|Organisation type||Artist company|
|Main focus||Multidisciplinary art, Musical theatre, Performance, Theatre, Visual art|
|Established||4 Jun. 1986|
|Website||VERDENSTEATRET, Verdensteatret på STORE NORSKE LEKSIKON|
Verdensteatret is an art company based in Oslo. The company was established by Lisbeth Boddin 1986. The company consists of artists from different genres.
Verdensteatret's poetics is characterised by continuous experimentation within different media and technologies. The works are thoroughly multidisciplinary and are performed in different contexts, such as art museums, galleries, contemporary music festivals, theatre venues etc.
Verdensteatret has been given annual support from Arts Council Norway since 2007, and performs in Norway and abroad.
Verdensteatret was given Bessie Award in the cathegory Installationa and New Media in 2006, and the Honorary Hedda Award 2014.
Bridge over Mud by Verdensteatret, co-produced by Black Box Teater, BIT Teatergarasjen, Henie Onstad Art Centre and The Ultima Festival, was nominated for The Hedda Award 2015 in the production. Verdensteatret won the award in the best audiovisual design category for the same production.Read more
Anette Therese Pettersen, Utenfor tiden (literally: Outside of time), 22.09.2014, Klassekampen [Oslo]:
"The company transform the stage/art room into a scenic body pulsating through its visual and audiovisual elements, and the fragments floating past us take dream-like expressions. [...] The room or the universe Verdensteatret creates is eerily familiar, and at the same time estranged, so that the spectator can choose if he or she want to fantasise further from the images that rise - in long series of associations or in small, fragmented sequences."
Elisabeth Leinslie, Verdensteatrets sansesymfoni (literally: The sense symphony of Verdensteatret), Scenekunst.no 20.09.2014:
"The Oslo-based art company Verdensteatret has, during recent years, toured and participated in exhibitions in large parts of the world. They have visited many prestigious sound and performing arts festivals, great art biennials (including the Shanghai Biennial), art museums, multidisciplinary arenas and other more or less undefinable venues. During their very long journey they have collected and stored a kaleidoscope-like material. The company consists of very different persons who discover material each in his or her way - like intuitive tachographs. Some collect material in a technological way, some organic, some are social, some go to bed with people, some read, some gather people, some listen and some just sit observing, some think they remember and some are afraid.
[...] Verdensteatret's constant journey stretch through all their works and bring them on to new places, new experiences, new contexts. Constantly underway. But still always resting in its own artistic individuality. An individuality it is hard to put within the box of an art category. Their last work can best be described as a multimedial room played out in a finely tuned audiovisual symphony. This instrument of a room is performed live by performers from different artistic fields. The performers' presence in the room are deeply integrated as part of the expression."
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- The Hedda Award 2015
in category Best audiovisual design
- Norwegian Critics' Award 2015
in category Teaterkritikerprisen
- The Hedda Award 2015
Nominated in category Best audiovisual design
- Norwegian Critics' Award 2015
Nominated in category Teaterkritikerprisen
- The Hedda Award 2014
in category Honorary Hedda
- The New York Dance and Performance Awards 2006
in category Installation & New Media
- The Telenor International Culture Prize AKA Boundless communication 2003
in category Telenors kulturpris 2003
- The Hedda Award 2002
Nominated in category Open category
- Danse- og teatersentrums scenekunstpris (The performing arts award of Performing Arts Hub Norway) 1998
in category Danse- og teatersentrums scenekunstpris (The performing arts award of Performing Arts Hub Norway) 1998
- Bridge over Mud (26 Aug. 2015)
- Bridge over Mud (19 Sep. 2014)
- And All the Questionmarks Started to Sing (9 Sep. 2010)
- And All the Questionmarks Started to Sing (8 Jul. 2010)
- And All the Questionmarks Started to Sing (15 Apr. 2010)
- louder (6 Oct. 2007)
- Concert for Greenland (4 Mar. 2004)
- The Telling Orchestra (2004)
- Mandala (2003)
- Tsalal (15 Jan. 2002)
- The RÉGLA room (2000)
- RÉGLA (1 Nov. 1999)
- Faust/Massnamhe (11 Mar. 1998)
- Read My Lips (30 Sep. 1997)
- Philoctetes (1996)
- Answering Machine (1996)
- Orfeo (10 Feb. 1995)
- Trying to reach Marselisgate without crying AKA How to reach Marselisgate without crying (1995)
- Fra dag til dag (1994)
- 7 against Thebes (1994)
- Seksjon dans (30 Jan. 1993)
- Friday the 15th of October (20 Jan. 1993)
- Thursday the 14th of October (11 Sep. 1991)
- Wednesday13th of October (6 Jun. 1990)
- Badehuset* (The Bathhouse) (Mar, 1989)
- Zanzibar (1988)
- Sirkus Laila* (Circus Laila) (1987)
- Til Elise* (For Elise) (1987)
- Gjøglernes Sirkus* (The Jesters' Circus) (1986)
More about Verdensteatret
Verdensteatret has developed its own complex audiovisual expression, in which prominent landscapes of sound mix with sculptural stage design and pieces of fragile, human storytelling.
