Kirchengasse 44, A-1070 Vienna, Phone/Fax +43/1/5222375


Heiner Müller © Eva Brenner (1987)
© R. Berson (2005)

10 Days 10 Nights
Heiner Müller non-stop

Living & Working

Texts by Heiner Müller:
„Herakles 2 or the Hydra“ (1972)
“The Task. Memory of a revolution” (1979)
“Heartpiece” (1981)
“Ajax for instance“ (1994)
“Dreamtext” (1995)

Commemorating the 10th anniversary of the death of Heiner Müller (30. 12. 2005)

OPENING: Monday, Oct. 24th, 8 pm
Activity non-stop until Thurs., Nov. 3rd, 6 pm

Pay as you wish
Activities * Meals * Drinks * Discussion


10 Years Müller Death
10 Days 10 Nights Living
10 Hours Activities
10 Minutes Theatre
10x2 culinary Intermezzi

Actionists: Rainer Berson (BR/D), Eva Brenner (A/USA), Corinne Eckenstein (CH), Nicolas Dabelstein (D) Aisha Lindsey (USA), Clemens Matzka (A), Andreas Pamperl (A), Maren Rahmann (D), Angélica Castelló (MEX), YAP Sun Sun (SING; Space/Projections: Andreas Pamperl (A); Costumes: Beatrice Radlinger (A): Assistance: Anna Sonntag (A), Isabel Öhlinger (A): Graphics/Fotography: Rainer Berson; Documentation: Barbara Seifert (A). Thanks to Josef Szeiler

Special Events

Admission free of charge

I    Friday, 21st of October, from 7 p.m.
SOIRÉE with Dinner & Drinks
initiated by Werner Rotter
(Human rights committee Seibane Wague)
in Cooperation with Initiative GREEN Migrants (IGM)
with: Madeleine Reiser (Vice-Director of the 7th district),
Alev Korun (Candidate for the Viennese municipal council)

II    Monday, 31st of October, 9 p.m.
with Ronald Pohl (der Standard) & Josef Szeiler (Theater Director)

III    Thursday, 3rd of November, 6 p.m.
with the collective editorial staff
of the magazine MALMOE & Guest

The project is the initiation of: „NICE  TO  MEAT  YOU! – Scenes in the age of TERROR & COOLNESS“, Two-year-cycle 2005-07, an interdisciplinary  theatre- &  research project in the BUTCHERY & in public space.

The Project

10 Years after Heiner Müller’s death, the new team of the BUTCHERY undertakes the experiment to live, work, produce theatre, receive guests and debate in its new space „BUTCHERY“ for the entirety of ten days and nights.

10 Artists of different disciplines work on selected texts following an exact time structure and fixed rules of the game for 24 hours at any one time.

During 10x 24-hours of Theatre activity historical analogies, throughlines and breaks in Müller’s texts are drawn and Müller’s texts examined for their topicality. Each of ten BUTCHERY-activists is responsible for the presentation of his/her 24 hours.

The duration of 24 hours is divided into two working blocks of 10 hours interrupted by two hours of joint meals taking place at a  large  butchery-table.  They include a common breakfast of the team and a dinner with guests from the district providing for a meeting-place to discuss and deepen the artistic process.

10 Minutes after every full hour “theatre performances” composed of scenic fragments, texts, visuals and choral works punctuate the process and comment on traditional concepts of theatre.
Each day consists of the following units of time:
1) Bodywork 2) Streetwork, 3) Guestwork 4) Thinkwork 5) Housework 6) Nightwork 7) Diligencework and work breaks.

Work with Müller’s texts

On the basis of five texts stemming from different periods of his oeuvre, Müller’s sharp critique of a growing sense of cultural and historical loss in our society as well as stereotypes of mythical hero-images weaving through our culture are investigated. The complex of „Man“ and „Machine“ forms a thematic framework. Rereading Müller’s late works their prophetic dimensions satnds out, testifying to the fact that, long before „9/11“ and „New Orleans“, the ghosts of “globalisation“are presaged under the sign of a „New World Order“.  Questions are posed as to the significance of human labour and existence against the backdrop of increasing economization and automatization of all areas of life.

