‘Almost Like a Teaching Play’: Daniel Wetzel/Rimini Protokoll in a Conversation with Florian Malzacher
The theatre company Rimini Protokoll (Helgard Haug, Stefan Kaegi, Daniel Wetzel) for many years was best known for bringing ‘real people’ to the stage and creating their very own, highly influential version of documentary theatre. In recent year another strand of their work has become more prominent: the use of existing cityscapes as material and protagonist as well as the creation of complex, half-virtual spaces. Often touching on political issues, the question remains whether their work could also become more directly engaged in concrete social causes of our time. Florian Malzacher, who collaborated as a dramaturge with Rimini Protokoll in their very first work, is a performing arts curator and writer, focusing in recent years on the relationship between art and politics. In referring to several recent examples of Rimini Protokoll’s work, Daniel Wetzel stresses the differences and similarities between art and politics in Rimini Protokoll’s practice referring to a variety of other artists’ work. A fundamental question that runs through the conversation is whether theatre could be more than merely a sphere of representation and critique; could it become an agonistic space to try out new and different forms of political procedures?