No less than two Residenz-coproductions from previous seasons, “Every Body Electric” and “all inclusive”, were invited to the 2019 Venice Biennial, and “Oratorium” represented the venue at the 2019 Berliner Theatertreffen. It is not without pride that we congratulate Doris Uhlich, Julian Hetzel and She She Pop for these outstanding distinctions! Furthermore, Residenz as a coproduction venue for collaboration between the independent scene and city theatres is gaining in recognition as a model for other endeavours. All of this, added to the continually increasing interest of our Leipzig audience in the Residenz-programme’s experimental, interdisciplinary performances, affirms and inspires our work at this venue.
During the coming season, we will continue to cooperate with artists who work in international contexts, but we will increase our focus on local aspects concerning Leipzig and Saxony. One central theme, not only for this season and not only at Residenz, will be an exploration of the local and global consequences of coal mining.
In “Wismut – A Nuclear Choir”, for example, choreographer and dancer Jule Flierl and visual artist Mars Dietz will look at a region of the Erzgebirge, the Ore Mountains, where the mining corporation Wismut mined uranium for Soviet nuclear programmes until the year 1990. With a documentary dance performance, they will trace the continued radiating effects of this industrial legacy on landscape, society and individual bodies.
In a multi-part series entitled “Landscapes and Bodies”, a collective around film-maker and composer Daniel Kötter, stage designer Elisa Limberg and dramaturg Sarah Israel will also be investigating transformation processes undergone by landscapes and individuals due to mining and its impacts. The first two parts, “Gold” and “Coal” will juxtapose the disused and active brown coal mining locations in Leipzig’s hinterland with Indonesian gold and copper mines. The series will be continued next season, when it will look at the enduring tasks facing the Ruhr area as remnants of the hard coal mining industry in the region, as well as at shale oil extraction in Estonia and coltan mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Berlin-based artists Antonia Baehr and Lucile Desamory call their production “Die besondere Perücke / The special wig” a “piece of witchcraft“. They look at spirit visitations as alterable identity construction and transform the industrial theatre space of Residenz into the palace gardens of Versailles. An opulent theatre of props and dressed sets is confronted with contemporary concept art. And the absolutist garden turns into an excitement-filled arena of im/possible narratives.
Great Britain is the only country in the world to have installed a national Ministry for Loneliness in its government. In the face of increasing social isolation and the resulting loneliness of more and more people, this is actually not all that surprising. The only surprise is that all-round-artist Kim Noble, infamous in his native Britain, was not appointed Minister. After all, in his performances, films, installations and, most recently, a graphic novel, he has been shining a light into the most absurd corners of lonely souls. We will present his successful production “You Are not Alone” and produce a work with him to be premiered next season.
To conclude the season, the Leipzig-based artists Alisa Hecker, Julian Rauter and Andi Willmann will finally bring the museum of natural history to the Spinnerei-venue. In the fictitious storage space of a natural history collection, they will query the human need to conserve relicts of organic life, to recondition and collect it and to pass it down to posterity. What can the practice of taxidermy teach us about people, about their fears, desires and visions?