As a tourist attraction it draws people to Ghent from all over the world. Whenever French or German troops marched into Belgium they took it with them. And The Monuments Men had to track it down. It’s the Ghent Altarpiece by the brothers Hubert and Jan van Eyck, who lived in the 15th century.
Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, martyrs and angels. The motifs are Christian and spiritual. But the faces of the figures are realistic, they are the faces of Ghent. The Van Eyck brothers immortalised their patrons and clients, as well as their neighbours and colleagues. This meant that one of the first works of realistic modern art was simultaneously documentary and mythical, ordinary and universal. Milo Rau has been engaged in the ‘theatre of the real’ for a decade. Just like the Van Eyck brothers in their day, he combines the everyday with the spiritual. Just as the altarpiece consists of several overlapping layers, just as the real becomes mixed with the symbolic, the people of Ghent will talk about their live on stage. In a casting session lasting several months, which will be filmed, this project plunges into the here and now of a city’s community: who is Ghent’s Cain, who is its Abel? Who plays Adam and who Eve? Who are the martyrs of the 21st century? The crusaders and the righteous judges? The patrons? What do they tell us about the themes of this painting, about original sin and human suffering, about faith and tragedy, death and salvation? In the reconstruction of the Ghent Altarpiece onstage, a panorama of our present world emerges, between tradition and an uncertain future – and at the same time, a manifesto for the significance of art and spirituality in a human life.
reduction: : €24 - €16
under 26: €14