Seeing. Experiencing. Being there. Looking out over Munich from the Gasteig – high above the city, yet part of it. This is what Türmer München (The Munich Vigil) was all about.
The Vigil is a performance by choreographer Joanne Leighton (WLDN), which took place on the roof of the Gasteig from 12.12.2020 to 12.12.2021 – twice a day every day, for 365 consecutive days. Like the watchmen of the Middle Ages – the 730 participants kept watch over the city for one hour at a time, high above the Philharmonic Hall.
Looking out over the city
An hour of time and space all to yourself, while at the same time communicating with the whole city: That is what Türmer München had in store for its participants. The Shelter on the roof of the Gasteig became a look out over Munich, a place to take a break from the daily hustle and bustle while at the same time immersing yourself in urban life from a new perspective: feel oneself and the city, rediscover it, get in touch with it, take responsibility for it and its inhabitants, be present, in the here and now; without distractions, without mobile phones or other gadgets; mindful, far removed from the demands of everyday life.
The illuminated Shelter on the roof of the Gasteig afforded a wide view towards the South-West over large parts of Munich. Visible from the city, it was a prominent look-out point and at the same time a protected space for the Türmer. The project also posed the question: Is it the Türmer watching the choreography of the city or are the people in the city watching the performance of the Türmer?
Türmer München lives from the experiences the participants made during their Vigil. They noted down their impressions, thoughts and feelings and everything that went through their mind during their Vigil. Their reflections, portraits and views are collected in the Türmer-book (only in German).
Who is behind it all?
The participatory performance, whose original French title is „Les Veilleurs“, was developed by Belgian-Australian choreographer Joanne Leighton. Her aim and the aim of her company WLDN is to integrate the audience into the artistic performance and to create an interdisciplinary exchange of choreography and other art forms. Mindfulness and presence play an important role, as do the aspects of repetition and ritual.
Belfort, Laval, Rennes, Haguenau, Freiburg, Évreux, Dordrecht, Graz and Munich: Since Joanne Leighton first realised the project in Belfort, France, in 2011, the Vigil has been running almost continually in various countries. And the project will continue after Munich: in 2021 in Kingston upon Hull and Paris. „It is new every time, in every new city! Türmer München has never been done before, and yet we have been doing the project for ten years. The work’s authorship is always the same“, as Leighton puts it.
The Shelter was designed by Benjamin Tovo. The architect graduated from the École Nationale Supérieure de Création Industrielle (ENSCI – les Ateliers). In cooperation with other architects, scenographers and graphic designers, Tovo collaborates in architectural transformations as well as temporary and permanent exhibitions. His activities as visual artist and teacher has given him a holistic understanding of creation and has, among other things, led to his collaboration with choreographer Joanne Leighton.
Who made the projekt possible
Türmer München is an event of the Gasteig Kulturstiftung
with the friendly support of Bernd Wendeln
Performance: Joanne Leighton/WLDN
Design: Benjamin Tovo
In cooperation with the Gasteig München GmbH
With the support of the Beisheim Stiftung