“A break in art history” – that was 2022
“I’m under the influence of this young actor,” confessed a critic yesterday in his 2022 Best-Of. Arne de Tremerie, a member of NTGent’s global ensemble, stars in “The Interrogation,” that Milo Rau wrote and directed together with the French author Édouard Louis last year.
After acclaimed performances at the ITA Amsterdam in March and the National Theaters of Croatia and Paris during summer, “The Interrogation” will open the new year on January 6, 2023 – at Rau’s artistic home, the NTGent! Get your ticket for Louis/Rau’s “fundamental ode to failure” here.
Closing out the year tonight will Milo Rau’s second major theatrical success of 2022: his “act of universal humanity”, the adaptation of the Swiss national myth “William Tell”. Rau’s “Volks-Tell” (“People’s Tell”) was the best-selling Schauspielhaus play of the year, selected in the annual Best-Of list of the Swiss television’s critics’ poll and inspired discussions about the role of a modern city theatre during months.
2022 was the year when touring started again. “The most essential play since years,” wrote La Libération after the Paris premiere of Milo Rau’s and Ursina Lardi’s “Everywoman”. “Family”, “Everywoman” and “Grief and Beauty” drew the highest praise from critics, but also sparked opposition due to their radical aesthetics.
“It provokes emotions that cannot be expressed,” wrote Repubblica on the occasion of the Italian tour of “Grief & Beauty”. To kick off 2023, French National Theatre La Colline will host a multi-week focus on Milo Rau’s work. Parallely, a new version of Rau’s classic “Hate Radio” will be presented in Switzerland, France and England in January.
A special mention should be made of Miet Warlop’s/NTGent’s “One Song. Histoire(s) du Théâtre IV” that was selected in the New York Times Best Of 2022. It’s already the 3rd time a play of NTGent’s “Theatre History” series has made it into the annual NYTimes selection, following “La Reprise. Histoire(s) du Théâtre I” (Milo Rau) and “Liebestod. Histoire(s) du Théâtre III” (Angelica Liddell).
All three plays will tour in 2023 – and the 5th chapter of NTGent’s and IIPM’s acclaimed “Theatre History” is already in the pipeline!
“I think Milo represents a break in art history,” French writer Édouard Louis told today Belgian newspaper De Morgen. And indeed, Milo Rau and the NTGent made history in 2022: by founding a film school in Mosul together with the Mosul Fine Arts Academy and the UNESCO. The first 9 films are already touring European film festivals. Now, NTGent and Milo Rau are working to establish a film festival in Mosul!
2022 was also the year of political action in Europe. In March 2022, Milo Rau, NTGent and IIPM published together with hundred activists and politicians the “Ghent Declaration” calling for the regularization of Belgian Sans-Papiers. The “Ghent Declaration” was part of the series “School of Resistance”, which was awarded 2022 the “Segal Center Award for Civic Engagement” as “one of the 10 most significant theatre and performance projects worldwide.”
And 2022 was also the year of retrospectives: The Venice Biennale dedicated the survey show “Activism and Intimacy” to Milo Rau, Doc Alliance opened the platform “The Milo Rau trials”. The University of Cincinnati organized an international congress about Milo Rau’s “Political Theatre of the Future”. And Rau himself critically examined his work in the much-discussed volume “Theatre is Democracy in Small” and the “Zurich Poetics Lectures“.
To close the year, Milo Rau’s hometown St.Gallen awarded him the Great Culture Prize, accompanied by the retrospective “Why Art?”. IIPM invested the prize money in the campaign “Let Shepenesis Return Home”, demanding the return of the eponymous mummy, which had been stolen from her tomb in the 19th century. Shortly before Christmas, the Catholic Church of St.Gallen announced that it would consider restitution.
We look forward to another year of engagement and debate, activism and intimacy – together with you! Thank you for your solidarity, your criticism, your support, your friendship!