant worker) to a member of […]


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“No Bührle”: liberated Claude Monet paintings for sale!

“HANG BÜHRLE”:
CLAUDE MONET LIBERATED

 

Milo Rau’s adaptation of the Swiss national myth “William Tell” premieres tonight (23.04.) at the Schauspielhaus Zurich. In the weeks before, Milo Rau and his team had carried out various accompanying events. Two weeks ago, the public marriage of a Sans Papiers (undocument migrant worker) to a member of the Swiss armed forces had led to a lively debate about regularization and citizenship.

 

But that’s not all: Three days ago, Rau and his team “liberated the Kunsthaus Zürich” where looted art from the weapon manufacturer and Nazi collaborator Bührle are exposed, in a “shaman action”“an amazing solution”. Two “No Bührle” NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) are now up for auction.

 

They show a former forced laborer of the Swiss weapons manufacturer and Hitler-supporter Emil Bührle in front of Claude Monet’s “The Poppy Field Near Vétheuil” – one of the most famous and at the same time most controversial paintings of the Emil Bührle collection at Kunsthaus Zürich. The NFTs are painted over by the world-known Swiss artist Miriam Cahn.

 

Under the slogans “Hang Bührle on a String” and “Blood Money to Ransom”, the vernissage was accompanied by speeches of the historian Erich Keller, the former forced labourer Irma Frei as well as Maeva Emden – granddaughter of Hans Erich Emden, the former owner of Monet’s “Poppy Field Near Vétheuil”.

 

The proceeds of the action will go to the “Autonomous School Zurich” to support Sans-Papiers in their regularisation. “William Tell is no longer a legend, but a hope for all who have experienced injustice!”, as a newspaper wrote.

 

Help and bid for the paintings here: https://opensea.io/collection/nobuehrle

 

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“EVERYONE IS WILLIAM TELL” MILO RAU STAGES THE SWISS NATIONAL PLAY   The plays of the Swiss Milo Rau have already been seen in over 30 countries. The next stop for Rau’s new play “The Interrogation” is Paris, “Family” travels to Madrid next week, “Grief and Beauty” tours Belgium and Holland again, while a showing […]


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“Can you hate a country?” – Milo Rau stages “William Tell”

“EVERYONE IS WILLIAM TELL”
MILO RAU STAGES THE SWISS NATIONAL PLAY

 

The plays of the Swiss Milo Rau have already been seen in over 30 countries. The next stop for Rau’s new play “The Interrogation” is Paris, “Family” travels to Madrid next week, “Grief and Beauty” tours Belgium and Holland again, while a showing of a wide variety of Rau’s films and actions (The New Gospel, Orestes in Mosul or School of Resistance) has just ended in New York.

 

Now Rau is returning to his homeland for the first time since “The 120 Days of Sodom” (2017) for a new production! Since two weeks, the director and his team are rehearsing the Swiss national play “William Tell”. The premiere will take place on 23 April at Schauspielhaus Zurich. At a press conference, they gave first insights into the planned production, which will feature 10 amateurs on stage in addition to five professional actors (watch the full conference here).

 

Among others, a former forced labourer of the Swiss company Bührle (picture above), a hunter, a disability rights activist, an officer or a nurse will be part of Rau’s “Volkstell” (“People’s Tell”). “Self-confidently, these people stand on stage, each one a Tell,” says the “hippest theatre maker in Europe” (Blick) in a column that is published bi-weekly during the whole rehearsal period.

 

“For Rau, theatre is a process, a path that begins with social and political research, then leads through various artistic experiments and actions to culminate on stage”, Swiss newspaper NZZ writes. The premiere will be preceded by a theatrical marriage in Zurich’s Wasserkirche (6 April), as well as a vernissage (20 April) of “deplorable works of art” liberated from the Bührle art collection – including works by French artist Claude Monet or Swiss artist Mirjam Cahn (picture below).

 

NEWS

 

  • “Exploring the tragic mind” – Milo Rau’s Masterclass at Venice Biennale is open for applications

  • A holistic art practice – an essay film on Milo Rau’s work at the Ghent city theatre.

  • “What would Jesus preach today?” – “The New Gospel” a. o. in Rau’s hometown St.Gallen and on ARTE.

  • “No war!” – Milo Rau co-signs the open letter Der Appell


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“A CELEBRATION OF LIFE” GRIEF & BEAUTY ENCHANTS EUROPE   It is Milo Rau’s most intimate piece so far: “Grief & Beauty”, in which 4 actors accompany a woman during her euthanasia. Since the end of last year, it has been on tour through Europe – Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany and France until now – […]


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“Truth is a fight”: our new plays tour Europe

“A CELEBRATION OF LIFE”
GRIEF & BEAUTY ENCHANTS EUROPE

 

It is Milo Rau’s most intimate piece so far: “Grief & Beauty”, in which 4 actors accompany a woman during her euthanasia. Since the end of last year, it has been on tour through Europe – Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany and France until now – and captivates the audience and the press with its “tenderness and truth” (La Libre Belgique).

