Berliner Festspiele: Thomas Oberender and his new artistic team introduce themselves

11 January 2012

An Edition, a new homepage for our website and a new image designed by the Swiss studio CRR mark the []Berliner Festspiele’s new beginning under the artistic directorship of Thomas Oberender. Edition has been created as an independent discursive platform. It provides an arena for views of contemporary literature, essays and the visual arts. Edition No. 1, just published, opens with a station fantasia by Hanns Zischler and woodcuts by the Leipzig artist Christiane Baumgartner. The periodical will appear six times a year. It can be obtained free of charge at the Haus der Berliner Festspiele and is available to download from our website. Our new image, the red frame as a visual symbol of the new Berliner Festspiele, emphasises the connection between the festivals and the Festspiele as a whole. At the same time it indicates that new emphases are constantly being made, perspectives are shifting and the focus may lie not only on the centre but also on the periphery. It allows the specific content of the individual festivals to remain intact while seeking an increased dialogue between forms and taking advantage of the resonances produced between them. The most important innovation is the foundation of a festival for the international performing arts under the artistic direction of Frie Leysen, which will replace the spielzeit’europa seasons. The artistic team also includes Bert Noglik, who takes over the Jazzfest, and Yvonne Büdenhölzer, hitherto Director of the Stückemarkt, who becomes responsible for the Theatertreffen. A further characteristic of the years to come will be a greater number of performances in the Haus der Berliner Festspiele – in smaller formats and flexible series which use the newly renovated spaces in the Bornemann building on the Schaperstraße outside the festival period. The Berlinale will also be a guest for the first time in 2012. “It is my wish that the Berliner Festspiele become more controversial, that they assume radical positions and use their aura to hold the development of this city and our society tangibly to account.” Thomas Oberender. With their festivals and special projects the Berliner Festspiele make up a form of cultural calendar for the year. This includes: Maerz Musik, Theatertreffen, Musikfest Berlin, Jazzfest Berlin, spielzeit’europa (until the end of January), International Literature Festival, the three Federal youth competitions and the exhibitions in the Martin Gropius Bau.