Heiner Goebbels: Stifters Dinge

Stifters Dinge - The Unguided Tour Kraftzentrale, Duisberg, 22 September - 6 October 2013 as part of the Ruhrtriennale [Info]

Originally presented in April 2008 then in November 2012 at Ambika P3

Five pianos hang stripped and bared above steaming pools of water. Mist settles over a ghostly scene, a living, breathing subterranean world. As the light changes and darkens, the pianos wake. Water drips and machines tick before, suddenly, the pianos begin to play themselves, advancing menacingly through fog and rain, through the creaking and crunching of machinery and the strange disembodied voices of William S Burroughs, Malcolm X and Claude Lévi-Strauss ... 

First shown by Artangel in London in 2008, Stifters Dinge, by German composer and director Heiner Goebbels, is an extraordinary installation using weather and nature, mechanical objects, projections and music. Inspired by the work of Adalbert Stifter, a 19th century Austrian writer, poet and painter, celebrated for his rich descriptions of natural landscapes, it is a composition for five pianos with no pianists; a performance without performers. 

In November 2012, and for the last time, Stifters Dinge returned to its original home at Ambika P3 on Marylebone Road. It was presented in two versions; a revival of the 2008 seated performance and a new durational version, Stifters Dinge: The Unguided Tour, created especially for the space, where audiences were free to fully explore the environment, experiencing the work up close and from multiple viewpoints as a continuously evolving installation.

Conception, music and direction: Heiner Goebbels
Set design, light and video: Klaus Grünberg
Musical collaboration/programming: Hubert Machnik
Sound design: Willi Bopp
Assistant and musical supervision: Matthias Mohr

The Unguided Tour was co-commissioned by Artangel, co-produced by Ruhrtriennale – International Festival of the Arts, executive produced by Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne and presented in partnership with Ambika P3, University of Westminster.

Stifters Dinge was originally commissioned in 2008 by Artangel, executive produced by Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne, co-produced by spielzeit'europa I Berliner Festpiele, Grand Théâtre de Luxembourg, schauspielfrankfurt, T&M - Théâtre de Gennevilliers/CDN, Pour-Cent Culturel Migros, with the support of Pro Helvetica for the tour and with support for the London production from the Goethe-Institut and in partnership with P3, University of Westminster. 

This project was supported by Arts Council England, Artangel International Circle, Special Angels and The Company of Angels