 

“A filmed assisted suicide dominates Milo Rau’s work,” announced the New York Times on its front page, with a picture of NTGent global ensemble member Princess Bangura. The Dutch Volkskrant saw “a universal tale of life and death,” and the German tageszeitung wrote enthusiastically: “A silent celebration of life. Milo Rau once again proves to be a humanist and master of ceremonies of great emotions.”

 

You want to know more about the play? An overview of critics from 6 countries can be found here, the next tour dates of “Grief & Beauty” here.

 

“A TRIUMPH”
THE INTERROGATION FINALLY LIVE

 

For almost a year it looked as if IIPM’s and NTGent’s newest play would never premiere: “The Interrogation”, a collaboration between French writer Édouard Louis and Milo Rau. 10 days ago, the premiere happened. At the ITA in Amsterdam, the very personal piece about theater and reality, doubt and transformation, becoming and being could finally be seen live, performed by Arne De Tremerie.

 

“A particularly captivating performance”, even “a triumph” saw a Belgian critic, while his Dutch colleague summed up the piece like this: “An extremely exciting show. The Interrogation is both a fundamental ode to failure and a rehabilitation of failure.” Or to put it in the words of Édouard Louis in a conversation about the play in the Guardian at the start of rehearsals: “Every time, truth is a fight.”

 

“The Interrogation” will start its international tour in May, in Paris and Ghent. Learn more about the play here.

 

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The Interrogation

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“A PLAY FULL OF SADNESS” LOUIS/RAU   French author Édouard Louis and director Milo Rau have been friends for a long time. This Wednesday, the 2nd of March, they present their performance „The Interrogation“ that they wrote and staged together in spring 2021 for the Kunstenfestival in Brussels. Last year, they had do cancel the […]


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Édouard Louis & Milo Rau present „The Interrogation“

“A PLAY FULL OF SADNESS”
LOUIS/RAU

 

French author Édouard Louis and director Milo Rau have been friends for a long time. This Wednesday, the 2nd of March, they present their performance „The Interrogation“ that they wrote and staged together in spring 2021 for the Kunstenfestival in Brussels. Last year, they had do cancel the show only some days before the premiere. This Wednesday it’s finally live to see, in Amsterdam at the ITA.

 

Performed by NTGent global ensemble actor Arne De Tremerie, „The Interrogation“ is a „demonstration for vulnerability“, a moment of poetic standstill. Can we escape our biography through art, or is art only the record of a failed liberation? „It’s a deeply melancholic play, a fragmentary play, a tender play”, as Louis and Rau said in an interview.

 

“The Interrogation” will be followed by a conversation between Édouard Louis and Milo Rau. More info here.

 

TIME FOR ACTION
SCHOOL OF RESISTANCE

 

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has changed the face of our continent. War is raging in the heart of Europe. Hundreds of thousands are already fleeing, millions may follow. Last December we devoted a whole School of Resistance (“Art in Conflicted Areas”) to the situation in Ukraine.

 

On March 4 and 5, a new edition of School of Resistance will address the issue of regularisation of refugees and migrants in Europe and their struggle for citizenship and recognition. Together with#GentZonderGrenzen, In My Name and L’Union des Sans-papiers pour la Régularisation, the undocumented refugees voice their political will.

 

Via panel discussions, film screenings, concerts and workshops, we will imagine new futures of global citizenship. The event takes place in the splendid Saint Jacob’s Church, in collaboration with the bishop of Ghent – for the last shall be the first!

 

To mark the occasion, an extensive “Catalogue of Resistance” is published, with contributions by Mohammad Al Attar, Srećko Horvat, Vandana Shiva and many, many others. Have a first look here.

 

Sign the petition, discover the entire program & register here!

 

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“DIVERSE AND COURAGEOUS” ART PRIZE & LECTURESHIP   The work of Milo Rau with the NTGent and the IIPM tours the world – more than 50 countries to date. “There is no doubt that the most ambitious theatrical project of recent years is the one of Milo Rau’s NTGent”, wrote a critic just today. Now […]


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“Zürcher Poetikvorlesung” & “Grosser St. Galler Kulturpreis” to Milo Rau

“DIVERSE AND COURAGEOUS”
ART PRIZE & LECTURESHIP

 

The work of Milo Rau with the NTGent and the IIPM tours the world – more than 50 countries to date. “There is no doubt that the most ambitious theatrical project of recent years is the one of Milo Rau’s NTGent”, wrote a critic just today. Now the Swiss artist returns to his homecountry with “Wilhelm Tell” and is honoured with two of its most renowned awards: the “Zurich Poetics Lectures” (Zürcher Poetikvorlesung) and the “Great St. Gallen Culture Prize” (Grosser St. Galler Kulturpreis).

In 2011, IIPM’s project “City of Change(picture above) shook Milo Rau’s hometown of St. Gallen. The artists called for the immediate introduction of voting rights for migrants, setting in motion a heated debate on the future of Western democracies. In 2018, the decision of the forme city’s government to refuse Rau its cultural prize led to the resignation of almost half of the city’s cultural commission in protest.

