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Political Theatre Today: The Art of Assembly Book presentation Florian Malzacher in Conversation with Claire Bishop

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Sep 21, 2023
Sep 21, 2023
Segal Theater

Thursday, Sept. 21, 6:30 pm

Segal Theatre, 365 Fifth Ave. @ 34 Street

Join us for a live SEGAL TALK with author and curator Florian Malzacher and Claire Bishop to discuss the impact of the latest Segal Center publication. Live online on HOWLROUND TV. 

In his book The Art of Assembly. Political Theatre Today curator and author Florian Malzacher surveys theatre today to demonstrate its political potential in both form and content. Drawing on numerous examples from around the world in performance, visual art, and activist art, he examines works that draw on the particular possibilities of theatre to navigate the space between representation and participation, at once playfully and with sincerity. In a time of wide-ranging crisis, The Art of Assembly is a plea for a strong definition of the political and for a theatre that is not content merely to reflect the world’s ills but instead acts to change them.

Presented by The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center and Goethe-Institute New York. Moderated by Frank Hentschker.

A knowledgeable foray through the landscape of political theatre; die tageszeitung (taz)
A very good overview of current postdramatic events, bringing together a great deal of empirical material; Simon Strauss, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ)
Rarely have the pitfalls of representation as the cornerstone of theatre been explained so elegantly; Berliner Zeitung
A stimulating book that brings you up to date with the latest discursive thinking; profil
A clever, enjoyable and accessible analysis even for the theory-shy. A briefing on the state of the discourse and a declaration of love for theatre; Die Wochenzeitung (WOZ)


Florian Malzacher is a curator, writer, and dramaturg, as well as the host of The Art of Assembly, a series of talks about the potential of gathering in art, activism, and politics (since 2021). His current projects include Training for the Future (with Jonas Staal). He was artistic director of Impulse Theater Festival in Cologne, Dusseldorf, and Mülheim an der Ruhr (2013–2017), and co-curator of the multidisciplinary arts festival steirischer herbst in Graz, Austria (2006–2012). He is co-author and co-editor of numerous publications on contemporary theatre, curating performing arts and the relationship between art and politics. His texts have been translated into more than fifteen languages.


Claire Bishop is a critic and professor in the PhD Program in Art History at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. Her books include Artificial Hells: Participatory Art and the Politics of Spectatorship (Verso, 2012), and Radical Museology, or, What’s Contemporary in Museums of Contemporary Art? (Walther König, 2013). She is a Contributing Editor of Artforum, and her essays and books have been translated into twenty languages. She is about to publish two books: Merce Cunningham’s Events: Key Concepts (Koenig Books, 2023) and Disordered Attention: How We Look at Art and Performance Today (Verso, 2024). 

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