WHEN BUILDINGS MOURN
The Impulse Theater Festival and FFT give the Wilhelm Marx House in the centre of Düsseldorf the appropriate last rites: six artists and collectives create a range of formats in which they, bid farewell to and let go values that are upheld in the building. Say goodbye with a smile.
The building lies on a fillet of land between the Kö and the old town. As soon as an investor has been found, the city will sell it. The institutions based there will be forced to move and make a fresh start. These include international clubs of the adult education system, the Eine Welt Forum, the FFT Juta, the City of Düsseldorf’s Equal Opportunities Department, the International English Library, social services for the district, a senior citizens’ centre for the Workers’ Welfare Association and some of the offices for the Tonhalle.
What values will be lost by leaving the building? How can that loss be processed? And what does all this have to do with a broader social change in which the values of a democracy devoted to the common good are pushed ever further into the background?
WHEN BUILDINGS MOURN takes a stand against repression and calls on us all to consciously accompany processes of change. Space is found for personal feelings and individual reactions in the works of the participating artists. In collaboration with those who use the building they will develop scenes and situations that engage with changes in values, mourning, loss and new beginnings.These works can be experienced on GUIDED TOURS of the building or independently on the PATHS OF DEPARTURE and at a large-scale MOURNING CEREMONY.
With this project Impulse and the FFT invite all the citizens of Düsseldorf and visitors to the festival to consider which places, institutions and values they cherish and to share the moment marking a collective farewell.
With: katze und krieg, K.U.R.S.K, plan b, Quast & Knoblich, Christine Rollar and Hendrik Scheel, Barbara Ungepflegt, as well as One World Forum Düsseldorf, FFT Juta, City of Düsseldorf‘s Equal Opportunities Department, International English Library, International Education Centre DIE BRÜCKE, Tonhalle Düsseldorf
Entry is free of charge.
To register for GUIDED TOURS and the PATHS OF DEPARTURE e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or phone +49 (0)211 876787-18 (Mon–Fri, 10:00–17:00)
PATHS OF DEPARTURE
Welcome to the annex of the Wilhelm Marx House! Right by the entrance our hosts Christine Rollar and Hendrik Scheel await visitors in their temporary Departure Office. After checking in visitors can explore the corridors, staircases, reception rooms, tower rooms or secret rooms in the basement either alone or in pairs – behind every door there is a new social universe. There will be the chance to experience up to five works by the participating artists:
katze und krieg shout farewell letters from DIE BRÜCKE’s foreign departments out into the world. For decades the Wilhelm Marx House gave this intercultural meeting point a home. Now its future is uncertain. What traditions exist to deal with such a loss?
K.U.R.S.K changes course. Together with the One World Forum it looks for traditional ideals and policies, everything that holds us back in the dawning of a new time, in a burial at sea. Here there is space for beauty within the macabre: the chapel on the Titanic, the last cigarette in the restricted breathing space of a sinking submarine, solidarity in the face of a competitive world.
plan b delves into the world of books together with the International English Library. Starting with the librarians’ favourite reading, it creates a catalogue of scenes from which the audience may choose those stories, moments and objects that they want to hear, experience or touch. In a rationalized world, fantasy stretched between book covers appears as a radical force that can also fire the political imagination.
Quast & Knoblich make the manicurists Hen & Mai compete for the job of Equalities Officer in the Equal Opportunities Department. Their campaigns could not be more different: While Hen’s cuddly campaign takes a nostalgic view of leaving the Wilhelm Marx House, Mai can hardly wait to move and radically reinterpret diversity behind the station. Whose programme will reflect best on the city? And which candidate will manage to convince Equalities Officer Elisabeth Wilfart?
Barbara Ungepflegt is Lady Di! In the annex to the Wilhelm Marx House she opens a bar for all those who are grieving among the common people. A chance to look at the big picture over a schnaps or tea with this icon of empathy.
What do you grieve for? Which places and values have you had to bid farewell to in your life so far? The PATHS OF DEPARTURE are a journey into your own biography, your own convictions and final wishes for the world.
