Vienna

Christoph Schlingensief

Burgtheater Wien

Since his production of Parsifal at Bayreuth in 2004, Christoph Schlingensief has become for some the enfant terrible of the theater world, for others a contemporary descendant of Joseph Beuys. Schlingensief takes Beuys’s idea of an expanded art and turns it into expanded theater—something he has done even more successfully now, at the Burgtheater Wien in his installation Area7, than in his Parsifal. Based on Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, Schlingensief’s production, which combines theater, opera, film, visual arts, and “happenings,” selects but one theme from this setting of the crucifixion story, the question of redemption, to stage a journey of “irredeemability.”

As in all Schlingensief’s works, whether TV talk shows, theater pieces, or films, Area7 evinces a deep antipathy to narrative, going so far as to destroy the normal course of a theater visit. Once arriving on a set evening, visitors

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