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Ruhrtriennale 2020 concludes “In-Between Time” with an international programme

Press release   •   Mar 19, 2020 15:42 GMT

Dear Sir or Madam,

due to the current developments ot the coronavirus, we didn't present the programme of Ruhrtriennale 2020 with a press conference. We are following the situation very closely and we are in touch with the responsible authorities. Everyone’s health takes priority. On the basis of the current risk assessment we assume that the festival will take place from 14 August to 20 September 2020.

Enclosed you find the press kit with all informations concerning this year's proramme. Press pictures are available online. Please let us know if you have any interview requests concerning Artistic Director Stefanie Carp or our artists.

If you need any further information, please don't hesitate to contact us via phone or e-mail

Kind regards & stay save!

Verena Bierl & Jelena Jakobi



Ruhrtriennale 2020 concludes “In-Between Time” with an international programme
Third season under the artistic direction of Stefanie Carp

Bochum, 19 March 2020 – From 14 August to 20 September 2020, the Ruhrtriennale will be staging an international programme of music theatre, drama, dance, concerts and visual arts in the industrial halls of the Ruhr region. With this programme, Stefanie Carp concludes her artistic directorship, which she has thematically called “In-Between Time”, as an opportunity to rethink and shape society.

Alongside new discoveries, a number of artists are invited who already inspired the public with their works in the past two years: Christoph Marthaler, Artiste associé of the Ruhrtriennale 2018–2020, will premiere a large-format music theatre creation “Die Verschollenen (für großes Orchester)” in the Jahrhunderthalle. With “Waiting for the Sibyl. The Moment Has Gone”, William Kentridge will be showing two new works in impressive visual language. Both the German premiere of Kornél Mundruczó’s “Pieces of a Woman” and the world premiere of Mariano Pensotti’s “Los Años/Die Jahre” explore life stories and social conflicts. The choreographer Serge Aimé Coulibaly will present the world premiere of “Wakatt”, a work about fear, and Marlene Montero Freitas will deliver her new choreography “Mal – Embriaguez Divina”. The programme also includes the world premieres of Brigitta Muntendorf and Stephanie Thiersch’s “Archipel” and a new creation of Meg Stuart’s “Cascade”, which she is producing together with Philippe Quesne. Furthermore, productions by Lola Arias, Tina Satter und nora chipaumire are to be seen.

Chorwerk Ruhr will be showing the oratorio “Elijah” at five locations in the region to mark its 20th anniversary. Further musical acts are concerts of the Bochumer Symphoniker, the Malmö Operaorkester, the Helsinki Chamber Choir and the series MaschinenHausMusik.

Among the visual arts on offer are two works commissioned by the Ruhrtriennale: the photo installation “Miners” by Olu Oguibe in cooperation with the Deutsches Bergbau-Museum Bochum and a new video installation by Candice Breitz in cooperation with the Museum Folkwang. In addition, Julius von Bismarck’s performative installation “Polizei (OMOH)” is to be realised by Urbane Künste Ruhr.

This year’s festival speech entitled “Reflections on Planetary Living” is to be held by the political philosopher and historian Achille Mbembe. The director William Kentridge will hold his lecture performance “A Natural History of the Studio”. A symposium will also discuss the political framework conditions of art production and connection with contemporary debate culture.

The interactive parlour game “Unterscheidet euch!” by Turbo Pascal will be shown for a young audience. To round off its project “#nofear”, the Junge Triennale is organising a non-conference. A variety of free formats will be presented in the “Third Space”, which raumlaborberlin will be bringing to the forecourt of the Jahrhunderthalle in a new guise. The concept artist Akira Takayama is offering a Hip-Hop Academy in Bochum’s urban space and in the “Third Space”.

From 14 August to 20 September, more than 700 participating artists from around 40 countries will come to the Ruhr Area to present 33 productions and projects,including 12 premieres and first performances at 17 different venues in Bochum, Dortmund, Duisburg, Essen, Gladbeck and Wuppertal.

We are following the developments concerning the coronavirus very closely and we are in touch with the responsible authorities. Everyone’s health takes priority. On the basis of the current risk assessment we currently assume that the festival will take place from 14 August to 20 September 2020. In case events have to be cancelled, the audience will of course be refunded the price of tickets already purchased. In this case, information about the exact procedure will be provided via e-mail, on and on the Facebook channel.

Tickets for this year’s Ruhrtriennale go on sale on Thursday, 19 March 2020.
The early booking discount is available until Sunday, 3 May 2020.

