The project Angel Land explores new territory in Anu`s theatre work. While in recent years we worked strictly in the form of the walk-in theatre installation and the theatre of encounter, we stage the angels with their wings up to four metres wide on house roofs and balconies - at first sight far away from our visitors. At first they seem to be an image, a beautiful image, high above people's heads. Therefore we call Angel Land as a theatrical installation. And yet they are far more than just an image, they are memory figures. Each angel stands for a real story that was researched during the preparations. This story reaches our visitors in very different ways: the angel himself has the opportunity to make contact with them - this happens through eye contact, through props such as letters or flowers carried down by the wind. Floor figures appear simultaneously on the floor, sometimes as curious angel explorers or in other contexts, telling the stories of the angels. Installations with telescopes and audio collages also let visitors get close to the angels. In addition, programme folders will be distributed to the visitors during the performances, in which all the figures and their stories can be read.
For us, this conception was an experiment at its premiere on 9 November 2009. Will visitors really engage with written text in order to follow a theatre production in public space? Of course, the texts are not explanatory programme articles as we know it from classical theatre evenings, they are themselves "staged" - with texts one speaks much more naturally of poetisation than with the medium of theatre.
The "Berlin" experiment was a success! Besides the "image of the angel", which was captured in numerous beautiful photographs, there were many wonderful theatrical moments. People grouped together and read the stories of the angels together, they assigned them to our angels and curiously approached our angel researchers as if angels were actually part of our reality...
Suddenly they are sitting there,
Their wings spread wide,
High up on balconies and roofs.
Their eyes are on you.
Pausing. Silent dialogue.
And when you come back,
You can say:
I met an angel today.
A remembrance project
We, Theater Anu and Bartel Meyer, have worked with Angel Land created a memory project that can inscribe the stories of a city in the collective memory of people. For this, we look for everyday stories in the research that have the power to touch us humans. These touches, this "feeling touched by a fate" connects us with the remembering figures and their past stories. Their stories become our stories. The angel radiates calm and peacefulness. The struggle is over. The pain is over. Anger and suffering have given way to hope. Angels tell their stories with a gentle smile.
Angel Land carries the country in its name. The diversity of the individual projects will one day be a whole country full of memory stories, stories that the angels have brought to us.
Your own homepage www.land-der-engel.de documents all projects with their poeticised stories. Photographer Alfred Mauve accompanies us on every Engelland project.
The aim is to create an exhibition, a catalogue of all the angels about... productions in a few years.
Angels over Berlin
Eight angels appeared on the roofs along the former course of the Berlin Wall, between the Holocaust Memorial and Potsdamer Platz. Eight stories of people whose fates were closely linked to the building of the Wall in 1961 and who did not live to see reunification. A bride who had to celebrate her wedding without her parents or a pensioner who moved a small tree in his garden until he found a suitable spot for a tunnel. Now, twenty years after the fall of the Wall, they have returned to see what has become of the once divided city. The two curious angel explorers Ms Wallies and Mr Zwiebler appeared on the ground and told the Berliners about their angels. A poetic image for peaceful reunification.
Angels over Zollverein
9 January 2010. Opening ceremony of the European Capital of Culture at the Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex World Heritage Site in Essen. The angels showed themselves on the black side of the coking plant. They embodied stories of the former miners' life of the last hundred years: a canary breeder who found his love for the birds in the colliery, the animals were taken into the tunnels to test the oxygen content; an Italian guest worker who found his luck at "Glück auf!"; a miner's wife who worried about her husband's life every time she was late...