The Festival

Photos: Daniela Wolf und Ralf Brunner

The Festival

‘The Festival’ is a fictional festival. It displays radically site-specific or only imagined art, as well as designs of other institutions and neighbourhoods. Children welcome!

A collection of impossible program contributions will be presented (impossible as they refuse to be transferred to other contexts as they are radically site-specific, still under construction, have long since disappeared, have never existed at all or were never to be realized). A group of performers addresses these impossibilities; children and audiences perform miniatures of New Music composed especially for ‘The Festival’ in the temporary festival center; visitors explore invented (or buried) routes to art hotels, international academies, and model organizations. ‘The Festival’ is an impossible travelogue – the celebration of another world order. Boundless and more solidary than the present one.

The festival architecture was developed by ‘Bureau Baubotanik’: Visitors will be guided in small groups by the performers Judica Albrecht and Armin Wieser through the festival grounds. With their waiting area, reception, archive, stage and festival centre, the grounds are virtually impossible to overlook. Brazilian choreographers Jorge Alencar and Neto Machado present their very own edition of ‘Dance Library: festival volume’, specifically created for ‘The Festival’. Meanwhile, children can interpret the eleven commissioned works of contemporary composers at the Festival Centre with metal toy frogs, wind machines, timpani, voices, keyboards, hands, feet, sound postcards and a foldable greenhouse.

After the performance and installation was first presented site-specifically as part of the Donaueschinger Musiktage 2019, an adaptation for stage was created at Theater Rampe.


“The festival within the festival of the duo Herbordt/Mohren shone brightly. Besides a performative parcours, several small premieres were smuggled into the big concerts. That way the `Musiktage´ cut off its own word – or rather its own sound.“ (Drehpunkt Klang, 21.10.2019)

“Here,” says the man in the yellow raincoat, “the festival begins.” He first leads the small group of visitors into the cellar of the Donauhallen, where project descriptions are displayed for reading, like those from an “archive of unsaid things”. In one part of the hall the visitors find envelopes with questions: Has there ever been a concert that changed their lives? And whether music would sound different, if it was to be performed by people of all conceivable genders? Inside a container, two actors finally define an “impossible festival”: as a platform of international ideas on ecology, art and politics, which would be sustainable, community-building, humanity saving. The performance is part of the series `The Institution´ by the duo Melanie Mohren and Bernhardt Herbordt, created in cooperation with the Stuttgart Theater Rampe. It accompanies this year’s Donaueschingen `Musiktage´ as a kind of meta-level”.?(Stuttgarter Nachrichten, 19.10.2019)

Concept, artistic direction: Melanie Mohren and Bernhard Herbordt. Performance: Judica Albrecht und Armin Wieser. Drums: Matthias Engler (Donaueschingen) and Anja Füsti (Stuttgart). Architecture, set: Hannes Schwertfeger und Oliver Storz (Bureau Baubotanik). Composition: Saskia Bladt, Kathrin Denner, Bill Dietz, Hanna Eimermacher, Neo Hülcker, Gordon Kampe, Maximilian Marcoll, Julia Mihály, Nuria Núñez Hierro, Martin Schüttler, Hannes Seidl. Cooperating artist: Jorge Alencar und Neto Machado. Children´s program: Kristina Pantisano. Dramatic arrangement: Nadine Vollmer. Cook: Marcus Bergmann . Coordination: Jule Bröcker and Silinee Damsa-Ard. Graphic design: Demian Bern. Programming: Florian Model. Sound recording and editing: Oliver Frick. Production management: ehrliche arbeit – Freies Kulturbüro. Technical management, lighting: Alexander Joseph. Video documentary: Hagen Betzwieser

The Festival is a production of Herbordt/Mohren (‘The Institution’), in co-production with the Donaueschinger Musiktage 2019 and the Theater Rampe. It is funded through the three-year conceptual grants by the Department of Culture of the City of Stuttgart, supported by the Landesverband Freier Tanz- und Theaterschaffender Baden-Württemberg with resources from the ministry of Science, Research and Arts of the state of Baden-Württemberg and by the National `Fond Darstellende Künste e.V.