Further information on the programme is available at




In his third year as Artiste associé, Christoph Marthaler is returning to the Jahrhunderthalle with “Die Verschollenen (für großes Orchester)” (from 14.8.). Among other things, fragments from Franz Kafka’s novel “Der Verschollene” – also known under the title “Amerika” – are quoted in the new music theatre creation which deals with missing people, lostness and the search for and finding of utopias. Together with the violinist Veronika Eberle and the electro-cellist and avant-garde musician Martin Schütz, the Bochumer Symphoniker under the musical direction of Peter Rundel will be setting itself in motion to the sounds of Alexander Skrjabin’s “Le Poème de l’Extase”, Iannis Xenaki’s “Shaar” and compositions by Béla Bartók and György Kurtág. This year, the ensemble again includes performers such as Tora Augestad, Bendix Dethleffsen, Ueli Jäggi and Elisa Plüss, who also took part in Christoph Marthaler’s creations in the last two years. As with the great success “Universe, Incomplete”, the stage designer Anna Viebrock will present the Jahrhunderthalle in a special way.

In “Archipel – Ein Spektakel der Vermischungen” (from 15.8.) in the Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord, the genre boundaries between architecture, dance and music are blurred. The sculpture by the architect Sou Fujimoto is both a stage set and an instrument. It is at the centre of the world premiere of Brigitta Muntendorf’s new composition which is set in motion by Stephanie Thiersch and her company MOUVOIR. The interplay of dancers, musicians and singers creates original sound and movement constellations that enter into an exchange with the audience.

After William Kentridge’s brilliant opening of the Ruhrtriennale 2018 with “The Head and the Load”, this year he will be concluding the festival with the new work “Waiting for the Sibyl. The Moment Has Gone” (from 13.9.) as German premieres in the Kraftzentrale. In his unique visual and musical language of animated drawings, film, performance and song, he first explores the myth of the Cumaean Sibyl and the question of why we need a destiny for collective and individual catastrophes in a chamber opera with compositions by Nhlanhla Mahlangu and Kyle Shepherd. This is followed by an animated film made of charcoal drawings, which takes up motifs from the chamber opera.

This is the first time that William Kentridge can be seen live in North Rhine-Westphalia in one of his legendary lecture performances. In “A Natural History of the Studio” (14.9.) he will present the underlying ideas of his work and method, which move between artistic practice and philosophical reflection.


Lola Arias’ “Futureland” (from 20.8.) is a documentary play with and about young refugees. With its futuristic video game aesthetics, it tells the story of eight young people between the ages of 14 and 18 who have flown to Germany alone from war, violence and poverty and now have to find their way around the German bureaucracy. The young people on the stage find themselves between the worlds in every possible way and have probably already experienced more than most of the audience in their entire lives. The coproduction with the Maxim Gorki Theatre is sponsored by the Kulturstiftung des Bundes.

The German premiere “Is this a room” (from 27.8.) also has a documentary character. The director Tina Satter addresses the true case of the US whistle-blower Reality Leigh Winner who was sentenced to five years in prison in the USA for passing a document to the press containing information about Russian interference in the 2016 US election campaign. The transcription of the interrogation of the Air Force employee by FBI officials is performed in detail in a furious production by four performers.

“Los Años/Die Jahre” (from 3.9.) by Mariano Pensotti follows a man at two different stages of his life. In his great success “Diamante” at the Ruhrtriennale 2018, the audience was right at the centre of the action. In this premiere, the audience observes the two actors in two adjacent rooms and witnesses episodes in synchronous scenes from the corrupted life of a documentary filmmaker as a young man and as an older man, the ideal self-design and what life has made of it. This play is flanked by the two films “El Público” and “The Audience” (30.8.) which Mariano Pensotti made about theatre audiences in Buenos Aires and Athens. Both focus on a fictional audience and are, at the same time, portraits of the living environments of Buenos Aires and Athens.

The director Kornél Mundruczó and the author Kata Wéber, who in 2019 translated György Ligeti’s requiem into oppressive images in “Evolution”, this year show the German premiere of their gripping drama “Pieces of a Woman” (from 16.9.). In the Jahrhunderthalle they draw the picture of a young woman and, based on her family life, provide an analysis of present-day Poland.

For the theatre artist and specialist for urban affairs Akira Takayama, rappers are the poets of the present age. In a 7-day Hip-Hop Academy (from 16.8.) he offers various workshops, lectures and battles for young street artists from the region on rap, dance, DJing and graffiti in the city of Bochum and the Third Space. All formats of the public academy are always accessible to the public. The precise programme will be published in summer.


