Daniel Kötter

staats-theater: Lagos/Teheran/Berlin

Films, Performances, Texts, Objects

 ***for english scroll down***

„Komplexe Befragung des Theaters, seiner Parameter“ (FAZ)
„ein Abend, der zeigt, dass der Mousonturm wirklich innovative Kunst fördert“ (FR)
„Spannender Abend über zerbrechende (Kunst-)Träume.“ (FNP)
Daniel Kötter/Constanze Fischbeck
staats-theater: Lagos/Teheran/Berlin

mit Sara Reyhani, Segun Adefila,
Jörn J. Burmester, Andreas Müller

2.-4. Dezember 2010, Mousonturm Frankfurt
staats-theater: Lagos/Teheran/Berlin is a modular art and research project initiated by Berlin-based video artists Daniel Kötter and Constanze Fischbeck in collaboration with performers and architects from Lagos, Tehran, and Berlin, as well as the collective Hunter & Gatherer (Manuel Shvartzberg and Fabian Faltin).
The project undertakes an exemplary investigation of the state-representational and socio-political conditions of theatre and the opposing informal potential of performativity in three capital cities: Lagos (Nigeria), Tehran (Iran) and Berlin (Germany).
The focal point for the collection of videos, performances, objects, talks, texts and photographs is the architecture of three representational theatre buildings:
The National Theatre of Nigeria in Lagos, built in 1976,
is the only state-subsidized theatre in Nigeria.
The 5000-seat main hall has been deserted since the early 1990s.
A reopening was scheduled for 2010 but 
postponed indefinitely after a series of changes in direction.
The Staatsoper Unter den Linden, built in 1741,
is the oldest theatre building in Berlin.
The Opera House has been closed since September 2010.
A re-opening after a three year refurbishment is scheduled for 13 October 2013.
The Tehran Vahdat Hall built in 1966,
was Iran's first and only classical opera and ballet house.
No opera and ballet performances have taken place there since the Islamic Revolution in 1979.
According to its modular layout staats-theater is not bound to a specific artistic genre:

The presentation format varies from exhibition, film screening and theatre performance to panel discussion or text publication.

Presentation formats so far:

- video installation and objects (Experimental film staats-theater #1 LAGOS, flyer Visions of the National Theatre of Nigeria, at the exhibition Afropolis at Rautenstrauch Joest Museum, Cologne, 4.11.2010-13.3.2011, IWALEWA HAUS Bayreuth, opening 28 april 2011)

- stage performance (with Sara Reyhani, Segun Adefila, Jörn J. Burmester, Andreas Müller, 2.-4.12.2010 at the Mousonturm Theatre, Frankfurt, February 2012 at the Fajr Festival, Tehran)

- film screening and panel discussion (Experimental film staats-theater: Lagos/Tehran/Berlin at the Akademie der Künste Berlin 15.9.2011)

- online presentation: http://www.jar-online.net/

- to be released:

experimental films

staats-theater #2 TEHRAN (March 2011)

staats-theater #3 BERLIN (August 2011)

The word 'theatre' (theatron in greek) refers first and foremost to the place and architecture of a performance, rather than to what is being performed. Even after centuries, a theatre’s architecture represents the order from which it emerged: the possibilities for artistic production are historically conditioned. The discussions concerning the contemporary and future use of such spaces thus touches upon the very legitimisation of theatre and art. The geometrical space of architecture is pitted against the anthropological space of its use.

Every era creates its state institutions according to its needs, every state creates its cultural facilities according to its perceived cultural and social responsibilities, and every cultural facility adopts the infrastructure it takes to be most adequate for its artistic and performative agendas.

But a society’s requirements and expectations with respect to artistic and theatrical production are subject to the same microphysical transformation(s) the society itself is undergoing. Conversely, performative methods and modes of expression have their part in shaping society and in particular urban development.

With varying degrees of flexibility, the institutions of culture and politics can adapt to such changes; buildings of stone cannot. The project staats-theater thus takes as its point of departure the brick-and-mortar remnants of a former theatre and examines their potential for future performative activities.