Who was this building built for? Why should it be sold? And what does it have to do with the Carsch House opposite, which was moved 27 metres some 30 years ago? Answers to these and many other questions will be provided by the GUIDED TOURS. In encounters with users of the building and the artists it becomes evident what makes this building different from a normal office block and the values that are upheld here. An insight into the everyday working lives of those who use the building and the working processes of the artists.
We will say goodbye together but with a smile. On the main stage the artists and those who have used the building celebrate the values that have been upheld in the annex of the Wilhelm Marx House – raising the curtain for solidarity, encounters, diversity, imagination, empathy, good old Égalité and much more. Because it is mostly too late for farewells. And perhaps we are also saying: “Auf Wiedersehen!” What can we take with us from this building and bring back to life in a different place? At the Wilhelm Marx House the wake has already been laid out.
Idea/Concept/Dramaturgy: Haiko Pfost, Christine Rollar, Wilma Renfordt, Christoph Rech
Designer: Hendrik Scheel
Production Manager: Randi Günnemann
Technical Supervisor: Nino Petrich
Social Media/Documentation: Sina Langner
A co-production by FFT Düsseldorf and Impulse Theater Festival,funded by Kunststiftung NRW, Fonds Darstellende Künste and Pro Helvetia, Swiss Arts Council.
With thanks to Bestattungshaus Frankenheim and Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus.
katze und krieg are the performance artists katharinajej and Julia Dick. They started working together as artists in 2007 while they were both studying at Braunschweig University of Art (HBK). Both of them live and work in Cologne. katze und krieg work through interventions in the everyday world in public spaces, including supermarkets, residential areas and pedestrian zones.
K.U.R.S.K are Liliane Koch, Timo Krstin and Lukas Sander. The artists’ collective from Zürich creates work that combines politics, literature and physical performance. Elements of their work include political speeches, readings and radio play-like performances. They frequently make use of the history of a location, literary documents and witness testimony and develop their own narrative from such material.
plan b are the British artists Sophia New and Daniel Belasco Rogers. They have lived and worked in Berlin since 2001. Their works are created in a wide range
of contexts and media, including performances, independent theatre, visual and digital art, installations and interventions in urban spaces.
Quast & Knoblich are Hendrik Quast and Maika Knoblich. Their collaboration began in 2009. They share an interest in the theatricalisation of the everyday,
the banal, grotesque and incidental. They employ non-theatrical environments, performative and craft techniques as well as non-dramatic texts and forms of rhetoric, often involving local communities such as clubs and amateur theatres in their work.
Christine Rollar is a performer and actor based in Berlin. She is a member of WIR-AG and the independent artists’ collective Lunatiks. Works created by Lunatiks under her artistic direction include DIE GOLDENE SCHWEIGEKAPSEL (Theater Kiel) and 2 TAGE & 1 NACHT (Junges dt, Berlin). Elsewhere she has also participated in the projects BAD HOTEL (Gessnerallee Zürich), DER BERG at the Palast der Republik and HOTEL BERLIN to mark the 10 year anniversary of Ballhaus Ost.
Hendrik Scheel studied stage and costume design at the HfBK Dresden, the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and the Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design London. Since 2000 he has worked as a freelance stage and costume designer with directors Arne Böge, Claudia Bauer, Wolfgang Engel and Peer Perez Øian, among others. His work has taken him to the Neue Theater Halle, the Staatsschauspiel Dresden, the Staatstheater Stuttgart, the Volksbühne / Prater Berlin and Det Norske Teatret, Oslo. Since 2010 Hendrik Scheel has been working with the "sideviews" association in the field of cultural education and on building up the theatre profile of the Refik Veseli School in Berlin-Kreuzberg.
Barbara Ungepflegt is a performance and installation artist. In her many works she explores intermediate areas and utopias in public spaces, for example in her work ‘airpnp’, in which she spent two weeks living at a bus stop in Vienna. Barbara Ungepflegt is the co-founder of and Director of Studies for the university course in Applied Dramaturgy A!DRAMA in Vienna and is currently a doctoral candidate in Cultural Studies supervised by Robert Pfaller at the University of Art and Design Linz.