In their new project – AIDS FOLLIES – Johannes Müller/Philine Rinnert expand upon a hybrid form of musical theater combining documentary findings, new compositions and pop culture.
The media’s repeated and periodic postmortem acquittal of legendary Patient Zero, Gaetan Dugas, is the point of departure for our examination of AIDS and its significance in the perpetuation of stereotypes and national front lines. The work began with international research that included conversations with contemporary witnesses, academics, doctors and activists. The assembled material ultimately culminates in a show that approximates the biography of a virus; the history of HIV encompasses not only “homosexuals” (the victims of a “gay plague”), the 1980s art scene and “Africans” (in a further indulgence of racist stereotypes), but also lesser-known factors such as a European colonial history in which burgeoning major cities and poor hygiene in administrating forced vaccinations could have played a role. Contradictory theories, queer activism, medical polemics, political propaganda and projections of societal bogeymen are components of this hybrid of lecture performance and revue, for which Genoël von Lilienstern contributed the songs. Von Lilienstern distills development phenomena from the cycle of the human immunodeficiency virus into harmonic experience and sets documentary artefacts to music while relating these factors to the musical findings of the research.
Direction and concept: Johannes Müller
Set design and Concept: Philine Rinnert
Music composition: Genoël von Lilienstern
Music direction: Antoine Daurat
Video: Benjamin Krieg/ Phillip Hohenwarther
with Hauke Heumann, Valerie Renay, Shlomi Moto Wagner, Sirje Aleksandra Viise and Misha Cvijovic, Sabrina Ma, Beltane Ruiz
Research: Ngefor Akamangwa, Assistance: För Kunkel/Chris Gylee
Production management: ehrliche Arbeit – Freies Kulturbüro
A production by Johannes Müller/Philine Rinnert in coproduction with SOPHIENSÆLE Berlin, brut Wien and Theater Rampe Stuttgart. With funding from Kulturstiftung des Bundes and the Berlin Senate Chancellery for Cultural Affairs and Europe. This production was supported by the 2017 Frankfurt LAB residency program.