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Kick-off press conference Ruhrtriennale 2019

Press release   •   Aug 16, 2019 16:55 BST

Kick-off press conference Ruhrtriennale 2019 © Daniel Sadrowski/Ruhrtriennale2019

Dear Sir or Madam,

in the middle of next week, this year’s Ruhrtriennale kicks off the six-week festival of the arts with a host of premieres. Artistic Director Stefanie Carp: “I am looking forward to new aesthetic experiences, to the exchange with the audience and to enriching encounters.”

The festival opens with the premiere of Christoph Marthaler’s “Nach den letzten Tagen. Ein Spätabend” on 21 August in the Audimax of the Ruhr-Universität Bochum. The futuristic lecture hall is both stage and auditorium in Christoph Marthaler’s creation. The visitors find themselves in an imaginary parliament, where the music of composers such as Viktor Ullmann, Jósef Koffler, Szymon Laks, Pavel Haas, Fritz Kreisler and Erwin Schulhoff, who were deported, murdered and forced into emigration during National Socialism, is heard. The ensemble including actors Josef Ostendorf and Bettina Stucky as well as singer Tora Augestad, weaves text and music into a dystopian vision of the future, that creates awareness of the current political situation in Europe.

In the premiere “All the good”,on 22 August, Jan Lauwers and the Needcompany tell biographical stories about loss and hope in the Maschinenhalle Zweckel in Gladbeck. It is about the former elite soldier Elik Niv and the artist family Lauwers. They meet at a time when war and terror have taken on a new presence. In a stream of associative images, music, dance, costumes, masks and language, together with the Needcompany, Jan Lauwers explores techniques of autobiographical narration.

The German premiere of Heiner Goebbels new creation “Everything that Happened and Would Happen”, which takes place on 23 August in the Jahrhunderthalle Bochum, also deals with the European history of the last one hundred years. With an international ensemble of dancers, performers and musicians, the composer and theatre-maker combines Patrik Ouředník’s text “Europeana” with uncommented, up-to-the-minute news images from the television channel Euronews and stage design fragments from his production “Europeras 1 & 2”.

The Junge Triennale, this year represented by the fearless young artist collective Mit Ohne Alles, deals with the theme of power. The results of this critical examination can be seen from 23 August under “#nofear: Macht den Weg frei” at PACT Zollverein in Essen. Together with the Theaterkollektiv Berlocken from Berlin, the young artists have condensed interviews, workshops and encounters in Essen’s Katernberg district into a performance.

In addition to these new creations, the Ruhrtriennale is once again offering various free formats. On 23 August, for example, “Third Space” will open on the forecourt of the Jahrhunderthalle Bochum. raumlaborberlin has completely rearranged the parts of the Transall aircraft to create a place for art and encounters. Throughout the festival, a varied programme consisting of workshops, performances, concerts, readings and parties invites exchange and discourse will take place in the “Third Space”. The connecting themes are dialogue and food, which be experienced especially in the culinary format “Dialog am Schneidebrett” with various artists and guests. On the first festivalweekend, raumlaborberlin will answer questions at “Dialog am Schneidebrett”, Eva Meyer-Keller will present her performance “Death is Certain” and Tango Argentino will be danced. A further highlight is the “Cabin Crew Night” at the end of September where young artists from North Rhine-Westphalia will show their performances. Part of the video installation of Barbara Ehnes work Αλληλεγγύη Archive of Messages: Words in Motionwill also be presented in the “Third Space”. For her installation, the artist interviewed individuals and subcultural initiatives in crisis-proven Greece and the Ruhr area about their understanding of solidarity. These interviews can also be viewed during the festival as a constantly growing archive in the glass pavilion at the fashion house Baltz in Bochum’s city centre and in Rottstraße. In dialogue with the work, on 6 September the “Concert in Motion” is take place in the “Third Space”, where the Greek Rebetiko meets New Music by Eleftherios Veniadis. Admission to the “Third Space” and all events is free of charge.

The architectural sound installation “Bergama Stereo” by Turkish artist Cevdet Erek, which is also freely accessible, shows a replica of the famous Pergamon Altar in the Turbinenhalle at the Jahrhunderthalle Bochum. The monumental speaker frieze can be visited from 25 August. During the festival, the installation also features a varied concert programme including traditional music from the region of Bergama, DJ sets and electronic music. It kicks off with Cevdet Erek, Gökhan Deneç and Saba Arat, combining a live remix of the installation’s over 30 audio channelswith the sounds of the cylinder drum Davul in “Bergama Stereo Variations + Davul Step 2”.

The artist Tony Cokes also deals with sound and other media in his multimedia installation “Mixing Plant” which opens on 22 August in the mixing plant at Zeche Zollverein in Essen. In Urbane Künste Ruhr‘s contribution to the Ruhrtriennale, the U.S. artist deals with the political aspects of regional and international club music and weaves animated text, visual material found, monochrome coloured surfaces and pop music into a multi-channel installation. Admission to the installation and the supporting programme are free.

Up until 29 September, 164 events can be experienced in the former industrial halls of the Ruhr area. Among the highlights are the baroque opera “Dido and Aeneas, Remembered” (from 28.8.), which has been supplemented by a variation of the aria “Remember me” by the Finnish jazz guitarist Kalle Kalima and staged by David Marton, as well as Kornél Mundruczó’s interpretation of György Ligetis “Requiem”, which he realised together with the Bochum Symphony Orchestra and the Latvian State Choir in “Evolution” (from 5.9.).

Some days before the start of the Ruhrtriennale, Dr. Vera Battis-Reese, Managing Director of Kultur Ruhr GmbH, is pleased with the advance ticket sales: “We are delighted by the great interest in our productions and events. The productions most in demand include ‘Nach den letzten Tagen. Ein Spätabend’ by Christoph Marthaler, ‘Everything that Happened and Would Happen’ by Heiner Goebbels, ‘Evolution’ by Kornél Mundruczó, ‘Chapter 3’ by Sharon Eyal and ‘Coro’ with Chorwerk Ruhr and the Duisburg Philharmonic Orchestra under the musical direction of Florian Helgath. Although some are already sold out, tickets are still available for most productions.”

For the Ruhrtriennale 2019, more than 800 participating artists from around 35 countries will be coming to the Ruhr area to present 35 productions and projects – including 13 premieres and debut performances – at 14 different venues in Bochum, Duisburg, Essen and Gladbeck.

Kind regards

Verena Bierl
Press Officer


Music, dance, theatre, performance and fine arts in the former industrial buildings of the Ruhr Area: that’s the Ruhrtriennale. The venues of the Ruhrtriennale are the region’s outstanding industrial monuments, transformed each year into spectacular sites for impressive arts productions. At the centre of all this are contemporary artists seeking a dialogue with industrial spaces and between the disciplines. World premieres and new works are the essence of the programme which makes visiting the Ruhrtriennale an incomparable event. Every season, festival productions from the Ruhr region go on tour around the world.

The artists and themes featured in the programme are chosen by Artistic Directors appointed in three year cycles. The Ruhrtriennale’s Artistic Director for the years 2018, 2019 and 2020 is the dramaturg and experienced theatre and festival director Stefanie Carp. This year's Ruhrtriennale takes place from 21st August to 29th September.

Local district court: Bochum | HRB 16669, UST-ID Nr. DE 223 424 543 | Chair of the Supervisory Board: Isabel Pfeiffer-Poensgen | Artistic Director of Ruhrtriennale and Managing Director: Dr. Stefanie Carp | Managing Director: Dr. Vera Battis-Reese

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