In the form of a video-essay the authors explore a unique case of an edifice and a building site designed by a great artist of theater as a laboratory for his aesthetics.
We see here a rare instance of mutual immersion of architecture as a nontemporal art and theater as a most ephemeral, temporal art: architecture quoting theater, or rather the memory of theater inscribed in architecture. Is it possible to demonstrate such thesis convincingly? That's the question.
Andrzej Wirth has one vita and three biographies: a Polish one, a German one, and an American one.
As a literary and theater critic as well as an editor in Warsaw, Wirth wrote on Witkiewicz, Grotowski, Mrozek and Kantor. Wirth also penned Polish translations of works by German writers Kafka and Dürrenmatt. His translation of Brecht's Schweyk im Zweiten Weltkrieg premiered before the German production.
He was an assistant at Brecht's Berliner Ensemble and was associated with the literary Gruppe 47. Wirth at that time established himself as a mediator between Polish and German culture, editing works by Bruno Schulz, Tadeusz Borowski, and modern Polish dramatists.
Following a political emigration to the USA in 1966, Wirth taught drama and comparative literature at Stanford University, moving to the City University of New York in 1970. Additionally, he directed plays at campus theaters.
In the 1970s, Wirth was instrumental in introducing Gertrude Stein, Robert Wilson and American Avantgarde Theater into German critical discourse.
A former student of praxeology (the theory of praxis), at the Warsaw School of Analytical Philosophy, he was looking for its application in theater studies.
In 1982 he founded the first German Institute for Applied Theater Theory (Angewandte Theaterwissenschaft) at the University of Giessen where he invited internationally reputed guests, e.g., Heiner Müller, George Tabori, Michael Kirby, Robert Wilson, Richard Schechner, John Jesurun and Emma Lew Thomas.
The School of Giessen won a national and international reputation as a place for innovative performane aesthetics, and its adepts are still bringing an innovative energy to the theater landscape of Germany.
As a visiting professor, Wirth taught and directed at Harvard University, Yale School of Drama, Oxford University, St Antony's College, and the Freie Universität, Berlin. Moreover, he has conducted international theater workshops in Sydney, Australia, and under the hospices of the Teatro de la Righe in Volterra, Italy, as well as at Oxford University.
Together with Thomas Martius he produced the video essay LAS VENICE, which was shown worldwide within the academic scene.
In 2008, Wirth received the German International Theater Institute's Welttheatertag Preis.
Director, performance- and video- artist. Resides in Berlin, Germany.
Leaving a successful career in business behind, turned to performance art in 1988. Graduated from the Institute of Applied Theatre Studies in Giessen, Germany, 1994. Artist in Residence at the Center for Contemporary Arts, "Podewil", in Berlin, 1996-98. Zitty magazine 6/97: One of the most interesting directors of Off-theatre. Teacher of Video Arts at Freie Universität, Berlin, 1996-present. Running an independent postproduction, 2000-present.
Martius has more than a hundred international performances, theatre-projects and videos to his credit, having worked at such venues as Berliner Ensemble, Volksbühne and Theater am Halleschen Ufer.
Works (selection): In 2008 he directed Das Innere des Kontors, a world premiere of a piece by Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (musical director: Jens-Karsten Stoll). Also in 2008 he was the stage designer for an opera at the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler in Berlin, directed by Nino Sandow. In 2007 he showed his first solo-versions of Pottingers Haus, a video work in progress, based on his own writings. In 2006 he was Artist in Residence at the Emily Harvey Foundation in Venice. In 2005 he filmed and edited three videos for an installation by Tone Avenstroup in Kristiansand, Norway. Also in 2005 Las Venice, his latest collaboration with Andrzej Wirth, was invited as an installation to the 6th Baltic Contemporary Art Biennale. Various site-specific performance-versions of Las Venice were shown in the USA, Poland, Berlin, Kopenhagen (Kanonhallen) and elsewhere.