The publication series Performing Urgency focuses on the relationship between theatre and politics, and asks: How can theatre engage in contemporary social and political issues without compromising art or politics? What kind of knowledge or impact can art generate that activism and theory alone cannot? What are the processes and methodologies of political theatre today? It aims at a broader discussion of the conditions, aesthetics, concepts, and topics of contemporary performing arts.


 Performing Urgency #4                                                   EMPTY STAGES, CROWDED FLATS PERFORMATIVITY AS CURATORIAL STRATEGY         Edited by Florian Malzacher & Joanna Warsza

During its impressive career over the last decades the term ‘performative’ has been attributed with many parallel meanings in the humanities, philosophy, arts, or economics. Empty Stages, Crowded Flats applies the notion of the performative to the context of curating with the aim to unfold a potential that so far has been mostly unused. The book is following J. L. Austin, Judith Butler, and others in their belief in the performative capacity to transform reality with words and other cultural utterances, but it also emphasises the often dismissed, colloquial notion of the performative as something being ‘theatre-like’, believing that those two strands are in fact interdependent and intertwined. Empty Stages, Crowded Flats investigates an array of staged situations, from choreographed exhibitions, immaterial museums, theatres of negotiation, and discursive marathons, to street carnivals and subversive public-art projects, and asks how ‘theatre-like’ strategies and techniques can in fact enable ‘reality making’ situations in art, and how, as a consequence, curating itself becomes staged, dramatised, choreographed, and composed.

Contributions by Frédérique Aït-Touati, Knut Ove Arntzen, Nedjma Hadj Benchelabi, Claire Bishop, Beatrice von Bismarck, Rui Catalão, Vanessa Desclaux, Tim Etchells, Galerie, Karin Harrasser, Shannon Jackson, Ana Janevski, Lina Majdalanie, Ewa Majewska, Florian Malzacher, Maayan Sheleff, Gerald Siegmund, Claire Tacons, Kasia Tórz, Rachida Triki, Jelena Vesić, Joanna Warsza, Catherine Wood.

A House on Fire Publication 2017                                       15,5 x 22,5 cm, 159 pages, ISBN 978-3-89581-443-3

Book = 14,90 € | Ebook = 9,99 €

If you would like to order the book, please contact:             Publisher: Alexander Verlag Berlin             Co-publisher: Live Art Development Agency


  Performing Urgency #3                                               JOINED FORCES. AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION IN THEATRE                          Edited by Anna R. Burzyńska

The nineteenth century was a century of actors. The twentieth century was a century of directors. The twenty-first century is a century of spectators. With Jacques Rancière’s The Emancipated Spectator (2009) being the most discussed theatre-related text of the last decade, there is an increase in scholarly and curatorial interest in the most mysterious, potentially dangerous and, in fact, most important participant of the performance, who stays silent, motionless, and hidden in darkness: the audience. Similarly, artists desire to finally ‘meet the spectators’: to let them speak, get into a dialogue with them, invite them to involve themselves in pursuing the performance. To liberate the audience. Making theatre is always a political statement – asking about audience participation practices is asking about the possibilities of making changes both in art and in politics. Joined forces is comprised of four interviews and ten essays, case studies, manifestos and anti-manifestos by theatre makers, curators, critics and scholars. They present various examples of audience participation in theatre linking them to problems of participation in democracy and to socially engaged art.                                                           

Contributions by Ophelia Patricio Arrabal, Elena Basteri, Lotte van den Berg, Roger Bernat, Justine Boutens, Anna R. Burzyńska, Adam Czirak, Johanna Freiburg, Helgard Haug, Stefan Kaegi, Tobi Müller, Dominique Nduhura, Antoine Pickels, Adelheid Roosen, Tom Sellar, Roberto Fratini Serafide, Jan Sowa, Bastian Trost, Miriam Tscholl, Tea Tupajić, Ana Vujanović, Daniel Wetzel, Wojtek Ziemilski.