New team new concept at the BUTCHERY

With the project „HEART.pieces“ the new artistic team around Eva Brenner (PROJEKT THEATRE STUDIO), Corinne Eckenstein(fe/male polaroids) and Nicolas Dabelstein (theatre turbine) initiates a Heiner Müller-project year in the new theatrical space BUTCHERY.

The BUTCHERY is conceived as home base for innovative theatre and performance works amidst the buzz of the city, as a shop from the age of the good old corner shop and as a cross-bordering place of communication with „windows on the world“. Large display windows  offer space for new theatrical formats of „artistic close-range-provision“ – from performances and discussions to concerts and life-art interventions.

Theater inside and outside

The experiment of a group living & working together in the same space for a prolonged time is an attempt to newly define the theatrical space and to open it to the outside by playing in the shop windows and on the streets. With participation of invited target groups, everyday life is confronted with art, living with work. The allegedly un-saleable „commodity“ of creativity is literally placed in the „windows“ and offered up at favourable prices, the former corner-shop from the-turn-of-the-century before last is converted into a novel place of communication.

Aim of the experiment is to establish a discourse about  complex contemporary theatre texts and pertinent political issues with a new audience.  

„Man is the enemy of the machine, for every regular system he is the disruptive factor. He is messy, produces dirt and does not function. (…) That is the work of capitalism – the structure of the machine. The logic of the machine corresponds to the reduction of man to the raw material, the material plus tooth-gold. (…) The endeavour of theory in the west is limited to be on the side of the winners, the machines. Winners are the destroyers of our century. One has to refuse to win.“
- Heiner Müller, „Beyond the nation“, 1991.

The Space

The framework for the project HEART.pieces is constituted by an empty space full of forgotten history which is redesigned as a temporary living space. The BUTCHERY as former general store has lost its function and - similar to Müllers texts - is now waiting „for history“. During the 10-day artistic works by the team, surrounding areas of the BUTCHERY (crossing Burggasse/Kirchengasse, sidewalks, cafés, streets) are included in the play. Neighbours, shopholders, unemployed, youngsters, activists and other „guests“ from the area intervene actively in the events, read texts and contribute personal stories.

Thanks to: Kulturamt der Stadt Wien, BKA_Kunst/Theater, Bezirksvorstehung 7. Bezirk, private Sponsoren.
Also Thanks to: Peter Fuchs Direct Marketing, pink zebra theatre, Café Espresso, Restauraunt Spatzennest, das möbel, Amerlingbeisl, Copyshop Nowak, Da Michele Pizzeria, Steppenwolf Outdoor Shop, Warmuth&Frisöre.

The Author

Heiner Müller (* 9th of January 1929 in Eppendorf, Saxony, † 30th December 1995 in Berlin) is counted among the most important and controversial German-speaking writers of the 20th century. The GDR-Author was one of its few subversive thinkers, for whom death, violence and treason constituted central collective experiences. The radical anti-capitalist and apocalyptic visionary was afflicted with German history from which at the same time he drew his aesthetic productivity. Characteristic are his relentless examinations of the „epochal collisions“ between facism and socialism, between East and West. Müller’s poetic remembrance work turns against the oblivion in the memory space Germany. Through extreme formal comprimation and fragmentation, his plays, poems, and prose texts explode traditional literary/dramatic forms and dialogs. In the radicalization of displayed conflicts, his theater aims no longer for solutions, but for the production of new patterns of perception and of action.

The Texts

„Herakles 2 or the Hydra“ (from: „Cement“, 1972)

In the prosetext „Herakles 2 or the Hydra“ – Intermedium of the play „Cement“ (1972) - Heiner Müller has already predicted the possible failure of socialism in its real-existing peculiarity in the early 1970’s. Furthermore he radically questions the responsibility and autonomy of decision-making processes, i.e. the limits of individuality - and with it prevailing rhetorics of the „heroic“. The ground under the hero’s feet begins to vibrate, he loses orientation and gets lost in the forest. His search for the(capitalistic) „monster“ Hydra becomes a nightmare, the forest and/or he himself emerge in the course of the „battle“ as the enemy itself.   

The man in the elevator (from: „The Task“, 1979)

With the dreamlike prosetext „Man in the elevator“ – a Kafaesque Intermedium in the revolutionary drama „The task“ – Müller addresses the lost search for political utopia, now sinking into the swamp of the capitalistic system. The text asks questions about the "slavery" within social and economic restraints in the context of colonialism and neo-colonialism and possible ways out. For the time being it seems that the struggle against slavery remains a fight against "slavery of the system" in ourselves.

