The Art of Assembly
With Jodi Dean, Didier Eribon, Oliver Marchart, Chantal Mouffe, Julia Ramírez-Blanco, Milo Rau, Oliver Ressler, Jonas Staal, Dana Yahalomi / Public Movement et al.
Hosted by Florian Malzacher
Whether in Tunis, Cairo, Madrid, or Lisbon, in Athens, New York, London, or Istanbul, in post-Fukushima Tokyo, in the midst of Niemeyer’s iconic parliamentary architecture in Brasilia, under the umbrellas of Hong Kong, or on the streets of Minneapolis: social and political movements of recent years have often been characterised by their search for alternative forms of gathering, of arguing and making decisions, of negotiating community and society. The potential of these assemblies lies in more than just the demands they put forward; many of them change reality merely by practicing radical models of democracy.
The arts have also shown a renewed interest in concepts of gathering and creating public spheres in which society is not only mirrored but constantly tried out, performed, tested, reimagined, or even reinvented: Court hearings on artistic freedom, religion, and censorship; tribunals on exploitation and violence; summits on climate change or cultural policy; parliaments allowing those who are usually silenced to speak… Theatre in particular has become a stage for assemblies on the fine line between art and reality, a democratic arena of radical imagination.
But what is the future this concept of gathering has ahead of it after months in a state of emergency that has thrown pretty much all areas of social life out of step? Gesellschaftsspiele: The Art of Assembly brings together protagonists from various fields of art, politics and theory to speculate on the potential of assembly in a time of experiencing that nothing is certain – a time in which every form of physical togetherness has become precarious.
“The Art of Assembly” is based on:
Florian Malzacher. Gesellschaftsspiele. Politisches Theater heute. Berlin: Alexander Verlag, 2020.