by Kirill Serebrennikov
Direction: Kirill Serebrennikov

Guest Performance during FIND 2021

»Life is a lie.Truth is a lie. When I take a photo, I am naked …«
Ren Hang

Chinese photographer Ren Hang photographed cityscapes, nature and, above all, the naked bodies of young men and women in his Beijing flat. Hang’s photos depict a new Chinese generation in all its rebellious will to live and nonconformist beauty — in sharp contrast to the image of youth prescribed by the state. His less-well-known poems are darker and broach the topics of sex, loneliness, depression, love and death. Ren Hang’s art fascinated director Kirill Serebrennikov and the two were planning a collaboration together. Just 48 hours before they had arranged to meet, the 29-year-old Ren Hang took his own life in Beijing. Shocked by the loss, Serebrennikov decided to create a memorial to Hang and, in this production, to mirror his own experiences in the life and work of Ren Hang. Only a few months later, Serebrennikov himself becomes a victim of political repression in Russia: accused of tax fraud, he is confined to several years of house arrest that has only just been lifted. Written and directed by Serebrennikov in the prison of his own flat, premiered at the 2019 Festival d’Avignon in the absence of the director, »Outside« is also the product of a dramatically curtailed encounter between two artists. In their biographies and works, both have vehemently defended topics such as identity, sexuality, beauty and the place of the individual in a totalitarian system — with humour, poetry and an unbroken desire for freedom.

Kirill Serebrennikov (*1969, Rostov-on-Don) first studied natural sciences before switching to theatre in 1992. He has staged numerous classic and contemporary texts in Moscow as well as operas at the Bolshoi Theatre and in many European cities and directed several feature films. He has been director of the Gogol Centre in Moscow since 2012. Following »Otmorozki« (2011) and »The Idiots« (2014), »Outside« is his third work to be presented at FIND.

Choreography: Evgeny Kulagin, Ivan Estegneev
Music Composition: Ilya Demutsky 

With: Odin Lund Biron, Yang Ge, Georgy Kudrenko, Nikita Kukushkin, Andrey Petrushenkov, Evgeny Romantsov, Anastasia Radkova, Evgeny Sangadzhiev, Igor Sharoyko, Elizaveta Yuryeva as well as Alexey Bychkov, Daniil Orlov, Andrey Polyakov (Musicians)

>>> Essay about the production in Pearson's Preview: Two Abesent Artists at the Schaubühne. Kirill Serebrennikov’s »Outside«


Duration: ca. 105 minutes

Production: M.ART
Co-production: Festival d’Avignon
Supported by Gogol Center.
Supported by the Freunde der Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz e.V.

FIND is supported by the Senate Department for Culture and Europe, Berlin

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Trigger warning: The show contains explicit depictions of sexual actions. Stroboscope light is used.