Heartpiece (1981)

Müller’s short, one-page long text about love help, violence and agreement devises a scene between two numbers, ONE and TWO, legible as figures and voices. ONE wants to lay his heart at the feet of TWO and affirms its purity, but admits his inability to get it out, whereupon TWO wants to help him, also without success. Now ONE says nothing, but “CRIES”, whereas TWO offers his help and announces to extract  the heart with a penknife. However, the heart proves to be a brick. The established reading of the text as a humorous love story fails in the face of the icy coldness with which TWO accepts the conventional declaration of love turning it into absurdity. The extraction of the heart as total acquisition of the desired object signals its annihilation, its metamorphosis into dead matter. The text contains all central elements of Müller’s writing and theatre work (laconism, irony, cruelty, quotation character, physical manner of speaking, agonal rhetoric).

Ajax for instance (1994)

In this long poem from the year 1994, Müller compares his  paradox situation as survivor of the GDR in newly united Germany with that of the mythical Ajax of Troy, who – driven into madness by the Goddess Athena – slaughtered a herd of animals instead of his enemies while later – when able to see again – throwing himself shamefully onto his sword. Situated between the fluorescent advertisments of the nightly Berlin-sky, Müller argues about open wounds of history, associates his impressions with personal thoughts and political analysis – marked by his consciousness of death approaching...

Dreamtext (1995)

Shortly before his death,  Müller – as marked by his deadly illness – once more engages one central theme of life: his (own) death and the question of “what will survive”. Imprisoned in a basin filled with dangerous black waters, a man is destined to walk along its rim while carrying his baby-daughter in a basket on his back.  He can no longer view above the rim while his tireless steps only lead back in a circle to the point of departure. Müller envisions German history since the days of Stalingrad, the man’s circular walk is punctured by his thoughts about the past and present, his daughter referencing the future. He who is dying, can no longer interfere, his truth has expired, he no longer holds advice for the times past his death. He has become an anachronistic hero without solutions which could extend the models available to his generation.  At the end he falls into the waters and calls out to his daughter:„STAY AWAY FROM ME WHO CAN NOT HELP YOU“.

Text Citations

„... He did not gain a step the forest set the pace the cramp persisted closed together around him compressed his intestines scraped his bones together how long could he withstand the pressure In increasing panic he realized the forest was the beast...“
- „Herakles 2 or the Hydra“ from: „Cement“, 1972

„... The world has not perished, provided, that this here is no other world. How do you fulfill an unknown task. What can my task be in this desert area beyond civilisation....“
- „The Man in the elevator“ from: „The Task“, 1979

„ONE Can I lay my heart at your feet. TWO If you don`t make my floor dirty. (...) ONE cries (...) TWO I want to extract it (...) But that is a brick. Your heart is a brick. EINS But it beats only for you.“
- Heartpiece, 1981

 „... Europe the bull is slaughtered / the meat rots on the tongue the progress lets / go of no cow / Gods will no longer visit you...“
- „Ajax for instance“, 1994

 „...In walking looking back over the shoulder I see on the twelfth or thirteenth floor on a lonely multi-floored building, on a terrace, under a  sunshade, in a deckchair, a man dying. [...] I watch his convulsive movements, which starting from the breast slowly grip the whole body, I have not seen a human being die yet, my curiosity is insatiable...“
- "Dreamtext", 1995



Press Release HEART.pieces

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Press Release HEART.pieces, short

531 K


Text Radio Broadcast

208 K



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© Eva Brenner 1987

413 K


© Rainer Berson 2005

4.6 M


© Rainer Berson 2005

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© Rainer Berson 2005

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© Rainer Berson 2005

3.3 M


Fotos/Opening © Rainer Berson 2005

1.1 M
© Blind Spot E² 2005


Anlässlich des 10. Todestages des deutschen Schriftstellers und Dramatikers Heiner Müller veranstaltete das PROJEKT THEATER STUDIO an seinem neuen Standort FLEISCHEREI eine ungewöhnliche Theateraktion: Während 10 Tagen und 10 Nächten non-stop arbeiteten, performten und diskutierten 10 SchauspielerInnen, MusikerInnen und FilmemacherInnen zu 5 ausgewählten späten Texten von Heiner Müller. Dabei fungierte das Theater als „Gassenlokal“ und neuartiger Begegnungsort, der Tag und Nacht für seine Gäste offen stand. Es wurde gespielt, gelesen, diskutiert und jeden Abend für alle gekocht, die Aktionen fanden sowohl im Lokal als auch auf der Strasse statt.

