Rimini Protokoll: City as Stage

The first U.S. museum exhibition of Rimini Protokoll, a Berlin-based artist collective formed of Helgard Haug, Stefan Kaegi and Daniel Wetzel, features two major works: 100% City—an immersive interactive video installation at MCASB’s main location; and Home Visit USA— a participatory performance that takes place at various private residences throughout Santa Barbara County.

Rimini Protokoll is internationally renowned for their vibrant theater productions, which often incorporate site-specific installation, sculpture, architecture, and video. Integral to their work is activating spectators as key agents who explore political and social realities of everyday life. For their exhibition at MCASB the artists invite audiences to actively delve into topics of how we define local community and national identity. Using city statistics, political mechanisms, and personal stories as their primary subject matter, the artists call attention to how multivalent portrayals of place are formed and performed.

100% City is an expansive video installation extending from a series of the artists’ past performances held in 28 cities around the world. In these performances 100 everyday citizens of each city express their views on diverse themes including aging, warfare, migration, and relationships. They tell stories and secrets, expressing alternative demographies that cut across traditional spatial, cultural, and political divides, performing “a gathering that is a city, a group just beginning to experience itself, a choir that has never practiced, an impossible entity with many faces – assembled into ever-changing new group pictures.”

Click here for real-time results of the 100% City entrance survey.

Home Visit USA is a participatory work in which small groups of people gather together at private homes around Santa Barbara County, experiencing cultural exchanges with strangers in improvised situations. Set around a big table, audiences play a game in a conversational atmosphere where they talk about the ever-changing ideas of what defines our country—focusing on issues that include cultural identity, values, and borders.*

Opening just after the U.S. Presidential election, both works confront the legitimacy and stability of social demarcations and categories that inform the rhetoric used to represent human populations. Rimini Protokoll: City as Stage cleverly and playfully considers new possibilities of self-determined representation in our increasingly transcultural and globalized world.

Rimini Protokoll’s works have been presented and toured all around the world, often appearing in public spaces, renowned theater venues, and commissioned by major festivals. They have received numerous prestigious awards including Faust Theatre Prize in 2007; Silver Lion of the Biennale for Performing Arts in Venice in 2011; Excellence Award of the 17th Japan Media Festival in 2014; and the Swiss Grand Prix of Theatre in 2015.

*Further information about Home Visit USA performance dates and ticketing can be found here.

This event marks MCASB's ongoing commitment to performance via our On Edge Performance Art Series and is funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

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