Mats Staub: Death and Birth in My Life

August 14 -23, 2020
In the frame of NorderZomerProgramma, Groningen, The Netherlands

Individual experiences with universal themes: the art of listening

It is one of the most normal experiences in the world, yet also one of the most painful: losing someone close to you. What influence does this have on our view of life? And what does the opposite – the arrival of a new life – do with us? Swiss artist Mats Staub is unafraid to confront delicate subjects, with the resulting touching effect previously on display in his beautiful installation entitled 21. Memories of Growing Up during Noorderzon in 2016. Subsequent to the death of his brother, this time Staub felt the need to reflect on the boundaries of life. In Death and Birth in My Life, he offers just such an opportunity: people from around the world are confronted with one another to share their experiences with the themes of life and death with one another – themes which are so very personal, yet at the same time so very universal. Staub had only a single simple rule for participants: be open and listen carefully to one another. You can experience the result in his special and intimate theatrical video installation.

»Stories that get under your skin and touch your heart. The form is an absorbing one that allows scope for one’s own thoughts and memories. Mats Staub presents us with a gift: the art of listening.« – by Basel

Idea, Concept, Direction: Mats Staub
Camera: Benno Seidel, Matthias Stickel
Scenography: Monika Schori
Dramaturgical Associate: Simone von Büren, Elisabeth Schack
Research: Tim Harrison (Manchester), Maia Marie (Magaliesburg), Patrick Mudekereza (Lubumbashi), Dada Kahindo (Kinshasa), Marcus Rehberger (Basel), Nele Beinborn (Frankfurt), Wolfram Sander (Hannover), Leo Saftic (Perg), Celya Larré (Paris)
Technical Direction: Hanno Sons, Stefan Göbel
Postproduction: Benno Seidel
Translation, Subtitles: Simona Weber, Martin Thomas Pesl, Matthias Stickel, Benno Seidel
Production Management: Barbara Simsa, Elisabeth Schack
Production: zwischen_produktionen
Co-production: Kaserne Basel, SICK! Festival Manchester, Künstlerhaus Mousonturm Frankfurt, Festival Theaterformen Hannover, Festival der Regionen, Spielart Festival Munich, Centre culturel suisse Paris, Migros-Kulturprozent
Funding: Fachausschuss Tanz und Theater BS/BL, Pro Helvetia Swiss Arts Council, Christoph Merian Stiftung, Ernst Göhner Stiftung

photo: Tanja Dorendorf