A House on Fire Publication 2016                                       15,5 x 22,5 cm, 199 pages ISBN 978 3 89581 427 3

Book = 14,90 € | Ebook = 9,99 €

If you would like to order the book, please contact:             Publisher: Alexander Verlag Berlin             Co-publisher: Live Art Development Agency


Performing Urgency #2                                                   TURN, TURTLE!  REENACTING THE INSTITUTE                               Edited by Elke Van Campenhout & Lilia Mestre

The renewed interest in artistic practices as well as in institutional collaborations with artists seems to be driven by a positive vibe, by an interest in changing the governing structures from within rather than critically denouncing their power structures from the outside. The move towards ‘reclaiming the institute’ is less an act of de-masking than an attempt to re-politicise the institutional field, an attempt to make the institute matter again as a centre for intensification to address common concerns.                                                             Turn, Turtle! Reenacting the Institute is comprised of six essays, three interviews, and six case studies of performance makers, institution directors, and thinkers. They propose diverse strategies of implication and engagement, opening up possible futures and alternative exchanges between parties that are too often still seen as adversaries.

Contributions by Livia Andrea Piazza, Ana Bigotte Vieira, Daniel Blanga-Gubbay, Valentina Desideri, Kattrin Deufert & Thomas Plischke, Juan Dominguez, Nicolas Galeazzi, Jan Goossens, Valeria Graziano, Sébastien Hendrickx, Herbordt/Mohren, Vladimir Miller, Vera Sofia Mota, Ahmet Öğüt, Victoria Perez Royo, Gerald Raunig, Jan Ritsema, Elke Van Campenhout, and Various Artists.

A House on Fire Publication 2016                                       15,5 x 22,5 cm, 197 pages ISBN 978-3-89581-410-5

Book = 14,90 € | Ebook = 9,99 €

If you would like to order the book, please contact:             Publisher: Alexander Verlag Berlin             Co-publisher: Live Art Development Agency


Performing Urgency #1                                                   NOT JUST A MIRROR. LOOKING FOR THE POLITICAL THEATRE OF TODAY          Edited by Florian Malzacher

Not Just a Mirror maps a movement of artists from all over the world searching for the political theatre of today. A theatre that wants to engage with society both in its contents as in its form, creating a contemporary community in which social and political actions can be deployed and in which societies in their – actual or possible – varieties are played out, performed, expanded, tested, or even invented.         Not Just a Mirror is comprised of eight essays, two interviews, and 15 case studies of political theatre makers, and investigates the performing arts as a political laboratory of the present. It explores how theatre, dance, and performance reveal their essential agnosticism, provoking the potential to actively change society rather than merely serving as a cover-up for the dysfunctions, fractures, and wounds of society.

Contributions by Julian Boal, Boris Buden, Matan Cohen, Annie Dorsen, Galit Eilat, Monika Ginterdorfer, John Jordan, Alexander Karschnia, Hervé Kimenyi, Beatrix Kricsfalusi, Bojana Kunst, Hans-Thies Lehmann, Judith Malina, Florian Malzacher, Tala Jamal Manassah, Oliver Marchart, Carol Martin, Lloyd Nyikadzino, Giulia Palladini, Roman Pawłowski, Jeroen Peeters, Goran Sergej Pristaš, Christian Römer, Sylvia Sasse, Francesco Scasciamacchia, Michael Sengazi, Vassilis Tsianos, Margarita Tsomou, Benjamin Wihstutz, Franck Edmond Yao.

Article about Not Just a Mirror in the "la vie des idees":              "Le théâtre pour transformer le monde" (FR)

A House on Fire Publication 2015                                       15,5 x 22,5 cm, 195 pages ISBN 978-3-89581-378-8

Book = 14,90 € | Ebook = 9,99 €

If you would like to order the books, please contact:           Publisher: Alexander Verlag Berlin            Co-publisher: Live Art Development Agency