The past decade has been marked not only by numerous activist movements and gatherings but also by a wide range of assemblies within the field of art that tried out and challenged social and political procedures with which societies can be imagined, played, performed, enacted, tested, or even invented.
But while activist assemblies are generally considered to be a space of authenticity, the power of artistic assemblies lies in creating situations that are real and not real, actual and symbolic at the same time. Theatre is a paradoxical machine where we can observe ourselves while being part of it – an art form that is socially immersive but also, always, self-reflexive.
The ways in which art is used for assemblies that give room for radical imagination as well as pragmatic utopias are manifold and not seldom contradictory in their aesthetical as well as their political positions. But what unites them is the aim to expand the field of theatre, to find ways of engaging with the social and political issues of our time and to thereby inspire activism and political thinking beyond the artistic realm.
in the frame of Gesellschaftsspiele. The Art of Assembly, A series by Florian Malzacher & brut Vienna.