Delirious New York

Office for a Human Theatre (OHT)

April 14, 2016

April 15–17, 2016
Fondazione Luzzati Teatro della Tosse

April 20–21
CRT Teatro dell’Arte – Triennale 
April 22–23
Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea
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Performance inspired by Rem Koolhaas’ eponymous book.

The performance realised by OHT is a series of urban episodes representing “Manhattanism,” which is too complex a theory to go into here. Delirious New York is a retroactive manifesto for Manhattan. Architect Rem Koolhaas has argued that the architectural grid of the city should not be analysed by studying the buildings themselves, but should rather be investigated through the psychology of those who built it. The architectural delirium of New York is based on people’s imagination and therefore this performance recruits the imagination of its audience to stitch together conflicting urban episodes. The onlookers witness a theatrical patchwork of concrete images loosely inspired by Rem Koolhaas’ text.

In the space there are four citizens who, whether they speak the same language or not, seem unable to communicate with each other. Nevertheless, they make an effort to salvage something from this bizarre situation without paying too much attention to how they might achieve this. Is this stubbornness perhaps a metaphor for their longing for a clearer identity? The performance, then, is an inquiry into human behaviour within the framework of a contemporary and iconic city that no one has dug into as deeply as architect Rem Koolhaas.

Established as an ongoing workshop at IUAV, University of Venice, the project has been developed into a performance thanks to support from a variety of locations in Italy such as Centrale Fies and Santarcangelo dei Teatri. In April 2016, OHT presents the performance in three new venues:

Fondazione Luzzati Teatro della Tosse, Genoa: April 15–17
CRT Teatro dell’Arte – Triennale, Milan: April 20–21
Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Turin: April 22–23

Rem Koolhaas
He founded OMA in 1975 together with Elia and Zoe Zenghelis and Madelon Vriesendorp. He graduated from the Architectural Association in London and in 1978 published Delirious New York: A Retroactive Manifesto for Manhattan. In 1995, his book S,M,L,XL summarized the work of OMA in “a novel about architecture.” He heads the work of both OMA and AMO, the research branch of OMA, operating in areas beyond the realm of architecture such as media, politics, renewable energy and fashion. Koolhaas is a professor at Harvard University where he conducts the Project on the City. In 2014, he was the director of the 14th International Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennale, entitled Fundamentals.

After winning Nuove Sensibilità in 2008—an Italian prize for young theatre-makers—Filippo Andreatta established the Office for a Human Theatre. OHT makes artworks questioning reality and its representation echoing Gertrude Stein’s seminal idea of making theatre as an open space rather than a narrative one. Since 2015, OHT is associate-artist of Centrale Fies (IT) and it has collaborated with different institutions like the Albers Foundation (USA), Whitechapel Gallery (UK), Palazzo Grassi (IT) and MAXXI museum (IT) among the others.

Delirious New York
by OHT, Office for a Human Theatre

Idea and direction: Filippo Andreatta
Dramaturgy: Filippo Andreatta and Ilaria Mancia
By and with Filippo Andreatta, Fiora Blasi, Patric Schott, Sara Rosa Losilla
Light designer: Arnaud Poumarat
A production by OHT, Caritro Foundation, Provincia Autonoma di Trento
Co-production Inteatro
Supported by Centrale Fies – Santarcangelo dei Teatri
Running-time: 50 minute
Thanks to: Luka Skansi, Michel Carlana and Milo Adami