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



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




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.