“Dramaturgy for a Conference” by the Argentinean artist Matías Umpierrez is an artistic concept which encourages transcultural discourse. His core idea is to create a dramaturgical outline, a so-called “manual”, to which four artists can respond with performative presentations of their own and reflect on a predefined theme against the backdrop of their individual cultural contexts. Three Düsseldorf-based cultural institutions – the asphalt festival, the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen and the Theater der Welt festival – have decided to implement Umpierrez’s concept in Europe for the first time. In cooperation with the artist himself, they are developing a performance series which generates awareness of colonial thinking and action, allows visitors to sensually experience their impact, and highlights various aspects of decolonisation.
Düsseldorf was an important centre of German colonial enterprise at one time. The history of the former state parliamentary building, the Ständehaus, now the exhibition venue K21, is closely tied to the German Colonial Society. The Inuk performer Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory, the Xhosa artist Mamela Nyamza from South Africa, the Indian performer Mallika Taneja and the Icelandic choreographer and dancer Erna Ómarsdóttir will reflect on colonial power structures and symbols of governance and each develop full-length solo performances which will debut at the Ständehaus. A podium discussion on the final evening will engage in dialogue with the city’s residents.
Artistic director: Matias Umpierrez
Performers: Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory, Mamela Nyamza, Erno Ómarsdóttir, Mallika Taneja
Curatorial assistants: Christof Seeger-Zurmühlen, Maria Müller-Schareck, Stefan Schmidtke
30 June, 2021 to 3 July, 2021: Performances
Kunstsammlung NRW, Düsseldorf
www.asphalt-festival.de (external link, opens in a new window)