August 14, 2018 - Wiesbaden Biennale - BAD NEWS
August 14, 2018

Wiesbaden Biennale

BAD NEWS: Wiesbaden Biennale.

Wiesbaden Biennale
August 23–September 2, 2018

Wiesbaden Biennale
Faulbrunnenstraße 13
65183 Wiesbaden

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BAD NEWS—that’s how the Wiesbaden Biennale has announced its playful attack through a constant blurring of the lines between performance and visual art in this year’s festival. Whether it’s a warning or expresses the desire for a slightly hybrid fantasy of doom: curators Maria Magdalena Ludewig and Martin Hammer roll out the currently much-discussed question about the relevance of art, theatre and performance and their fusion in a totally new way. Radical approaches in the performative and the unabashed use of the theatrical, all the way to pseudo-/fake popularism—everything is allowed!  

Who needs historical theatres anymore anyway? A bargain sale, gentrification or the overthrowing of the elitist concept of art and culture? The Wiesbaden Biennale is playing with headlines from the current debate about the crisis and transformation of large art institutions.

As a speculative vision of the future, in the process, the historical Hessische Staatstheater will be repurposed as a car park, shopping arcade and drive-in cinema, including a new REWE supermarket that will open in the neo-Baroque imperial foyer. The empty City Passage, on the other hand, controversial orphaned wasteland in Wiesbaden’s city centre, will be reopened as new location for the arts. While cars park on the main stage of the Staatstheater every day, international artists like Roger Ballen, Rabih Mroué & Dina Khouri, Thomas Bo Nilsson & Julian Eicke, Florentina Holzinger, BHU BHU, Markus Öhrn, Tetsuya Umeda and Yosuke Amemiya will create new works for a series of performative installations in the City Passage.

By moving from the historical Kurpromenade to the hinterland of the state capital, the WIESBADEN BIENNALE is testing out model practices in consumer-orientated profanation and generating artistic value in the urban landscape and seeks confrontation with the aesthetics of graphic vulgarity and populist agitation. In the basement of the Repurposed Theatre, the Performative Porn Cinema will show works by a young generation of artists who turn the exposure of their bodies, their most intimate desires, needs and fears into an aesthetic working practice. Four alternating solo pieces somewhere between performance and video art by Katy Baird, Rosana Cade, Kim Noble, Samira Elagoz and Eva Neklyaeva can be seen there.

Meanwhile, on Schwalbacher Straße, in Wiesbaden’s last porn cinema, Erik van Lieshout’s video piece Sex is Sentimental, a self-portrait of a man shamelessly in love, can be seen surrounded by hardcore porn. The Wartburg, until now the Staatstheater’s external venue—now the Migrantenstadl—will reinvent itself for 11 days as a post-migrant “entertainment and multi-purpose hall” with a daily changing programme by and for radically entertaining parallel communities of kanak-stars, text terrorists, rap ladies, boxing matches and a tea salon. Furthermore, artistic interventions by artists like Santiago Sierra, Dries Verhoeven, Vincent Glowinski and Erik van Lieshout on the topographic fault line of urban development will drive the city’s speculative insecurity forward and produce a tangible criticism of the status quo.   

Finally, four works by Milo Rau & IIPM, Monster Truck, Vincent Glowinski and Gob Squad will build a bridge between image production and performance. For the opening on August 23, 2018, choreographer Marlene Monteiro Freitas will inaugurate the new pulsing heart of the Biennale—the City Passage—with “Bacantes für die City Passage,” a cultic state of frenzy somewhere between a zombie dance, Dadaist performance and a wild celebration of life. With the festival centre and club in Schwalbacher Straße and the sun deck on the car park of the City Passage, the Wiesbaden Biennale invites its visitors to relish the chance to hang out, dance the night away, concerts under the open sky and heated debates.   

Performative Porn Cinema
August 23–September 2 
Christian-Zais-Straße 3, 65189 Wiesbaden, Germany
Repurposed Theatre - REWE, Drive-in Cinema, Car Park
August 23–September 2 
Christian-Zais-Straße 3, 65189 Wiesbaden, Germany 

New City Passage
August 23–September 2 
Kirchgasse 48, 65183 Wiesbaden, Germany 

Migrantenstadl - Tunay Önder
August 23–September 2 
Schwalbacherstraße 51, 65183 Wiesbaden, Germany 

Santiago Sierra - 333m
August 23–September 2 
Reisinger-Anlagen, 65185 Wiesbaden, Germany 

Erik van Lieshout - Sex is Sentimental, Beer Promoter 2018
August 23–September 2 
Schwalbacher Str. 57, 65183 Wiesbaden, Germany 

August 23–September 2 

Dries Verhoeven - Guilty Landscapes
August 23–September 2 
Bismarckring 23, 65183 Wiesbaden, Germany  

Wiesbaden Biennale
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