Press conference new artistic direction.| 5 July 2023
* Multi-voiced, shared and caring leadership *
NTGent has evolved from a city theatre with a fixed ensemble to a maker's house with diverse voices and artistic practices. This rich palette also brings with it a rich palette of questions, challenges and perspectives. Therefore, we believe that this multi-voicedness should also be present in artistic leadership.
" We try to and will continue to open each other's eyes to the other half of life.(Recognising) that which distinguishes and connects us will be an ongoing exercise with the three of us." (Barbara-Melih-Yves)
* Building on the policy plan before us and strengthening the maker community*
We have an ambitious policy plan in front of us with strong house makers (Luanda Casella, Lara Staal, BERLIN, Milo Rau) and artists in residence (Ontroerend Goed, Miet Warlop and Action Zoo Humain) that will ensure local embedding as well as international appeal. At the same time, we will design new formats and trajectories for the further development of artistic practices by young makers. The new artistic leadership will implement the policy plan but will also gently transform its own course with a few clear injections:
* The city as canvas*
The movement of producing, spreading and programming internationally brings the stories of the city to the world and the stories of the world back to the city. In the future, we would like to claim the city itself back more as an important moving space and playground alongside the theatre/stage. Together with the current and future creators of NTGent, we want to curate meeting spaces in the city in which audiences, interests, stories, languages and bodies can interact alongside, with and for each other. BERLIN's future plans focus on the city in both form and content (e.g. Our Private Lives). By definition, Beyond the Spoken's artistic practice (creating new rituals) seeks other ways of engaging audiences by designing processes for production, participation and presentation together with the audience.
*What does it mean to be human together?*
How will humanity evolve? A nuclear physicist told us that in the future, there will be an ever-increasing split between two groups of people: on the one hand, those who believe that robotics, new technology and digital are the only real solution; and, on the other, people who believe more in the small, the sharing, the healing and the connection with the planet. These two tracks are the foundations for our artistic pillars to pull the city theatre into the future.
On the one hand, by implementing the initiated leap around the application of new technologies in a future artistic line. NTGent will play a pioneering role in this and will no longer just be the buyer of these technologies but a co-developer. By 2033, the first fully digital house artist will be reality.
On the other hand, we would like to engage with NTGent in a search for a stronger connection between art, care and rituals, and what these can mean in our society in transition. From a historical perspective, theatre has always been a place for rituals, but how can we translate this into a contemporary framework? What if the city theatre of the future can be a place that intrinsically contributes to the well-being and mental health of the city? Together with the house artists and creators of NTGent, we want to explore how this meaningful practice can be shared more widely. This theme is also an interesting track for the candidacy Ghent, European cultural capital 2030, where the focus is on "Sense of Belonging" and the resilient city.
"With radical imagination as a strategy, we want to invite creators and audiences not only to imagine the most unreal worlds and utopias, but also to create actual practical utopias that help us in our search for what it means to be human together?" (Melih-Yves-Barbara)