Deutsche Bank Towers a Setting for the International Performance Series EVACUATION

For three weeks, from Friday, September 12, to Sunday, October 5, the Deutsche Bank Towers will be the setting for an unusual performance action that tests the evacuation of an entire region with artistic means. If you get on line 8 of the S-Bahn commuter train at Mainz Central Station and take it to Hanau, this is almost exactly equivalent to crossing the Tokyo metropolitan area with its 35 million inhabitants. Even before the earthquake and nuclear disaster of 2011, it was obvious that Tokyo could not be evacuated in an emergency.

Back in 2010, the Japanese director Akira Takayama had conceived his performance series The Complete Manual of Evacuation in Tokyo as an action against the prevailing political, social, and culture apathy. At that time, the performances took place along the 29 stops of the Yamanote line of the Tokyo subway. With Fukushima, the performance took on unexpectedly topical relevance.

Now he has developed a new version of his performance series for the Rhine-Main area oriented to its lifeline: the Main river. EVACUATION, which begins on September 12, 2014, is the first escape and emergency plan for the Rhine-Main region. Thirty commuter train and tram stops along the Main are the points of departure for extraordinary explorations of places and encounters developed by international artists.

The Deutsche Bank Towers are the starting point for one of the performances, staged by the Brazilian artist collective OPOVOEMPÉ. The meeting point is the red chairs in the Deutsche Bank lobby every Monday to Friday from 2 to 3 pm. The collective, founded in São Paulo in 2004, takes a group limited to five visitors on a tour – accompanied by random and fleeting encounters with the performers – from a modern shopping and bank district of Frankfurt to a suburb. OPOVOEMPÉ takes them on a short poetic trip that leads from one economic and social reality to another and culminates in an afternoon picnic on the Main river. Deutsche Bank employees are also cordially invited to take part. Tickets for the interactive event are available at ticketservice@mousonturm.de.

The event was developed by the Frankfurt artists’ house Mousonturm together with an international team of artists and researchers directed by Akira Takayama. The evacuation plan for the performances is provided on the website evakuieren.de.