The Book of Disquiet

In three nights in May, the Staatsschauspiel Dresden ensemble will act live in front of a camera for 8 hours, in a series of performances based on Fernando Pessoa's reflections on Solitude, Sleep / Dreams, and Death.

Premiere 11 June 2021

The Book of Disquiet – A Multimedia Installation and Performance at the Albertinum Museum Dresden


  • Director: Sebastian Hartmann
  • Costumes: Adriana Braga Peretzki
  • Music: Samuel Wiese
  • Dramaturgy: Jörg Bochow


Fernando Pessoa’s “The Book of Disquiet” is one of the great experiments in the literature of the 20th century. In his philosophy traditional opinion is reversed: Solitude, Sleep/Dream and awareness of Death are not considered as loss or failure, but as essential experiences and conditions for human’s freedom.

Pessoa’s work can be a point of departure for a new form of art and life in times of the pandemic and the future. The atrium of the Albertinum Museum Dresden will be the venue for three nightlong live and digital performances at the edge between fine art, media and theatre performances. In each of the three nights in May 2021, our ensemble will be performing for 8 hours live in front of the camera. The eight hour performances will consist of three parts which are based on Pessoa’s reflections on Solitude, Sleep/Dream and Death. The audience can either watch the whole 8 hour performance or one of the three sections of it.

The performances will be transmitted as live stream for a worldwide audience with surtitles in different languages. Renowned theatre director Sebastian Hartmann, visual artist and painter Tilo Baumgärtel, two composers and video designers collaborate with the actresses and actors in order to create a complex multimedia performance that is resembling the phases of human’s sleep. Following the different phases of sleep, the performance structure will vary by the dominant mode of communication, by switching from text to music to visual performance concepts (such as live painting and video mapping). Besides these elements, the museum and in particular the atrium of the Albertinum will itself become a spectacle.

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