Screening of 2 films state-theatre #3 BERLIN and state-theatre #5 BEIRUT
Screening of 3 films by Berlin-based artists: Daniel Kötter and Constanze Fischbeck from the “state-theatre”cycle - Beirut, Berlin and Teheran.
ABOUT THE PROJECT
“State-theatre” is a modular art project that explores urban conditions for performance
based on six case studies in Lagos, Teheran, Berlin, Detroit, Beirut and Mönchengladbach. The first trilogy focuses on state-representative architecture of national and state theatres in Lagos, Tehran and Berlin, that temporarily lost their intended societal and political function. The second trilogy examines alternative gathering spaces in cities under constant transformation as well as the performative qualities of urban meeting places in Beirut, Detroit and Mönchengladbach.
How to produce a cultural meeting place after the end of the era of classical theatre architecture? All six case studies conducted by the authors of the films depart from places that have shed their apparent societal functions: deserted areas, construction sites, unused or reinterpreted buildings – empty spaces in the urban fabric and places that were originally meant as allegoric gathering places: theatres. Thus „theater“ becomes the synonym for the allegoric meeting place as such.
State-theatre #2 TEHRAN
2011, HD, 24′
with: Sara Reyhani, Arezou Hosseini, Behrooz Gharibpour
The Vahdat Hall is Teheran’s first and only classical opera and ballet house. Commissioned in 1966 by the Shah’s regime, the main hall resembles the Vienna State Opera. Its ornaments reiterate the forms of Persepolis, the central representative architecture of the ancient Persian Empire. For 13 years the hall hosted the classical ballet and opera repertoire though the official archive of Vahdat Hall does not keep any records of that period.
Zoom Out 1: Since the Islamic Revolution in 1979 no opera and ballet performances have taken place in Vahdat Hall.
Zoom Out 2: Sara Reyhani, trained as a dancer, was featured as a soloist in the first performance of the so-called ‘rhythmic movement’ on the stage of Vahdat Hall in 1999.
Zoom Out 3: In 2004, due to a private initiative, the former workshops of Vahdat Hall were turned into a puppet theatre: Ferdosi Hall is the only stage for opera production in Iran nowadays. There are currently no plans to return Vahdat Hall to its originally intended use as a ballet and opera house.
state-theatre #3 BERLIN
2011, HD, 22 min.
with: Hermann Heisig, Elpida Orfanidou
The Staatsoper Unter den Linden, built in 1741, is the oldest theatre building in Berlin. In the course of its history it represented the most opposing political systems, from the ‘Kaiserreich’ to National Socialism and the Socialism of the GDR period. Its architectural layout was changed and reconstructed several times. From September 2010 the Opera House has again become a construction site for several years. After year-long controversial debates, the state representatives assigned the architects to preserve the building’s neo-rococo layout. The workers have left the factory and enter the stage.
state-theatre #5 BEIRUT
2014, HD, 65 min.
with: Rani al Raji, Amira Soleh, Antoine Moultaka, Karim Makarem, Nesrine Khoder,
The architecture of downtown Beirut represents a segregated society with no commonly shared public space: Civil War Ruins besides unused theatres and cinemas, reconstructions besides wasteland, designer shops next to vacancy, military barriers next to religious buildings. And at the heart of all this, the “Martyrs’ Square” as allegorical space, an impossible ”National Theatre for Lebanon”. Six Beirutis accompany the camera on its one-hour walk through downtown Beirut and explain the space in-between the built environment, in-between the transformed and the demolished, their very personal ”theatrical stage”.
Daniel Kötter, Constanze Fischbeck
Constanze Fischbeck i Daniel Kötter have been collaborating in interdisciplinary artworks such as Benzin – a reconstruction of exchange systems in Lagos (a seven-channel video-space installation shown at the Goethe Institute in Lagos and Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin in 2008).