Wednesday, 20 December 2023, 6:30 pm

Reality Machine 2

Imitations of Life
Boris Nikitin talks with curator and author Florian Malzacher about emancipatory forgeries, radical vulnerability, reality-tv and their book Das Gegenteil der Dinge.
Free admission, no registration, in German

The question of how we construct realities and identities has been a central theme in Boris Nikitin's theater for over 15 years. Above all, the confrontation with falsification and propaganda runs through his artistic work like an obsessive leitmotiv. For Nikitin, these fakes are not only a deceptive manipulation, but always the basis for emancipation. Nikitin's plays, festivals, conversations and The Last Reality Show at Museum Tinguely negotiate the public as an ongoing conflict zone for recognition, visibility and vulnerability. His work is driven by a hope for change and a yearning for possibility.


Florian Malzacher is a curator and author. In his book, board games. Political theater today and its meanwhile 24-part international discussion series Gesellschaftsspiele. Politisches Theater, he deals with experimental forms of gathering in art and the question of how society can be reformed through other forms of representation. In 2022, he published the monograph Das Gegenteil der Dinge about Boris Nikitins’ work over the past 15 years.


Image: Boris Nikitin, "X-Schools", HAU - Hebbel am Ufer Berlin, photo © Boris Nikitin

6 December 2023 - 21 January 2024

The Last Reality Show. Boris Nikitin

Big Brother was the first reality show to be aired simultaneously on television and the internet. The container was a democratic utopia, dystopia and work of popular Conceptual Art rolled into one: an auto-surveillance system, a permanently auto-updating ready-made, a paradoxical authenticity machine. To mark the twentieth anniversary of the first season of Big Brother, the Basel-based artist and theatre director Boris Nikitin has created an almost exact replica of the original container. The container is empty, its inhabitants having long since left. As a historical artefact, it stands there deserted, like a lonely relic.

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