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This profile was last updated on 5/1/11  and contains information from public web pages.

Matthias Lilienthal

Wrong Matthias Lilienthal?

Artistic and Managing Director

Local Address:  Berlin , Germany
Hebbel Theater

Employment History

  • Manager and Artistic Director
    Hebbel Theater
  • Artistic Director
  • Resident Professor
    The HWP
22 Total References
Web References
MobileAcademy - Lecturers, Scouts, Experts, 1 May 2011 [cached]
Matthias Lilienthal, Artistic and Managing Director of the Hebbel-am-Ufer/HAU1-3 Theatres [Berlin]
Mobile Academy, Berlin 2004
HWP 2012-13 | ashkal alwan [cached]
Home Workspace Program launched its second edition in September 2012 with resident producer (RP) Matthias Lilienthal.
Downloadable material HWP 2012-13 Brochure (ENG) HWP 2012-13 Brochure (AR)
More info Overview Home Workspace Program launched its second edition in September 2012 with Resident Producer Matthias Lilienthal.
Matthias Lilienthal
Mapping Beirut | Tony Chakar and Matthias Lilienthal (25th September-5th October, 2012, orientation)
Examples are brought in from the work Matthias Lilienthal is doing with the participants of the 2012-2013 Home Workspace Program.
X-Apartments | Matthias Lilienthal with HWP 2012-13 Participants (12th-14th May, 2013)
Matthias Lilienthal studied theatre, history and German studies. He started his career in theatre in 1979, and has since worked as artistic director in Theatre Basel and the Volksbühne (Berlin), collaborating with directors and artists such as Frank-Patrick Steckel, Achim Freyer, Christoph Marthaler, Johann Kresnik, Michael Simon, Stefan Bachmann, Stefan Pucher, Andrej Woron and Armin Petras, as well as his good friend Christoph Schlingensief. He has worked as a freelance journalist for publications including the taz, the Berlin listings magazine zitty and the broadsheet Süddeutsche Zeitung, and has also given lectures in Tokyo, Krakow, Buenos Aires and other places. In mid-2000, Lilienthal was appointed deputy director of performing arts at the Berlin Akademie der Künste, and was program director for Theater der Welt 2002 festival in Bonn, Düsseldorf, Cologne and Duisburg later that year. In May/ June 2000, he collaborated with Christoph Schlingensief on the Ausländer Aus (Foreigners Out!) project for the Wiener Festwochen and the follow-up book, published by Suhrkamp.
He has been manager and artistic director of the new Hebbel Theatre GmbH, Berlin, with the theatre locations HAU 1, HAU 2 and HAU 3, since September 2003.
Lilienthal has also collaborated over many years with Krzysztof Warlikowski's Novy Teatr in Warsaw, Johan Simon's NT Gent and Bruno Beltrãos Grupo de Rua de Niterói in Rio de Janeiro, and Alain Platel and his Compagnie la B.
Lilienthal has repeatedly brought social and political issues to the stage in an almost journalistic fashion. For the Theater der Welt 2002 festival, Lilienthal developed the X-Wohnungen format, which combines a new form of reality with an intimate setting for its reception.
Earlier this month I attended a ..., 6 Sept 2015 [cached]
Earlier this month I attended a lecture by Matthias Lilienthal, the former artistic director of Hebbel am Ufer (HAU). HAU as it is affectionately known in Berlin is an organization with three performance spaces in the Kreuzberg district of Berlin, and is one of the largest, best funded, and risk-taking performance theatre complexes in the world. As one of the most important and innovative avant garde theatre directors, Lilienthal has "created, instigated and nourished many of the most important developments in theatre in recent decades," according to Tom Sellar of Yale who introduced him.
Lilienthal was interviewed after his talk by Gideon Lester, my exciting new colleague who now is director of the theatre program at Bard.
While Lilienthal is an artistic director and has a background in the theatre, he calls himself a "booker" of talent more than an artist or a curator. He is committed to theatre that has social and political impact. His mission is to constantly create friction. Friction means in his telling, "to be polemic against society and be an urban laboratory for the future. That said, Lilienthal insists that he remains an artist, someone who in his words cares most about the aesthetic experience his works bring about.
Lilienthal discussed a number of his past projects to explain what he means by a theatre of friction.
Schlingensief and Lilienthal put two large containers in the public square in front of the Viennese Opera house and filled them with 15 asylum seekers.
Lilienthal speaks of a "hysterical longing for reality in today's theatre. Much of his work and the work he "books" mixes reality with theatre. His most famous performance piece, performed all over the world, is "X Wohnungen" or "X Apartments. Artists are asked to create artistic experiences that last up to ten minutes and take place in private apartments or houses. In one example that Lilienthal showed a clip from during his talk, audience members in groups of two are led into apartments of immigrants in Cologne where they are told to kneel in front of doors with keyholes. Through the keyholes they watch a Muslim woman in a burka and hijab strip naked and recline on a couch. They are then interrupted, given tea and told to go out.
Lilienthal explains that "we are playing a private reality, with voyeurism and with exhibitionism.
Lilienthal was quite critical of the New York art scene, arguing that NYC artists are too commercial and that there is no meaningful artistic forum in the U.S. as there is in Germany. His point is that his HAU stages have, in his telling, become the center of German and European art worlds, presenting all the most interesting and most important artists from around the world under a single umbrella. He lamented the fact that there was no similarly dominant and unifying artistic space in NY or in the U.S. New York, he said provocatively, in the East Village, is a provincial state.
Lester asked Lilienthal what would he have done in NYC had he accepted a job here? He answered, (I am paraphrasing here),"I would have presented art that offers a polemic against society. I would like everyone to know me and then I would have been... perhaps they would kill me after a year."
There is something both noble and anachronistic in Lilienthal's Socratic dream to create art so full of friction and power that he would be killed for it. It is a noble dream because it imagines that art, like philosophy, might still have the power and importance to be seen as a threat to the state or the society. It is anachronistic because art and philosophy have long since lost such centrality.
When I asked Lilienthal about this, his answer was that it was different in Berlin, where the arts are more central and given more public financing and public attention.
Matthias Lilienthal's talk is fascinating and, as you can see, provocative, which is justification enough to spend one hour this weekend watching him. Thanks to Theatre Magazine for posting the video of the talk.
HWP Program | ashkal alwan, 23 Jan 2011 [cached]
HWP 2012-13 led by Resident Professor Matthias Lilienthal.
Blackmarket Experts Berlin May 2005, 1 May 2005 [cached]
Matthias Lilienthal, artistic director and manager of Hebbel am Ufer From A for Abramovic to W for Woosterfroup. A Jukebox of theatre-makers
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