The artists say they have become a "telling orchestra" performing works within the genre "mobile room". The orchestral works are not musical works in the most usual term of the word, but musical and audiovisual, spatial compositions. Using established genre terms for the work of Verdensteatret has proved itself impossible.
All the following quotes are excerpts from Jon Refsdal Moe's text on Verdensteatret: Flotsam of the Future:
"Instead of beginning with an all-encompassing idea, Verdensteatret takes the ashes as its starting-point, collecting fragments of contexts that may once have had meaning; old scrap that they have picked up from the roadside; a story that someone may once have read for them; a dream that someone once had. They call it flotsam, things that have come floating by, that may once have had a purpose. And through Verdensteatret's work, the flotsam is transformed into something aesthetic; twisted, bent and carefully reassembled to create new contexts.
The art of Verdensteatret is what is born when all these elements begin to work together. But their art is not the sculptures that they have created, nor the pictures that they project, nor the rusty mechanisms that they operate. It is the shadows that fall on the back wall, the shrieking machinery, the joke that you can't understand because it is told in a foreign language, the sound of a man hammering away on a piano. Verdensteatret's art is everything that comes into being and disappears again in the same instant."
Think of the old cinemas from the early days of film, where people crowded in to be blinded by pictures they had never seen before, and by the wonderful technology that gave them these pictures. If we opened the door to one of these picture palaces, we would find machinery rusting away, and we might perhaps smile sadly at the fascination for things that once were new and spectacular.
Verdensteatret takes us into such spaces and fills them with its own futuristic dream - samplers, Powerbooks and video projectors, technology that we may find fascinating now, but which will end up on the scrap heap in not too long. By combining them to form a rusty shadow theatre, Verdensteatret shows us that our own futuristic fantasies are also about to disappear.
Hungarian Nicolas Schöffer wrote that the task of the artist is not to produce meaning, but to produce productions. This may sound like splitting hairs, but in fact there is a major difference. Verdensteatret never presents you with a ready-made meaning, but rather shows the production of a meaning. By setting a large-scale, unstoppable play of references in motion, Verdensteatret lays the groundwork for meanings to develop.
Verdensteatret's audiences are never presented with a finished expression, but become witnesses to the creation of an expression. And because time, space and the viewer are drawn into the production, there is always an element of randomness to Verdensteatret's work. The play of randomness produces the expression finally left. But as in Schöffer's ballets of light, or in John Cage's happenings, or Alexander Calder's mobile sculptures, chance is always dependent on one strict condition: the rusty mechanics of the machine...
"Verdensteatret's art is always erasing itself, which is why there are so many historical references in their work. Therefore their work pays defiant homage to artistic production: a production that leaves no excess products and creates no stable values, but instead chooses to cultivate moments that should really not be cultivable."
Verdensteatret was given Honorary Hedda 2014.
The Hedda Committee gave the following reason:
"This year Honorary Hedda goes to an oeuvre that has, since the beginning of the 1980es, contributed to internationalising Norwegian theatre. First through importing impulses from European art theatre, later through setting a new standard for this theatre in Europe, USA and Asia.
Wherever they have travelled they have left deep traces, and traces of these journeys have also been brought back into the productions. With an expression as deeply anchored in music and visual arts as in theatre they have bridged art forms, places and generations- and it is not a random coincidence that their next production has been given the title The Bridge over Mud. Difficult to categorise, but easy to recognise.
Unique in its form, but undisputedly theatre. Undisputedly as Verdensteatret.
The Hedda Committee gives The Honorary Hedda to Verdensteatret."
Lisbeth Bodd, founder of Verdensteatret and the artistic director and daily manager of the company with Asle Nilsen, died 28th of September 2014.
The archive of Verdensteatret, donated by Verdensteatret, 05.10.2011
The Hedda Award 2014, www.heddaprisen.no, 16.06.2014, http://www.heddaprisen.no/pub/heddaprisen/main/?aid=1266
The Hedda Award 2015, heddaprisen.no, 20.05.2015, http://www.heddaprisen.no/pub/heddaprisen/main/?aid=1306