Never have we had such a strong feeling that every aspect of our lives will change in such a short time. People in flight, driven from their homes and migrating, travel across our continents. They are excluded and their lives are hindered by everlasting bureaucratic processes. Economic wars of unimaginable cruelty destroy entire societies and cultures. At least by now everyone has understood that demands for involvement, for equality and freedom are no longer a matter of political taste but one of the survival of civilization. Migrating people are a visible trope of the 21st century, the avantgarde of a new era. They fled from economic hardship and from wars caused by the rich nations of the western world. All the parameters of economics, nation states and identity that were previously taken for granted need to be challenged anew. Art and cultural institutions and those running them cannot be exempt from this process.
This in-between time is our chance to help creatively shape changes to all social and cultural relations instead of perpetuating them out of fear and defensiveness. As the people of this in-between time we are curious and inventive. We are developing new forms of attention. We wish to live in open societies where everyone is equally involved. We are going to have to change a great deal, we are going to have to share if we are to retain the openness that will prevent autocratic governments, new nationalisms and racism and avoid us being overcome by economic and climate wars.
The Ruhrtriennale 2018 will try out new aesthetic forms and in-between forms, look for stories and themes and invent provisional formats for what it is like to be alive in this in-between time.
The festival centre Third Space created by the company raumlaborberlin is a crash landing or repair: an aeroplane that has either crashed or is being converted or – like our societies – both. The music theatre and concert programmes are dominated by contemporary music and hybrid genres. Charles Ives, who wrote for the future, is by some distance the oldest composer in the programme. His never completed Universe Symphony will be staged by the Ruhrtriennale’s Artiste associé, Christoph Marthaler, using the whole of the Jahrhunderthalle Bochum.
Displacement and migration are issues that concern artists of the Ruhrtriennale 2018: the choreographer Serge Aimé Coulibaly from Burkina Faso and the musician Rokia Traoré from Mali, the French-Moroccan visual artist Bouchra Khalili, Hans Werner Henze with Das Floß der Medusa, the Hezarfen Ensemble, the American musician and artist Elliott Sharp and the new play by Theatre-Rites The Welcoming Party in the programme of the Junge Triennale. Showing #nofear, over 40 young people from around the world embark on a city project spread over three years.
Sasha Waltz’s choreography Exodos, created for the Ruhrtriennale for the Jahrhunderthalle Bochum, shows people who have been trapped and are looking for a way out. The artist Olu Oguibe calls his sculpture Appeal to the Youth of All Nations. The Argentinian film and theatre director Mariano Pensotti tells the story of a private city in the Argentinian jungle and its inhabitants. In the latest work by the Nature Theater of Oklahoma from New York, theatre is no more than a relic in the form of a curtain guarded by unemployed actors. And the concert programme presents music whose roots extend beyond European art movements.
Many creations at the Ruhrtriennale 2018 dissolve the boundaries between classical genres and are just as much concerts as choreography, performance or installations. Nothing is certain. What do they have in common? In-between time!
We would like to invite you most warmly to this year’s programme in the remarkable venues of the Ruhrtriennale.
RUHRTRIENNALE 2018 2019 2020