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From Lisbon

Conference of the Absent in Lisbon © Goethe-Institut | video frame

Lisbon | February 24, 2022
Conference of the Absent

This short video collects the reactions of the Portuguese audience to the Lisbon premiere on February 24 at the Teatro do Bairro Alto. Representation is the dominant theme during the two and a half hours, in which the audience enters the scene to pretend to be “someone else” and thus – as Francisco Frazão, artistic director of the TBA, says – to show “the real game of theatre”.

Academy of the Absent - Lisbon © Goethe-Institut Italien | video frame

Rimini Protokoll workshop in Lisbon
Academy of the Absent

The Academy of the Absent took place at the end of February 2022 in Teatro do Bairro Alto in Lisbon under the direction of Helgard Haug (Rimini Protokoll). On this occasion, people from the performing arts gathered for a workshop in which Helgard Haug explained and deepened the genesis and structure of the Conference of the Absent. The workshop was organised in the framework of the project ReMapping Memories Lisboa-Hamburg on the topics of absence, visibility, representation and resistance in the postcolonial city.

Raquel Pedro

Raquel Pedro © private Raquel Pedro is 21 years old and is currently doing an Erasmus internship at the University of Padua. In July 2021, she graduated in Comparative Literature and Art Studies at the University of Lisbon. She has written several academic articles on postcolonial literature and in the field of comparative art history. Prior to her studies, she attended the António Arroio School of Art, where she specialised in performing arts. Raquel Pedro has also done communication and illustration work for organisations such as the Linha de Fuga cultural association and the Portuguese Platform for Women’s Rights.

From Luxembourg

Conference of the absent in Luxembourg © Institut Pierre Werner | Video frame

An overview from Luxembourg
What happens at the Conference of the Absent

Fascinating excerpts from the conferences in Luxembourg – once in German, once in French, combined with notes by Daniel Wetzel (Rimini Protokoll) and Frank Hoffmann (Théâtre National du Luxembourg) as well as voices from the audience provide unusual insights into the Conference of the Absent, a play for YOU!

Daniel Wetzel, Rimini Protokoll © Goethe-Institut Italien | video frame

Luxembourg | 11/30/2021
Know who you are by speaking

Have you ever had a round of applause? At the Conference of the Absent, the conferees are absent and the audience has to step in. Daniel Wetzel of Rimini Protokoll and Frank Hoffmann of Théâtre National du Luxembourg explain the special nature of the conference - and what's special about Luxembourg.

Hubrecht L. Brand | Paulius Sokolovas

Hubrecht L. Brand - Paulius Sokolovas © private photos Hubrecht L. Brand, originally from the Netherlands, grew up in Luxembourg. He studied camera and lighting technology in Berlin. He is very interested in cinema and film and earns his daily bread by running short film workshops, over one to two days, with young people and children or as a lighting technician on film sets. He has also produced small short films of his own writing. Paulius Sokolovas was born in Lithuania. He studied there and became more and more interested in cameras and image design. When he came to Luxembourg, he started as a volunteer at the Service National de jeunesse, where he also taught short film workshops with young people and children. Hubrecht L. Brand and Paulius Sokolovas have already worked together on numerous reportage projects as well as on self-directed short film projects (e.g. 2014, Youtube: Hubrecht L. Brand: How smart U'd like 2 to be) and will tackle many new projects together.

From Brussels

Caroline Godart

Caroline Godart © private Caroline Godart is a writer based in Brussels. She holds a PhD in Comparative Literature (Rutgers University, USA, 2014). Her publications include The Dimensions of Difference: Space, Time and Bodies in Women's Cinema and Continental Philosophy (Rowman and Littlefield, London 2015). She is co-editor of the journal Alternatives Théâtrales and was dramaturg at Théâtre La Bellone in Brussels. She teaches literature and philosophy at the Ecole de Recherches Graphiques (ERG).

From Venice

The Rimini Protokoll Challenge © Goethe-Institut Italien | Videoframe

A conceptual experiment at the Biennial
The Rimini Protokoll Challenge

Rimini Protokoll's performance with the Goethe-Institut is based on the participation of the audience, who switch sides of the stage and play a role during the conference. For many it is their first experience with acting, others are used to being on stage but say they have never experienced anything like it. Discover the Conference of the Absent at the Biennale in the video we made to give voice to the chorus of participants.

The German Pavillon in Telepresence © Goethe-Institut Italien | Videoframe

Performing Architecture | Venice, 11/20/2021
The German Pavilion in Telepresence

Even if the protagonists of the play Conference of the Absent by Rimini Protokoll in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut are the absent and the audience that interprets them, behind the scenes there are many other figures fundamental to the realization. We have interviewed some of them for you to better understand the organizational and theoretical complexity of this performance at the Venice Architecture Biennale.

