About apparatus

apparatus interacts with human and non-human bodies, with space as a body, with texts, machines, stones, philosophies, theater and other institutions, with artists, movements, choreographies and other objects, all together on the search for centrifugal forces and utopian potentials. We dabble in the language of all things and, as such, follow the call of the theoria that existed as much at the beginning of European theater as they did at the conception of European philosophy. Now at the end of that narrative, we look back and thus also look forward. What emerges, even if there’s no language to articulate that emergence? If reality and realism are conservative, what other realities – besides those that we classify as such – could exist interactively between all bodies? How can we get past the alienation between human and non-human bodies and resist the binaries inherent to spoken logic?

We began with building APPARATUSES as places for conjuring reality, in the spirit of Karen Barad, We followed this path through the development of MYKORRHIZA, DRECK and PHARMAKOS/N, without systems, without directors. Instead, we treated these processes as the assembling of components on the search for the utopian potential in the event. This search also led us to the development of a full-length performance together with other artists: Magical. Acts. Matter.

The logic of the means and the end is obsolete, yet it remains the core idea behind institutionalized funding for theater. This logic serves as a causal relationship for the assumption of politics in theater and art. With the series REALLY USEFUL THEATER, we pull these antagonistic points of view into question. What do the artists say and do? Do they want their art to be purposeful? To be written into the logic of utility and Utilitarianism? Or is their intention exactly the opposite? So far, three cities have hosted editions of RUT, all of which have been archived in video form, most of which can be viewed online.

Since we ourselves are not an institution and also don’t wish to become one, we have decided to separate ourselves from the idea of curation. At the beginning of 2018, we find ourselves in a process of concocting new forms, different objects and apparatuses. Representation, reproduction and reconstruction do not suffice to create speculative challenges and it is precisely this quality that is necessary to construct resonant spaces for the possibility of other realities. We will – together with our partners, with objects of all kinds – find new forms.

Stefanie Wenner has a PhD in Philosophy and has been working under the label apparatus since 2014 toward better representations of reality through the means of theater. Previous positions include HAU Hebbel am Ufer and Impulse Theater Festival. In 2015, she took on the role of Professor of Applied Theater Studies and Production Dramaturgy at HfBK Dresden. In January 2017, she initiated the international conference Matter: States of Agency.

Thorsten Eibeler studied Applied Theater Studies in Gießen and is a founding member of the performance collective Showcase Beat Le Mot with which he has been producing theater pieces, peformances, art installations and music videos since 1998. His collaboration with Stefanie Wenner began in May 2014. Together, they founded apparatus GbR in 2015.

Artists and Project Contributors

Anja Dirks
Anna Brotankova
Aram Shelton
Bayan Shbib
DJ Obstsalat
Ernesto Estrella
Esther Slevogt
Eva Behrendt
Fecerico Nitii
Ioanna Valsamidou
Jan-Sebastian Šuba
Jessica Gadani
Ljubow Pchelkina
Lorena Méndez Barrios
Nicola Stricker
Peter Thoma
Thanisha Fah