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Eine Kirche der Angst vor dem Fremden in mir

Christoph Schlingensief / RuhrTriennale 2008
[A Church of Fear vs. the Alien Within]
Fluxus Oratorio by Christoph Schlingensief

Concept and direction Christoph Schlingensief
Stage design Thomas Goerge, Thekla von Mülheim
Costume design Aino Laberenz
Lighting design Voxi Bärenklau
Film montage and video Heta Multanen
Sound design David Gierth
Dramaturgy Carl Hegemann

With
Margit Carstensen, Angela Winkler, Mira Partecke, Komi Mizrajim Togbonou, Stefan Kolosko, Karin Witt, Horst Gelonnek, Kerstin Grassmann, Norbert Müller, Achim von Paczensky, Klaus Beyer

Singers Friederike Harmsen, Ulrike Eidinger
Komposition, drums Michael Wertmüller
Répétiteur, organ player Dominik Blum

Gospel choir Angels Voices
Children’s choir of the Regenbogen School Neukölln
and extras

World premiere 21 September 2008
Gebläsehalle, Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord
Length app. 1h 40, no interval

Audience discussion
Sun 3 May 20:15
Moderation Barbara Burckhardt

The performance is made possible by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, the Minister-President of North Rhine-Westphalia, the Arts Foundation NRW and the Aventis Foundation.

Der Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien    Der Ministerpräsident des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen  
   Kunststiftung NRW     Aventis Foundation

Having put himself centre stage as a man of passion and holy fool from the beginning of his career, the artist Christoph Schlingensief continues by making even his life-threatening cancer the stimulus and subject of a spectacular and moving theatrical action. The venue is decked out like a church. In an atmosphere of candles and incense, gospel singers, children in surplices and the actresses Angela Winkler and Margit Carstensen announce Schlingensief’s illness and provisional recovery. Shaky home movies from the Schlingensief family archive are projected onto a series of screens, along with footage of the patient in hospital, lying in bed and sobbing “Please don’t touch me!” “Eine Kirche der Angst vor dem Fremden in mir” [A Church of Fear vs. the Alien Within] is on one hand a furious dramatization of a medical case file and a requiem composed by its subject during his own lifetime. On the other it is a homage to Schlingensief’s father figure Joseph Beuys and the artists of Fluxus, who regarded life (and death) itself as a work of art. An evening bold enough to risk being kitsch, extremely moving and with a directness seldom encountered in the theatre: a demonstration of poetry, grief and warmth which will surprise those who previously wished to misunderstand Schlingensief as a provocative and cynical clown.