In his new scenic, choreographic work “Wakatt” (from 5.9.) the choreographer Serge Aimé Coulibaly deals with the omnipresent fear of the Other, which is further fuelled by the global spread of nationalism. He is developing the world premiere together with his Faso Dance Théâtre and Workshop participants in Belgium, Burkina Faso, Mali and Tunisia. He wishes to call for resistance against the manipulative rulers of the world, and for this he uses his expressive visual language which already inspired enthusiasm at the Ruhrtriennale 2018 with “Kirina”.

With her triptych “#Punk 100% Pop *N!gga” (from 21.8.), nora chipaumire brings a performative live album in three tracks to the stage of the PACT Zollverein. Using body language that is both energetic and provocative, she pays homage to the three musicians Patti Smith, Grace Jones and Rit Nzele, explores each different musical style and the ideology underlying it. This production is presented by PACT Zollverein for the Ruhrtriennale.

In “Mal – Embriaguez Divina” (from 4.9.), Marlene Monteiro Freitas, whose “Bacchae – Prelude to a Purge” drove the audience to ecstasy last year, this time explores the ambivalence of evil between divine delusion and boundary expanding ecstasy with an ensemble of dancers and actors in the Maschinenhalle Zweckel in Gladbeck.

The choreographer Meg Stuart returns to the Ruhrtriennale with the world premiere “Cascade” (from 10.9.) – her first big stage work since 2015. At PACT Zollverein, she playfully explores in a stage design by the bizarrely fantastic theatre maker Philippe Quesne together with her company Damaged Goods and the sound artist Brendan Dougherty how to measure time.


With the oratorio “Elijah” (from 5.9.), Chorwerk Ruhr celebrates its 20th anniversary in the context of the Ruhrtriennale 2020 together with Concerto Cöln and the four soloists Carolina Ullrich, Ingeborg Danz, Patrick Grahl and Thomas E. Bauer. Under the direction of Florian Helgath, Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy’s late work on the Old Testament prophet can be heard at five locations in the region.

Two major world premieres by Klaus Lang and Vito Žuraj (30.8.) will be performed by the Helsinki Chamber Choir and the Uusinta Ensemble, which specialises in new music, under the direction of Nils Schweckendiek. Klaus Lang’s new composition it is a work commissioned by the Ruhrtriennale 2020. For “INNEN/SISÄLLÄ”, the composer Vito Žuraj has set a word-image poem by the playwright Händl Klaus to music which deals with the loss of sensory impressions.

Alongside its involvement in Christoph Marthaler’s music theatre creation “Die Verschollenen”, the Bochumer Symphoniker can be experienced two more times at the Ruhrtriennale. Under the direction of Steven Sloane, together with the Malmö Operaorkester, they devote themselves to Bernd Alois Zimmermann’s orchestral composition “Stille und Umkehr”, which is combined with Gustav Mahler’s “Symphony No. 6” (11./12.9.). The Malmö Operaorkester also combines Zimmermann’s “Symphony in One Movement” with “Symphony No. 7” (13.9.) by Allan Petterson, who is described as the “Swedish Gustav Mahler”.

On ten large concert grand pianos in ten different tunings, the three pianists Thomas Bächli, Simone Keller and Stefan Wirth are to give the first performance of Edu Haubensak’s complete cycle “Große Stimmung” (13.9.). Edu Haubensak composes differently intonated sound systems, so that each work opens up a new world of sound in the Salzlager of the Zollverein World Heritage Site.

In the MaschinenHausMusik series, four different concert programmes can be heard this year: in “Song Dreaming 3” (19.8.) the singer Saadet Türköz, the cellist Martin Schütz and the drummer Lionel Friedli combine archaic songs with instrumental improvisations to create a kind of “folklore imaginaire”. The Theatre of Eternal Music presents the world premiere of the version for eight strings of “Chronos Kristalla” (26.8.) by La Monte Young, a pioneer of minimal music. The Sonneurs Ewan Keravec (2.9.) have dedicated themselves to modern compositions for the bagpipe. “Erinnern” (9.9.) is a solo vocal movement performance by the singer and performer Elaine Mitchener, which was choreographed by Dam Van Huynh.


For young audiences from 10 years of age, the Ruhrtriennale offers the interactive parlour game “Unterscheidet euch!” (from 25.8.). The theatre collective Turbo Pascal, which organises performative game evenings with social themes, makes social differences and positions tangible and negotiable. The production was awarded the Berlin children’s and youth theatre prize IKARUS in 2019.

