Earth Diver

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Inspired by the discourse of Peter Sloterdijk en Slavoj Žižek, the director Wouter Van Looy and video artist Wim Catrysse examine the way the global crisis is being handled. 

The driving force behind Earth diver is the discourse of two controversial philosophers who have a wholehearted aversion to the way the global crisis is being handled: Peter Sloterdijk and Slavoj Žižek. While the former urges us not to wait for a God who will not come and to change our lives ourselves, the latter sees a connection between the stages of a grieving process and our handling of the crisis: from denial to anger to acceptance.
The director Wouter Van Looy puts a chorus on stage that sings the work of Heinrich Schütz (1585-1672): religious music that offered comfort and immortality at times when plague and war were devastating Germany. The composer Nikolaus Brass and the vocal artist Phil Minton offer a counterpoint and evoke a world the way it was, the way it is, and the way it perhaps will be. The audience seeks out a place in the space, where the video artist Wim Catrysse flanks Schütz’s musical world with images from Barentsburg, an isolated Russian outpost where coal is mined to the present day. The mining activity there is no longer profitable and God has been dissolved in a ‘world of markets and battle’. Nevertheless, people keep on digging there in a state of denial: deeper and deeper, and on the brink of exhaustion.


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Produced by Muziektheater Transparant and ChorWerk Ruhr and co-produced by Klarafestival, Opera Days Rotterdam, MAfestival, Ruhrtriennale, B’Rock Orchestra and Escautville. With the support of the Vlaams Audiovisueel Fonds (VAF) and Goethe-Institut Brüssel.

Location Dates Hour  
MA Festival (Brugge)
+32 50 33 22 83
O. (Rotterdam)
+ 31 1 436 60 70
Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ (Amsterdam)
+31 20 788 20 00
Composition: Heinrich Schütz • Nikolaus BrassText: Paul VerreptMusical direction: Florian Helgath • Bart Van Reyn • Concept | Direction: Wouter Van LooyScenography: Wouter Van LooyWim CatryssePeter QuastersVideo: Wim CatrysseLighting design: Peter QuastersCostume Design: Johanna TrudzinskiSound Design | Organ: David Van Bouwelvocal artist [11.08.17]: David Moss Vocal artist: Phil MintonLute: Wim MaeseeleVioala da gamba: Lies WyersChoir: Chorwerk Ruhr • Vlaams Radio Koor