Heiner Goebbels: Stifter’s Dinge

Heiner Goebbels: Stifter’s Dinge


Heiner Goebbels, Stifter’s Dinge. Co-commissioned by Artangel, co-produced by Ruhrtriennale – International Festival of the Arts. Executive Producer: Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne. Image by Mario del Curto.

October 9, 2012

Heiner Goebbels
Stifter’s Dinge

4–18 November 2012  

Ambika P3
University of Westminster
35 Marylebone Road, London NW1 5LS


This November, Artangel is reprising Stifter’s Dinge in London for the last time. The astonishing production by German composer and director Heiner Goebbels, first shown to sold out audiences in 2008, will return to its original home at Ambika P3, a former concrete-testing facility, at the University of Westminster underneath the Marylebone Road for two weeks only. It will be presented both in its original form and in a new durational version, Stifter’s Dinge: The Unguided Tour, created especially for the space, where audiences will be free to fully explore the environment, experiencing the work up close and from multiple viewpoints as a continuously evolving installation. 

Stifter’s Dinge is a composition for five pianos with no pianists; a performance without performers. Inspired by the books of 19th-century Austrian author, poet and painter Adalbert Stifter, known for his evocative and meticulous descriptions of the natural world, Goebbels transforms a vast underground concrete box into a wild, brooding, living, breathing landscape complete with its own weather system.

The five pianos hang stripped and bared above pools of water. The atmosphere is damp and menacing as the ghostly voices of William S. Burroughs, Malcolm X and Claude Lévi-Strauss mix with weather and nature, mechanical objects, projections and music in a rich all-consuming experience that left audiences stunned four years ago. The original production will run for eight performances only, following Stifter’s Dinge: The Unguided Tour, which will be presented over seven days in a series of reprogrammed movements and random sequences stretched out over several hours. Areas of Ambika P3 will be made accessible for The Unguided Tour that won’t be viewable during the performance version, shifting the perspective of the work so that each visitor will have a unique experience.

Ambika P3 is a 14,000 square foot former construction hall built in the 1960s. It was originally where concrete was tested for the Westway flyover, and is now the University of Westminster’s project space for contemporary art and architecture.

Stifter’s Dingewas originally commissioned by Artangel and Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne in 2008, with support from the Goethe-Institut and in partnership with P3, University of Westminster. In 2012, Stifter’s Dinge: The Unguided Tour is co-commissioned by Artangel, co-produced by Ruhrtriennale – International Festival of the Arts, executive produced by Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne and presented in partnership with Ambika P3, University of Westminster.




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