Society is in turmoil. What will become of the «European project», the peaceful convergence of Europe? In view of current worldwide migration movements, for example, how are European societies going to change? And how can artists describe these developments, or even influence them? Or is that not the responsibility of art?
The writer, film-maker and painter Peter Weiss, who would have been one hundred years old this autumn, was one of the most important proponents of a socially and politically involved art. His novel «The Aesthetics of Resistance» forms the basis of the production «Our Violence and Your Violence» by Croatian director Oliver Frljic. We will introduce Weiss' book in detail through a series of readings together with the Deutsches Nationaltheater. We will also devote a film screening and a discussion to the author. The artist Krzysztof Wodiczko has allowed himself to be inspired by Weiss for an interactive video projection in the public domain. Spiritually akin to Weiss is «By Heart», a remarkable ode to the power of literature by Tiago Rodrigues.
Whether art can provide models to enable people of different origins to encounter one another with respect and learn from one another is the question raised by the international theatre project «KULA – to Europe» which we developed in cooperation with the DNT. In «Evros Walk Water» stories told by refugee youths blend with a re-enactment of a concert by John Cage. In his celebrated piece «We Love Arabs» the Israeli choreographer Hillel Kogan shows that (even positive) prejudices do not necessarily simplify coexistence.
The artist collective from Shanghai, Xiao Ke & Zi Han, examines how history and politics are inscribed in the body. In «Siena» the successful Barcelona dance ensemble La Veronal brings a museum to life. We will be introducing the Flemish choreographer Lisbeth Gruwez with two German premieres: her solo to music by Bob Dylan, and a duet about a fundamental human emotion – fear.
The Danish ensemble Teatret Gruppe 38 demonstrates that being afraid can also be fun, in its play for the whole family «I'm Not Afraid of Anything», which is suitable for children from the age of eight. This is one of our numerous offers for young audiences. In a project by the Kunstfest and the free youth theatre stellwerk weimar, young adults draft a society of the future. Our acrobatic dance piece «Gravitas» by Ofir Yudilevitch takes us into schools – and into town, as do new works by students from the Bauhaus University's Master's programme «Public Art and New Artistic Strategies», the Fotothek and the Schlagquartett Köln.
As always, the Kunstfest invites you to venture into new artistic territory: «GOETHE :: DISAPPEARANCES» at the Schießhaus Weimar enables a particularly intense theatre experience on the trail of the great poet. Our opening concert «UN / REST» with the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie ranges from Richard Wagner via Alban Berg to contemporary music. With Sylvain Cambreling, Carolin Widmann, Ana Durlovski and dancers from Sasha Waltz & Guests, we have attracted some of the best in their field to Weimar to find out how music and dance can be combined in a concert format.
Why art? Art can – among other things – inspire us to re-examine and formulate our attitudes. It can encourage us to recognize, endure and handle conflicts. In this sense, the programme of the Kunstfest Weimar has much to offer. We wish you a lot of interesting discoveries, encounters and discussions, and look forward to a wonderful Kunstfest 2016 together!
Christian Holtzhauer and the Kunstfest Weimar Team