FUTURES lecture series: Nikolaus Müller-Schöll – Theatre of Potentiality online on 3.12.
Open online lecture by Nikolaus Müller-Schöll, head of theatre studies at Goethe-University, Frankfurt/Main.
“How can we conceive the inherent future in any present as well as in any past? Departing from this question, raised at about the same time by Walter Benjamin and Bertolt Brecht on the one side, by Martin Heidegger on the other side and taken up later on by philosophers like Adorno, Deleuze, Agamben and Hamacher, I would like to discuss different contemporary examples of theatre in a larger sense – including choreography, performance and live art – which in one or another way can be grasped under the notion of a Theatre of Potentiality.
They all have in common that they make us understand potentiality in a way which differs from a certain aristotelian tradition which reduced „dynamis“, „potentia“ or „Möglichkeit“ to a possibility which was nothing but that which could be turned into „energeia“, „act“ or „Wirklichkeit“. And thus they are close to a more interesting understanding of Aristotle which was developed by Averroes, Schelling and Kierkegaard. My lecture will refer to works by the dancer and choreographer Fabrice Mazliah, the stage director Felix Rothenhäusler and the author, stage director and theoretician Boris Nikitin.”
Nikolaus Müller-Schöll is chair of theatre studies at the Goethe-University in Frankfurt/Main and at the same time head of the master program in dramaturgy as well as of the international master in Comparative Dramaturgy and Performance Research. He curated numerous conferences and workshops. In 2016 he directed together with Gerald Siegmund the international congress “Theatre as critique” in Frankfurt and Gießen. He is currently President of the German Society for Theatre Studies (Gesellschaft für Theaterwissenschaft) and member of several boards and jurys.
His major research interests are: Theatre studies as critical science, the question of alterity, the gesture, the fictioning of the political, theater as work on the evil, potentiality, representation “after Auschwitz”, theatre architecture as built ideology, dramaturgy as police and politics, identity politics, institutional critique and script-based theatre.
Furthermore he continues to work on the objects of his phd and his habilitation: Benjamin, Brecht, Heiner Müller, Kleist as well as the “Comical as paradigm of the experience of modernity” and the politics of representation. Latest book publication: Das Denken der Bühne (co-ed. 2019).
About the Futures Lecture Series
The Futures Series is organized by the master’s degree programmes in Choreography, Dramaturgy, and the Live Art and Performance Studies in collaboration with the Centre for Joint Studies at Uniarts Helsinki’s Theatre Academy.
The series proposes that we need to regard the future as plural futures. The futures often seem indeterminate or uncanny. It is precisely for this reason that we need to ask whether artistic practice, with its various modes of thought, has the capacity to approach such unforeseen possibilities of the emergent futures. How should we regard these futures, which ought to be an essential part of research in choreography, pedagogy and the performative capacity of art?
To ponder these capacities, we could see how the performative practices produce the visions and emergent futures and prehensions where artistic practices and thinking are not bound with ideologies, mediated truths or preconceived aesthetics. They are necessary alongside with contemporary science and theory, where prehension of futures are transversal and cross-contaminated. The proposal and experiments presented in this series aim to present how we could create space for thinking the indeterminate futures.
Müller-Schöll’s lecture continues the Futures Series. The first one was held in spring 2019 with a lecture by Paul O’Neill.