Lola Arias’ documentary play “Futureland” (from 20.8.) with and about young fugitives, and Akira Takayama’s Hip-Hop Academy (from 16.8.) in Bochum’s city area are also suitable for a young audience aged 12 and over. Furthermore, every Thursday of the festival in the Third Space, “Zwei Generationen, ein Buch” offers a series of readings of children’s and youth literature for young and old.

In the third year of Stefanie Carp’s directorship, under the slogan #nofear, the Junge Triennale continues to give young people the opportunity to experience and create art and culture themselves. It offers the opportunity to meet artists and cultural workers on site and to engage in a wide range of artistic activities. For the preparation of the non-conference “#no fear in here!” (18./19.9.), together with the Junge Triennale and the young artists’ collective Mit Ohne Alles, children, young people and teachers explore the question of what art and cultural offerings of the future should be like. The non-conference at the PACT Zollverein is aimed at experts for cultural education and from cultural institutions, politicians, teachers, children, young people and the interested public.


For one last time, raumlaborberlin will put together the various components of their construction kit – which consists, among other things, of a Transall plane and omnibus elements – to create the “Third Space” on the forecourt of the Jahrhunderthalle in Bochum (from 14.8.). Besides forming a meeting point, bar and stage, the “Third Space” 2020 will become a living library and invite people to exchange ideas. In addition to a varied programme of performances, workshops, lectures, films and parties there are two regular formats for engaging in conversation: on Thursdays there is a series of readings entitled “Zwei Generationen, ein Buch” with children’s and youth literature in cooperation with the public library of Bochum; on Sundays the artistic director Stefanie Carp meets with artists of the festival for a discussion in the “Third Space”. The full programme of the “Third Space” will be published in April.

After creating the sculpture “Appeal to the Youth of all Nations” in the Westpark for the Ruhrtriennale 2018, this time the artist, curator and poet Olu Oguibe devotes himself to people from the mining industry. The photo installation “Miners” (from 15.8.) is a work commissioned for the Ruhrtriennale and can be seen in the cooperating Deutsches Bergbau-Museum Bochum.

In the Museum Folkwang, Candice Breitz presents an experimental documentary film project commissioned by the Ruhrtriennale in cooperation with the Museum Folkwang. Following “Love Story” and “TLDR”, “2020” (from 25.8.) is the third part of a trilogy of video installations based on interviews with her discussion partners. In it she looks back - from the perspective of the 22nd century – on a species that was surprisingly threatened with extinction: angry white men.

In the context of the symposium “Kunstproduktion zwischen politischer Einflussnahme, digitaler Hysterie und Selbstzensur”, on the grounds of the Jahrhunderthalle the artist Julius von Bismarck shows the performative installation “Polizei (OMOH)” (10.-20.9.), which plays with everyday situations and puts our perception to the test. This installation is a project of Urbane Künste Ruhr for the Ruhrtriennale.


This year’s festival speech “Reflections on Planetary Living” (14.8.) is to be given by the political philosopher and historian Achille Mbembe, who held the Albertus Magnus Professorship at the University of Cologne in 2019. In his lecture he describes the concept of “reparation” and the modalities of what he calls “planetary living”.

The public symposium “Kunstproduktion zwischen politischer Einflussnahme, digitaler Hysterie und Selbstzensur” (10.-12.9.) is organised by the Ruhrtriennale together with Urbane Künste Ruhr in cooperation with the Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus, the Hartware MedienKunstVerein Dortmund and the Ruhr-Universität Bochum. The legal and political framework conditions of art production as well as the contemporary culture of debate will be discussed in various items of the programme. The full programme will be published in June.

In 2020, the Ruhrtriennale will once again be a meeting place for students from around the world in August and September. For the International Festivalcampus, over 200 students from over 15 art and theatre schools will come to the Ruhr area to exchange ideas on theory and practice.


The photo series in the programme of the Ruhrtriennale was created by the photographer Fatih Kurceren who grew up in Istanbul and lives in Oberhausen. In his series “Pithead” (since 2005), which he has supplemented with current photos, he shows different living environments in the Ruhr area. Fatih Kurceren’s works will be seen in the context of the exhibition “SUBJEKT und OBJEKT. FOTO RHEIN RUHR” in the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf.

Further information on the Ruhrtriennale 2020 can be found in the programme and at



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 14th August to 20th 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