Season 2020 / 2021

Theatre as Antibody

The Mutation of HAU1

The virus has brought us to a historic turning point, permeating every pore of life and reinforcing existing contradictions and tendencies. Bodies no longer get regulated solely by disciplinary institutions – like schools, hospitals and factories – but increasingly through pharmacological microprostheses such as drugs and vaccinations and digital surveillance technologies as well. The new human is becoming an isolated, tele-consumer and -worker, while the crises of race, class and gender continue to escalate. Under the burning lens of the pandemic, the colonial, patriarchal and capitalist DNA of societies in the Global North is proving itself more than ever as unsustainable.

These pervasive ruptures bring forth new subjectivities as habits, perceptions and affects mutate. Although this creates fear, it also offers new potential. “It is precisely because our bodies are the new enclaves of biopower […] that it is more urgent than ever to set in motion new forms of antagonism”, as philosopher Paul B. Preciado puts it in his text “Vom Virus lernen”. He calls for healing through a mutation that is chosen rather than forced, combined with a new sense of community of all life forms on this planet. HAU Hebbel am Ufer is infected by these thoughts in order to open itself up to a series of mutations.

For the mutation of HAU1, HAU has sought accomplices: Prof. Janina Audick’s UdK class of stage design – Anneke Frank, Paula Meuthen, Helena Schaber, Olivia Schrøder, Yaming Wang, Artistic project direction: Daniela Zorrozua and Janina Audick – redesigns it into a hybrid space that oscillates the boundaries between stage and audience, between culture and nature. The theater becomes an antibody.

Guest curators Nathalie Anguezomo Mba Bikoro, Saskia Köbschall and Tmnit Zere conceive the opening programme “Radical Mutation” in this new space.

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A cooperation between HAU Hebbel am Ufer and Janina Audick’s UdK class of stage design. Supported within the framework of the Alliance of International Production Houses by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media.