Time: February 12, 2016 at 2pm to February 13, 2016 at 6pm
Location: Goethe University, Institut of Theater, Film and Media Studies
Street: Theodor-W.-Adorno-Platz 1, 60323 Frankfurt
City/Town: Frankfurt am Main
Website or Map: https://www.uni-frankfurt.de/…
Event Type: performance, philosophy, event
Organized By: Institut of Theater, Film and Media Studies (Esa Kirkkopelto, Nikolaus Müller-Schöll, Matthias Dreyer)
Latest Activity: Jun 27, 2016
Symposium on occasion of the 20th anniversary of Heiner Müller’s death
Frankfurt am Main, Goethe-University, Institut of Theater, Film and Media Studies
February 12-13, 2016
The symposium departs from plays, essays, letters, manuscripts and stagings of Heiner Müller addressing the a- or inhuman limit of the human by introducing figures of animals, angels or fabulous creatures or by ways of writing and appearing which one might call non-human: Choruses, landscapes of letters, ghosts, images. Inspired by Müller´s work, we take as task to analyse and eventually criticize the way the a-human enter the contemporary performance.
The domain and the moment of performance is encircled. It is surrounded and sustained by discourses, institutions, material and technical infrastructures, socio-economical networks. It is also surrounded by human bodies, those of spectators, performers, scenic artists, technicians, producers and employees, whose contributions are more or less visible. Finally, it is surrounded and sustained by a multitude of much more ambiguous and uncanny entities, of whom we cannot be sure whether they are living or dead, mythical or empirical, material or immaterial, objects or subjects, real or phantasy. We are dealing with non- or rather a-human factors, weak agents or forces, which can never enter the performance as such. They always have to penetrate the discursive and institutional circles surrounding performance and undergo the alteration, the distortion these circles impose on them. More these factors are altered more ambiguous and ubiquitous becomes their “presence” or their “role” in the contexts of performance.
The symposium is interested in these alterations or distortions, their modes, their contexts, as well as their artistic and political implications. Where are these lesser beings – things, creatures and their choruses – coming from? What do they want from us? How do they participate in the re-articulation of our collective existence in the 21st century performance? How does the theatre of the a-human relate to the current political and social problems, like the mass-scale immigration and the parallel expansion of the fundamentalist and neo-conservative mindset, which today have put the conditions of our being-together into question in an unprecedented way? In which way relates the political figure and fiction of the refugee to the limits which separate the human being from the a-human?
If the a-human can be considered to be a challenge for conceptions of consciousness, subjectivity and in general of what we call “human”, the question is how we are to conceive it without immediately reappropriating its alterity. Should it be regarded in terms of “ecology”, as some recent theoretical approaches suggest? In what way would concepts like action, matter, embodiment, power and the scene have to be changed if they are no longer conceived out of a humanist perspective? To what extent can relational approaches to theatre and theory be an answer to the questions raised here?
Organised by the chair of Theatre Studies and the Friedrich Hölderlin Guest Professorship of General and Comparative Dramaturgy at the Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main in cooperation with the Performance and Philosophy association Concept: Esa Kirkkopelto, Nikolaus Müller-Schöll, Matthias Dreyer.
Funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) with means of the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) as well as by the International Office of the Goethe-Universität Frankfurt.
See the program at:
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