Situation Rooms by Rimini Protokoll, first-person collective shooting.


Situation Rooms is an artwork by the German collective Rimini Protokoll. It’s very hard to categorize as a performance or a theatre show or an experimental augmented reality film. It has a scenography: there is a maze of rooms that are designed differently from one another in order to be consistent with the scenes, like a real movie set. It has characters: each room is the background for a scene where someone (who is never seen because everything is shot in POV) experiences a moment of danger or tension associated with the use of weapons (for example there is a Pakistani lawyer who defends victims of attacks by U.S. drones, or a photographer who prints pictures of war, or a senior official who makes decisions in a control room). It has an audience: the public are driven on to the stage using a tablet and headphones as a guide. Each tablet transmits a different narrative and visitors move through the rooms following the instructions dictated by their narrative, living the space as its contexts change. They walk around as a spy, as a victim or a victimiser, meeting and clashing with others throughout the duration of the course. There are actors, but somehow they are also part of the public. They were chosen in a very particular way: 20 people were invited from 20 different countries, all with a weapons shaped biography. Stealing the name of the legendary “situation room” of the White House, this work may be trying to describe the reciprocity of what happens in a single “room” over the course of time. In this continuous exchange of roles between actors and audience, in the constant and reciprocal dramatic tension, it is difficult to establish who is activating whom. Chiara Ciociola


Rimini Protokoll – The Situation Rooms, First-Person Scenes