An honorary doctorate in Sweden, a retrospective in Brazil, a world tour across 5 continents, a new book and a new production of the “Oresteia” in the former capital of the “Islamic State” in northern Iraq: this spring is probably the craziest in the history of the IIPM – International Institute of Political Murder since its foundation.
“Paedophilia and homophobia are the same”: Retrospective for Milo Rau in Brazil
In February a comprehensive presentation of Milo Rau’s artistic work could be seen in Amsterdam, next week the work of the “currently most influential” (DIE ZEIT) and “most controversial” (NEW YORK TIMES) theater and film maker will travel to South America: the Swiss is the central figure at this year’s MITsp Festival, the largest theater festival in Latin America.
Rau, who is preparing a project together with the Brazilian landless movement for the coming year and has been controversial in Brazil’s Right since his open letter against President Bolsonaro at the latest, will meet representatives of the landless movement and the artist Wagner Schwartz who is threatened with death due to a performance in São Paulo. The fact that the paedophilia play “Five Easy Pieces” and the play against homophobia “The Repetition” will also be shown in São Paulo is already causing debate.
“Everyone can have their own opinion,” Milo Rau told a Portuguese-language newspaper last week, “but let me make one thing clear: Paedophilia and homophobia are structurally the same, because both attitudes involve violence”. The Rau retrospective will take place in São Paulo, the planned transfer of the plays to Rio de Janeiro was surprisingly cancelled two days ago.
5 continents in 4 weeks: World tour with “The Repetition” and “120 days of Sodom
But Brazil is only one stop on the world tour of the IIPM. “The world lies at Milo Rau’s feet,” the Belgian newspaper De Standaard recently headlined metaphorically. In March alone, the IIPM’s “Representation Trilogy” can be seen on 5 continents.
While “Five Easy Pieces” (2016) is celebrating its long-awaited North American premiere in New York today after a two-and-a-half-year tour around the globe, the piece “The Repetition” (2018), which has already been nominated for numerous awards and was selected by the New York Times, Le Temps and Nachkritik.de as one of the best productions of the previous year, will travel through Australia, South America and Taiwan in the coming month.
“The 120 Days of Sodom”, for which Milo Rau collaborated with the HORA Theatre in 2017, is now coming to Portugal after Holland and Spain. All important dates can be found here or here.
“Alternative to the current system” : Honorary Doctorate for Milo Rau in Sweden
As Lunds Universitet Malmö announced last week, Milo Rau will be the first honorary doctor of the Faculty of Fine Arts and Performance. Lunds University, which awarded honorary doctorates to Thomas Mann and Kofi Annan, among others, justifies the appointment of “one of the most influential and provocative theatre and film directors of our time” as follows: “Rau’s art does not limit itself to directing, but also includes a further development of social analysis, interaction with the audience and the actor’s work. As an author and worldwide lecturer, Rau analyzes theatre using sociology and cultural theory. As artistic director of NTGent, he has published a manifesto that outlines the future role of institutions in the performing arts and calls for collaborative work and the inclusion of new voices as a possible alternative to the current system”.
Rau, who has been a poetics professor, researcher, workshop leader and lecturer at countless universities and educational institutions worldwide for 15 years, will give his inaugural lecture in Malmö on 23 May and be honoured with a doctorate in Lund Cathedral on 24 May.
“The historical feeling” : New Rau book in print
“A Chekhov like portrait – technically perfect and incredibly strongly played”, cheered the Dutch newspaper “Volkskrant” about the guest performances of the Schaubühne long-time burner “Lenin” (2017) last month in Amsterdam, in which Ursina Lardi plays the same-named revolutionary leader.
How history comes to life on stage, how research, directing and acting art, video and performance come together to form the overall work of art “Theater”: This is Milo Rau’s new book “Das geschichtliche Gefühl” (“The Historical Feeling”), which will be published this month by Alexander Verlag in Berlin. “Rau rethinks the concepts of mimesis and immersion, catharsis and tragedy after postmodernism – in the service of a theatre that rehearses ‘utopian identification’ and global solidarity and establishes ‘institutions of the future’,” writes the editor.
The book, which is based on Raus Saarbrückener Poetikdozentur (Poetics Lectureship Saarbrücken), is extended by two conversations with Rolf Bossart and Harald Welzer as well as an essay by Johannes Birgfeld on “Raus Theater der Revolution” (“Raus theatre of revolution”).
“Orestes in Mosul”: Milo Rau stages the Oresteia in Northern Iraq
“One can rest on the practice of exploitation or one can oppose it with a practice of solidarity. Why can we consume the oil from Mosul but not be interested in the people there, their stories, their art?” asks Milo Rau in a conversation with dramaturge Stefan Bläske about “Orestes in Mosul” (Press material here)
Rau’s new production, which will be created with a mixed ensemble of Iraqis and Europeans in Mosul and Ghent as a co-production of NTGent and Schauspiel Bochum, will have its premiere in Ghent on 17 April. Therein Rau questions his practice of “Global Realism” on the basis of the oldest surviving tragedy trilogy, the “Oresteia” by Aischylos: What brings collaboration across continents? What can an Oresteia in the recently liberated city tell about the great themes of tragedy: violence, guilt, forgiveness? And what can a Western ensemble learn from the resistive practice of Iraqi artists who continued to celebrate music, photography, dance and theatre despite the death penalty?
“Our “Orestes in Mosul” is, so to speak, an attempt to carry a porcelain vase over a minefield. You have to be extremely optimistic to try that. That’s why the attempt alone counts for us,” says Rau about his latest project at NTGent. More information here.