Now Rau receives St. Gallen’s most important prize, the triennial “Great St. Gallen Culture Prize” for his “diverse, meaningful and courageous work”, according to the State Chancellery (detailed jury statement here). Milo Rau follows prize winners such as the video artist Pipilotti Rist, the action artist Roman Signer or the choreographer Martin Schläpfer. To mark the occasion, a retrospective of the artist’s work will be held at the city’s art museum “Kunst Halle St. Gallen”.

Another piece of good news reaches us: The University of Zurich announces that Milo Rau will host the renowned “Zurich Poetics Lectures” in 2022. “The lectures progress from the simple questions of representational strategies and influences in Rau’s work to the complex ideas of a holistic art practice”, the university explains. Rau, who will give his lectures under the title “Why Art?”, follows poets such as Nobel Prize winner Herta Müller, W. G. Sebald (“Austerlitz”) or German Book Prize winner Saša Stanišić. (more information here).

“Art is questioned as a public space, as a place of responsibility where the aesthetic appears as a political act.” University of Zurich

 

FOUR BOOKS
ON ART AND ENGAGEMENT

 

As a member of the TV show “Literaturclub” and as critic, Rau is committed to activist literature. Recently, he reviewed the work of French feminist philosopher Elsa Dorlin on TV (“The most important book of recent French political philosophy,” wrote Rau in the Süddeutsche Zeitung), streamed & published a discussion with postcolonial theorist Achille Mbembe and contributed an essay to the monograph “Hannah Arendt and the 20th Century”.

Besides being an artist and critic, Rau is the author of 15 books – essays, collections of plays and speeches, diaries and fiction. On the occasion of the awarding of the “Zurich Poetics Lecture” and the „Great St. Gallen Culture Prize“ we present four books (picture above) by and about Milo Rau published last year in the USA, Germany, Italy and France. A deep dive into the work of the Swiss artist and his team!

Milo Rau shows the artist as filmmaker, theatre-maker, author, activist, and theatre director: this monograph from the American Yale University is truly comprehensive!

Grundsätzlich Unvorbereitet (Basically unprepared) gathers 99 texts written by Milo Rau between 2014 and 2021. A kind of logbook of Rau’s artistic and political work.

L’arte della resistenza (The art of resistance) brings together three speeches of Milo Rau about art and engagement.

Vers un réalisme global (Towards a Global Realism) gathers lectures and interviews conducted since 2013. A wide-ranging immersion in Rau’s artistic work.

 

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“THE MASSACRE” NEW FILM PROJECT   In June 1944, an SS division completely destroyed the central French village of Oradour-sur-Glane. With its 643 victims – over 200 of them children – it is still the largest and most traumatic crime in Western European war history. At Oradour-sur-Glane, Rau and his team continue casting and rehearsing […]


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“The Massacre” — new film project for 2022

“THE MASSACRE”
NEW FILM PROJECT

 

In June 1944, an SS division completely destroyed the central French village of Oradour-sur-Glane. With its 643 victims – over 200 of them children – it is still the largest and most traumatic crime in Western European war history. At Oradour-sur-Glane, Rau and his team continue casting and rehearsing these days their new hybrid film “The Massacre” – together with the families of the survivors.

 

The film also features Robert Hébras, the last survivor of the SS massacre, who was awarded l’Ordre national du mérite by French President Macron last week.You are a symbol of freedom, dignity and fraternity, the President said to Hébras, praising the tireless work of memory done by the man who witnessed the June 10, 1944 massacre for decades. But can such a crime be turned into a film?

 

Milo Rau’s new film is being developed as a collaboration between the Belgian theatre company NTGent, German film production Fruitmarket Kultur und Medien GmbH, Swiss producer Langfilm and French production company Les Contes Modernes.

 

“In “The Massacre” the victims empower themselves, transcend their suffering and take over the direction.” Milo Rau

 

“SHOW IT TO THE WORLD”
A FILMSCHOOL FOR MOSUL

 

After years of preparation, the Institute of Fine Arts in the war-thorn city of Mosul has started last autumn a structural collaboration with Milo Rau and the Belgian theatre company NTGent for the creation of a Film Department. An ambitious project supported by and part of the UNESCO-program “Revive the Spirit of Mosul”.

 

“We live in Mosul, we know everything that happened,” declares one of the students, 20-year-old Mohammed Fawaz, “now we want to show it all to the world through cinema”. The first 9 fictional short films will be presented to the Mosul audience this spring and then go on tour through the world. “The goal now is to secure funding to keep the cinema department running”, says Milo Rau. “The next step will be to have a small Mosul film festival – continuing what we started”.

 

“This collaboration allows us to develop the capabilities of students as well as teachers, but it’s also a chance to tell the whole world about the reality in the city of Mosul.” Suleik Salem Al-Khabbaz – Institute of Fine Arts Mosul

 

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