№ 006/2014 from Jan 09, 2014
A conference to be held January 31 and February 1, 2014, at the Institute of Theater Studies at Freie Universität Berlin will address the political dimensions of theatre and the arts. Experts from different European countries including Chantal Mouffe, Guglielmo Schininà, and Wolfgang Schneider will discuss the potential of the performing arts for intervention, whereby artists or facilitators intervene in a situation to scrutinize problems and act as catalyzers to change conditions. Moreover, the well-known German documentary filmmaker Carmen Losmann will present her hit film Work Hard – Play Hard to the conference participants. It is the first international conference to be organized by the "The Aesthetics of Applied Theatre" group, a project that is based at Freie Universität and funded by the European Research Council (ERC). Entitled "Politics of the Applied: Theatre and Art as Intervention," the conference will be held in German and English, with English translations of all the presentations given in German. The event is open to the public, and admission is free. Advance registration is not required.
Performances and other artworks in public space are classic sites for strategies of intervention. They leave behind the established spaces of art and, in turn, reach out to audiences in unfamiliar environments and in close proximity to everyday practices and conflicts. Theater practitioners and artists can, for example, go to specifically defined social contexts such as socially troubled areas, therapy groups, businesses, prisons, or hospitals to initiate and accompany transformation processes. The first international conference of the European Research Council’s project "The Aesthetics of Applied Theatre" will explore interdisciplinary possibilities for theorizing these different strategies and acts of intervention.