Yasmin Pulero | Flavia Parea

Yasmin Pulero | Flavia Parea Photos: © private Yasmin and Flavia from Scomodo, the monthly magazine with the largest editorial staff for under-25s in Italy, met halfway between a visual and a verbal approach to try to tackle the complexity of this challenge together. Yasmin Pulero (1995) is a video maker with a passion for 3D modeling and audiovisual media, she studies New Media and Digital Arts at IULM in Milan and pursues artistic projects in theater, music and documentary film. Flavia Parea (1998) has a transdisciplinary background that includes literature, contemporary art and philosophy. She is interested in curating and writing and is currently a Master of Visual Arts student at IUAV University of Venice.

From Rome

Konferenz der Abwesenden: Zusammenarbeit und Kollektivität © Goethe-Institut Italien | Videoframe from Video by Giulia Carlei and Gaia Del Bosco

Premiere in Rome | 11/02/2021
Conference of the absent: cooperation and collectivity

Conference of the Absent is a theatrical performance resulting from the collaboration of different realities: the Rimini Protokoll, the Goethe-Institut, Palaexpo and the REF. Interested by this winning combination, we decided to interview influential personalities from each of these environments to better understand how and from what this encounter was born.

Impressioni romane © Goethe-Institut Italien | fermo immagine dal video di Giulia Carlei e Gaia Del Bosco

Premiere in Rome | 11/02/2021
Roman impressions between estrangement and wonder

On November 2 2021 the national prèmiere of Rimini Protokoll's Conference of the Absent was held at the Mattatoio in Rome. The show is based on the active participation of the audience, without which the performance could not go on. At the end of the evening, we asked those who, completely by surprise, found themselves on stage for their impressions.

Giulia Carlei | Gaia Del Bosco

Giulia Carlei and Gaia Del Bosco © private Giulia Carlei and Gaia Del Bosco are two editors of Scomodo, the monthly magazine with the largest under-25 editorial staff in Italy. With its model of inclusive and participatory journalism, Scomodo is a space of expression and aggregation for the new generations, and it is with this in mind that Gaia and Giulia, both passionate about theater, have decided to team up by putting their different skills at the service of this report. Gaia studies Cooperation and Development at the Faculty of Political Science of RomaTre; Giulia studies Psychology at La Sapienza University and is a contributor for the magazine Fabrique du Cinéma.

From Madrid

José Antonio Alba

José Antonio Alba José Antonio Alba My name is José Antonio Alba, and my passion is the art of stage performance. My engagement with the performing arts originated in my love of acting and my dream of becoming an actor. I trained as an actor with artists such as Clara Cossials, Antonio Malonda, Yolanda Monreal, José Maya and Amaya Curieses and acted in classical theatre productions, musicals and stand-up comedy, after which I turned to cultural journalism.

I founded the cultural news blog En Un Entreacto and subsequently the radio show En Un Entreacto Radio, broadcasted on GetafeVoz and Getafe Radio for four years. Later I took charge of the magazine section Teatro Madrid website, where I was also Community Manager. More than 10 years in this cultural media career culminated in my current position as editor at the theatre magazine Revista Godot, where my primary focus is on digital and social network content.

From Dresden

Staatschauspiel Dresden Videoframe © Goethe-Institut Italien

June 1 2021, Dresden Staatschauspiel
Double Interview: Daniel Wetzel, Lüder Wilcke

The tour premiere was held on June 1 2021 at the Dresden Staatschauspiel. Rimini Protokoll conceived the performance starting from the question: what if all speakers invited to a conference cancelled, suddenly unable to travel for COVID-19 or climate-related reasons? What if the audience were asked to take their place? After a year and a half of telepresence, new modes of representation were presented at the Dresden Staatschauspiel, with no actors on stage. So how did it go? Find out in our blogger Christian Rätsch’s interview with Daniel Wetzel of Rimini Protokoll and Staatschauspiel playwright Lüder Wilcke.

Christian Rätsch

Christian Rätsch © private photo Christian Rätsch graduated from the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts in 2012. Since then he has studied in Istanbul on a research grant and has completed a range of artistic projects in Germany and elsewhere.  In 2013 he started the VASiSTAS blog, publishing and overseeing project space exhibitions from 2014 to 2017.  Since 2016 he has also worked as an events moderator, a marketing manager, a freelance editor, and a workshop organizer.  He has also acted as a mentor in the education and culture sector.  Since 2018 he has been president of the Dresden Art Federation.