Announcing: Online Viewing Room

Upcoming productions, online (most streams available for at least 24 hours):

April 2 – TONIGHT: Live performance accompanied by violinist Daniel Hope on ARTE: https://www.arte.tv/fr/videos/096904-009-A/hope-home-episode-9/

April 6: The Black Rider, with William S. Burroughs and Tom Waits from the Thalia Theater: https://www.thalia-theater.de/

April 11: The Messiah, which premiered this January in Salzburg: https://www.3sat.de/kultur/musik/der-messias-mozartwoche-2020-100.html

April 12: La Traviata, premiered 2015 at the Linz State Theater: https://permopera.ru/en/

Ongoing: Video Portraits: Viewing Room: http://www.robertwilson.com/viewing-room

Dear Friends,

It is in times like these that the ability to change is essential and the measure of our humanity, creativity, and survival. In moments of crisis, I have often turned to art for solace and inspiration. For me, one of the most difficult aspects of the current COVID-19 pandemic is that we cannot encounter the arts and the communities around them in the way we used to. It is with great disappointment that we have postponed several of my long-anticipated productions, including the tour of OEDIPUS REX to Budapest, performances of DER SANDMANN in Düsseldorf, as well as workshops for upcoming projects in Italy, Mexico, and elsewhere. My heart goes out to the actors, make-up artists, stage technicians, light and sound operators, designers, carpenters, administrators, and assistants who make these productions possible. Together, we will get through this. In the meantime, please stay at home for the sake of those who can’t.

As I use this new time to the best of my ability as a space for reflection, I invite you to visit my current exhibitions in Brussels and Salzburg online, as well as a new 3D exhibition tour of “Robert Mapplethorpe: Selected by Robert Wilson” in Berlin. On my website are newly available works on paper from productions including The Black Rider with Tom Waits and William S. Burroughs, which premiered exactly 30 years ago this week. Also online you can explore stage productions and exhibitions dating back to 1960.

The Black Rider, 1996. Edition of 250 + AP. Now available online.

Our current artists-in-residence at The Watermill Center have returned home in the best interest of their health and well-being. We are doing everything we can from afar to remain connected and supportive of the network of artists and visitors who come to Watermill for refuge and inspiration. Although our main building is temporarily closed, we will always maintain an OPEN DOOR to our grounds and gardens as we enter the spring season. I invite you to follow us by subscribing to our newsletter for images, videos, and more information about our artists and their work. Applications for our 2021 Artist In Residence program are now open. Apply now!

Gao Xingjian, the Nobel Laureate in literature once said, “Solitude is a necessary condition of freedom.” I hope that this world crisis will bring about a better understanding of how we can work and live together.


Announcing: Online Viewing Room

I am pleased to welcome you to our first online Viewing Room, where you can experience my video portrait installations like never before. We currently have three viewing rooms you can enter, developed with special thanks to Lumen Arts.

The first features my friend and long time collaborator, the dancer and choreographer Suzushi Hanayagi. I made her portrait toward the end of her life, when she was living in a special care facility in Osaka. She had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and could barely move or speak. Just before I left her, she said something very softly to me in Japanese. Her son, who was there, later told me she had said: I am dancing in my mind.

The second, A Winter Fable is a video triptych commissioned as a permanent installation by the Villa Panza, Varese, inspired by a fable of Italo Calvino. In Calvino’s fable, two animals, a fox and a wolf, make a pact of mutual aid in a time of great famine. Their pact unravels over the capture of a lamb. A Winter Fable features an original soundtrack by CocoRosie.

The third Viewing Room depicts Winona Ryder as Winnie, the hapless protagonist in Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days, a unique video performance exhibited within a grotto in Locarno. In the words of The New York TimesAn exquisite distillation of Beckett’s worldview, made from some of the most unlikely material imaginable: celebrity and high technology.

Many more works will be added to this Viewing Room in the coming days. Stay tuned!

Bob Wilson / April 2, 2020 / Berlin

Drawings and Video Portrait image courtesy of Robert Wilson.