Ge by Asad Raza

Sat 15.06.24, 19:00

Screening of the video work

Schauspielhaus and future Pina Bausch Centre, Bundesallee 260, Wuppertal

The film will be followed by an online Q & A with the artist. The film is in English, the questions in the Q & A can be asked in English and German. 

As part of our last sustainability workshop SOMETHING BLUE – Art of the Future in June 2024, we would like to invite you to join us on two evenings at Schauspielhaus Wuppertal to reflect on the connections between scenography and ecology. After three successful workshops, the future Pina Bausch Centre and the Szenografie-Bund are organising the fourth and last in the series in cooperation with the Wuppertal Institute. The central theme is sustainability in stage and costume design & space – SOMETHING OLD, SOMETHING NEW, SOMETHING BORROWED, SOMETHING BLUE.

The five-day residency SOMETHING BLUE – Art of the Future offers space for reflection and exchange on the big questions that arise when working sustainably on a small scale, in everyday creation. In particular, the aim is to question institutional mechanisms and demands as well as one's own role and self-image as an artist and to look at the conceptual assumptions that have a practical effect. SOMETHING BLUE is curated by Melanie Sehgal and Maximilian Haas. In addition to the internal work of the workshop participants on the spectodramas of Bauhaus stage designer Xanti Schawinsky and the joint readings and discussions, we have two high-calibre guests for whose input we are once again opening the doors of the Schauspielhaus.

Ge (2020) by Asad Raza is an endlessly evolving video narrative that interweaves fiction and documentary as it travels around the planet. Named after the original name of the Earth's goddess, Gaia, Ge juxtaposes several thematic sections: the first explores the landscape around the home of James Lovelock in Dorset, England, the founder of the influential Gaia hypothesis of the planet as a living feedback loop. In the second part, the artist and his young daughter show how to make fertile soil from ordinary materials. The third section shows an arduous three-day sailing trip with seven musicians across Lake Erie to create an electronic composition. The fourth was filmed in the ruins of the monastery where Hildegard von Bingen had visions, combined with an Arabic reading of a famous passage by Hildegard. Ge was developed in 2020 as part of the project "The Shape of a Circle in the Mind of a Fish", Serpentine Galleries, London. New versions have since been shown at Ergo Collective in Athens, Greece, Galerie Ursula Walter, Dresden, FRONT 2022, Cleveland, Ohio, and as part of Raza's exhibition Plot at Museion, Bolzano.

Asad Raza's artistic practice stands for a participatory and performative approach that encompasses installations, writing, curating, dramaturgy, filmmaking and mediation and seeks to engage with all human senses. Local ecosystems and planetary ecologies often take centre stage. His most recent exhibitions and ambitious art projects in public spaces – such as "Diversion" (2022, Kunsthalle Portikus, Frankfurt), "Absorption" (2019, Kaldor Public Art Projects, Sydney; Gropius Bau, Berlin; Ruhrtriennale, Essen) and "Root sequence. Mother tongue" (2017 Whitney Biennial, New York; Rockbund Museum, Shanghai; Sifang Museum, Nanjing; TU Galerie, Dresden) – all include both scripted and improvised interactions with natural materials. This interweaving between people and their environment is the core of his approach.

The workshop on scenography is part of the project “A holistic approach to the Pina Bausch Centre”, which is supported by the German Federal Cultural Foundation’s Fonds Zero. Co-funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media. Further support comes from the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia and the Sparkasse Wuppertal.