2022 edition of Zürcher Theater Spektakel: New works by Ragnar Kjartansson, Lina Lapelyt ė and Meg Stuart

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2022 edition of Zürcher Theater Spektakel: New works by Ragnar Kjartansson, Lina Lapelyt ė and Meg Stuart
Lina Lapelytč, What happens with a dead fish. Performance view, Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Brussels, 2021. Photo: Bea Borgers. Courtesy of the artist and Kunstenfestivaldesarts.

ZURICH.- At this year’s edition of Zürcher Theater Spektakel, Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson presents his new durational performance Schmerz. Kjartansson has sketched a forest cabin, which will stand on the Saffa islet on lake Zurich at the festival site like the remnant of a set left behind by an itinerant operetta company. While the musician Kristín Anna Valtýsdóttir plays the piano, Kjartansson and the star comedian Saga Garđarsdóttir will loop the essence of a dramatic scene. The durational performance runs on four consecutive days for three hours daily—from August 20 to August 23.

Right on that same islet, the American choreographer Meg Stuart, together with her collaborators and the young Zürich-based collective The Field, premieres a new piece with seven performers dancing in the water to an audience seated on floating pontoons. Waterworks runs from August 19 until August 26. Commissioned by Tanzhaus Zurich and Zürcher Theater Spektakel and investigates the shore as a transition between nature and civilisation, as well as the interactions between liquids and bodies, natural elements and human movement.

At the Werft, a shipyard at the festival site, the French artist Phia Ménard will present her Trilogie des Contes Immoraux (pour Europe) on the opening days of the festival (August 18 and 19). The epic, large-scale performance offers a rare queer-feminist view of Europe’s history and identity. The first part, which shows Ménard creating a cardboard version of the Athenian Parthenon dressed up as a punk warrior, was commissioned and presented by documenta 14 in Kassel.

Another highlight in the second half of this year’s programme (running from August 31 until September 4) is the music performance What Happens With a Dead Fish (Lake Zurich Edition) by Lithuanian artist Lina Lapelytė. Having won a Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale 2019 for the endless opera Sun&Sea (together with Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė and Vaiva Grainytė), Lapelytė’s new work is an intimate meditation on the present and an invitation to reflect on cycles—such as expired foods, vanishing forests and life itself and what comes thereafter. The singers—including Lapelytė and the members of Seefelder Kammerchor, a local choir—float on Lake Zurich and reflect, as they get closer and closer to the bottom, on the fall and transience of everything.

The Zürcher Theater Spektakel ranks among the most important European festivals for contemporary performing arts. Taking place from August 18 to September 4 2022 this year it features new works, performances and concerts by renowned international artists at various venues on and around the Landiwiese—a superb, park-like site, located directly on the shores of Lake Zurich. Discover more of this year’s festival program and get tickets for all shows here.

Artistic Director: Matthias von Hartz

Participating artists at this year’s Theater Spektakel

Meg Stuart & The Field, Ragnar Kjartansson, Lina Lapelytė, Colectivo Lastesis, Pussy Riot, Kae Tempest, Rita Segato, Franziska Schutzbach, Samara Hersch & Lara Thoms, Gisčle Vienne, Lia Rodrigues Companhia de Danças, Back to Back Theatre, Luanda Casella, Tiziano Cruz, Silke Huysmans & Hannes Dereere, Small Citizens, Anna Papst & Mats Straub, Ali Chahrour, Corsin Gaudenz, Igor Shugaleev, Wichaya Artamat, Phia Ménard & Cie. Mon Nova, Mariano Pensotti & Grupo Marea, Groupe Acrobatique de Tanger & Maroussia Diaz Verbčke, Théo Mercier, Benny Claessens, Bibata Ibrahim Maiga, Samaa Wakim & Samar Haddad King, Wanjikũ Mwawuganga, Anna-Marija Adomaityte & Gautier Teuscher, Martha Luisa Hernández Cadenas, MC Yallah & Debmaster, Camilla Sparksss, Ogutu Mũraya, Theater HORA.

In the last few years, the interdisciplinary festival has commissioned and/or presented indoor and outdoor works by artists such as Shilpa Gupta, Boris Charmatz, William Kentridge, Julius von Bismarck, Tim Etchells, Vlatka Horvat, Sharon Hayes, Mapa Teatro and Geumhyung Jeong.

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