What remains after we are dead? How can memories be staged?
Over the past century, life expectancy in Switzerland has increased by almost 40 years. Highly specialised medicine makes it possible to postpone the end of one’s days further and further while legislation offers the right to decide the time and circumstances of one’s own death. Meanwhile disputes are raging about solidarity and inheritance tax.
The German word “Nachlass” corresponds to the whole of the material and immaterial goods left by a deceased person. It’s composed of «nach» (after) and the verb «lassen» (to leave).
Stefan Kaegi accompanied eight people who for different reasons have decided to prepare their farewell. In collaboration with the stage designer Dominic Huber, they built eight spaces. Inside the protagonists tell, in their absence, the story of what remains when they are no longer there. An ambassador documents a foundation that will continue her work in Africa when she is gone. A Muslim in Zurich organises the return of his corpse to his hometown, Istanbul. A German banker near the end of his life reflects over the role he played in National Socialism. And a ninety year-old employee wonders what story the photographs of her life will tell.
“Nachlass” presents eight contemporary positions on what heritage and legacy mean today. How does our legislation affect the configuration of individual estates? What are the historical insights that seem important enough at the beginning of the 21st century to be preserved for future generations? What do we want to pass on to the people we love, and what do we want to leave for the society we live in? The audience enters eight immersive spaces. Voices, objects and images guide the spectators to the point where the baton is passed from generation to generation and to the borders of our very existence.
Concept: Stefan Kaegi / Dominic Huber
Text: Stefan Kaegi
Scenography: Dominic Huber
Video: Bruno Deville
Sound: Frédéric Morier
Dramaturgy: Katja Hagedorn
Creation assistants: Magali Tosato, Déborah Helle (intern)
Scenography assistants: Clio Van Aerde, Marine Brosse (intern)
Technical conception and construction: Théâtre de Vidy, Lausanne
Production: Théâtre de Vidy, Lausanne
Coproduction: Rimini Apparat, Schauspielhaus Zürich, Bonlieu Scène nationale Annecy et la Bâtie-Festival de Genève in the frame of the program INTERREG France-Suisse 2014-2020, Maillon, Théâtre de Strasbourg-scène européenne Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam, Staatsschauspiel Dresden, Caroline Performing Arts