Ziel des Projekts war die künstlerische Gestaltung einer lustvollen Grenzüberschreitung von „Kunst“/“Theater“ und „Leben“ als kreative Versuchsanordnung.  Das Experiment zeichnete sich nicht nur durch den zahlreichen Besuch aus, sondern regte an zu einer unerwarteten Dichte und Vielfalt künstlerischer Zugänge zu Heiner Müllers Texten und Themen.  Lebendig wurde das Projekt durch die Diversität und Koexistenz ästhetischer und sozialer Gegensätze, die sich in einem „kollektiven Wohnzimmer“ begegneten.  Viele BesucherInnen kamen mehrmals, um die Entwicklung des Prozesses mitzuverfolgen.  Sie setzten sich aktiv mit Texten von Heiner Müller, die ihnen weitgehend unbekannt waren, und aktuellen Inhalten wie Konzepte „neuer Arbeit“ oder Formen aktiven Widerstands auseinander.  Die Verschränkung interdisziplinärer künstlerischer und sozialer AktivistInnen mit gesellschaftlichen Gruppen – wie Kinder, Jugendliche,  freie KünstlerInnen, Frauen, Manager, Gewerbetreibenden aus dem Bezirk oder MigrantInnen - , die sonst kaum zusammentreffen, zeigte eine Lücke an kulturellen Freiräumen,  der die FLEISCHEREI begegnen will.

Mehr als 1000 Besucher nahmen an der 240-stündigen Theateraktion teil. Offensichtlich gibt es ein wachsendes Bedürfnis nach solchen Kunst- und Lebensräumen, die offen sind für alle und zur direkten Interaktion einladen.  Durch die Gestaltung des Raumes als artifizielles „Wohnzimmer“ und die Bespielung der Schaufenster der FLEISCHEREI und des angrenzenden öffentlichen Raums wurde neues Terrain für ein neues Publikum gewonnen: neben geladenen Gästen fühlten sich PassantInnen animiert, einzutreten, zu essen, zu trinken, zu diskutieren und an den Kunstaktionen teilzunehmen.  die Direktübertragung von Text, Ton, Video und Musik aus dem Innenraum auf die Strasse (und vice-versa) forcierte diese Kommunikation.

Der Eintritt zu allen Veranstaltungen war gratis, jeder war am großen Schlachttisch zum gemeinsamen Essen geladen und konnte sich aktiv in die theatralisierten Diskussionen einmischen. Ein deutscher Besucher und Theaterregisseur charakterisierte das Experiment als eigenwillige und verblüffend zwanglose "Suche nach neuen Verkehrsformen des Lebens", die von allen Beteiligten eine produktive Verunsicherung ausgedienter Rollenmuster einfordert.

Die Weiterführung des Experiments mit Heiner Müller und anderen  zeitgenössischen Texten steht schon jetzt für das neue Team der FLEISCHEREI fest. Wobei Fragen nach neuen künstlerischen Sprachen im Vordergrund stehen werden: Welche Texte, Formen und Strukturen sind geeignet, die Emanzipation von SchauspielerInnen  und TheatermacherInnen weiter zu entwickeln. Wie kann die Lücke zwischen Kunstbetrieb und weiten Teilen der Gesellschaft, die sich vom Kulturangebot ausgegrenzt fühlen, geschlossen werden. Wie kann die Einrichtung einer grenzüberschreitenden Schnittstelle wie in der FLEISCHEREI professionalisiert werden. Kann daraus ein Impuls zur Kreation ähnlicher Freiräume des „Empowerments“ in Wien ausgehen. Das nächste Projekt in der FLEISCHEREI ist für März 2006 geplant und wird sich mit Texten Heiner Müllers zum Thema ÖDIPUS beschäftigen.