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A transdisciplinary collaboration between visual art, stage art, scientists, and the wider community.

  • Jun 15 2022 - Sep 24 2022

The transdisciplinary art project Temple of Alternative Histories (TAH) revisits the many entanglements between nature and culture and seeks to discuss current perceptions of time and matter. How can mythological narratives impact nature and vice versa? By providing a fluid, exciting environment focused on generative processes, TAH facilitates contemplation of the pressing issues raised by today‘s environmental crisis. Taking narrational shifts in history into account, the project as a whole attempts to readdress hierarchical boundaries between artistic and scientific disciplines. What spaces and forms of mediation can enhance a public, artistic, and scientific debate about the current states of affairs?

TAH invites together the general public in Kassel with international professionals, visual artists, performers, as well as cognitive scientists, care practitioners, and non-human subjects. The processual project unfolds between June and September 2022 at Staatstheater Kassel, coinciding with documenta fifteen. Consisting of three major components – an arts installation, public programme, and stage work – TAH is inspired by the origins of the theatre as a ritualistic meeting place, a structure built around an empty metaphorical space intended to stage and host meaning. All aspects aim to explore the transformative, potentially cathartic, communal possibilities for our time.

The artistic directors of TAH, Thorleifur Örn Arnarsson (IS) a theatre director, and author, Anna Rún Tryggvadottir (IS) a visual artist, and Cassandra Edlefsen Lasch (US) a curator, editor, and writer form a dynamic team with a clear professional vision and passion for exploring new ways for artistic expression translated via an array of mediums.

Highlighting the unfolding of creative processes, the inaugural opening inquires how social and environmental architectures can facilitate generative acts. Two days of interactive programming assemble the curators Rhea Dall, and Jonatan Habib Engqvist, birth doula Camalo Gaskin, design and arts duos studio b severin, and Lundahl & Seitl, art historians and social scientists Dehlia Hannah, Lydia Goehr, Johanna Leinius, and Mi You, the contemporary circus company Weibel Weibel Co., and Staatstheater Kassel artistic director Florian Lutz. Furthermore, the artistic team collaborates as part of Science Year 2022 – Participate! with researchers of the University of Kassel, the community of Scientists for

Future, 140 participants from Staatstheater Kassel, and representatives of the local Kassel community.

Temple of Alternative Histories is presented by Staatstheater Kassel. It is supported by The Nordic Culture Fund, The Nordic Culture Point, and The Icelandic Art Grant. The collaboration with the University of Kassel and Scientists for Future is supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research as part of Science Year 2022 – Participate!


Image Caption

Temple of Appropriated Histories, work in progress scenography (2022), Staatstheater Kassel. Photo Sebastian Hannak