The bar at the end of the universe presents nine videos showing a pre-apocalyptic prep class. Each session consists of a lecture, an interview, or a roundtable with invited guests, and each has its specific setting: artifacts that suggest a post-apocalyptic amusement park, plastic waste melted down into a Sputnik, and a cybertruck that has crashed down from outer space. An Egyptian tanning studio meets the beanbag in tardigrade shape with reflective surfaces, imitation ice drill cores have been placed next to a thermic equilibrium machine, and the walls are decorated with posters showing occult molecular structures and Ötzi and other hominids. Simulated archaeological finds in bronze betoken the end of our present, while sound-absorption panels in the shapes of the continental constellations at the times of the five most comprehensive mass die-offs embed the current situation in the larger framework of the earth’s history as a whole.
That is the scenery in which the pre-apocalyptic prep class is held, for Terra’s end does not equal the end of the universe. The nine videos gather different intellectual styles and symbolic systems and lead the audience into a time beyond the end.
The project’s title displaces its perspective to an observation point sufficiently remote for an interdisciplinary collage to coalesce. The personalities, experiences, and expertise of objects and guests interact, bringing their different imaginative potentials and forms of knowledge to bear. From academic angles to aesthetic experiences, from pure theory to rigorous physics, all standpoints showcase their models of the world and for the world. Each guest, after all, is sitting at a bar and telling his version of the end of the universe.
The astrophysicist Dr. Christine Gruber explains possible scenarios of the cosmos’s death while the pantomime Walter “Luigi” Burgmeier translates her talk into gestures.
The art historian Dr. Thomas Rainer, the scholar of religion Dr. Baldassare Scolari, and the legal scholar Dr. Cornelia Mittendorfer reenact the foosball tournament’s final showdown and contemplate justice at the end of time.
As a camp fire crackles in the background, the glaciologist Dr. Lindsay Nicholson presents three predictions on the melting of the glaciers and corresponding key junctures in the planet’s climate history.
Different onscreen representations of the demise of our species and matching approaches to a solution are discussed by the actors Almuth Kohnle, Conrad Ahrens, Paul Wellenhof, Klara Finck, and Maditha Dolle in the roles of the charactersfrom the contemporary science-fiction blockbuster “Interstellar” and the arthouse classic “Melancholia.” They are the guests in Victoria Wald’s “The resilient night show.”
Outside the bar, a cybertruck is parked in the rain. The aerospace technician Tommaso Castelletti can be heard speaking on the philosopher Anna Schwietering’s car radio while she tries to familiarize a crossbreed between terrier and chihuahua with the Heideggerian concept of “being-thrown-into-the-universe”: How can one leave the planet behind, and what should one expect then?
The materials scientist Magdalena Klotz and Oliver Zillig, who works in a hospice for the terminally ill, come together in a conversation moderated by the Egyptologist Dr. Alexander Schütze to discuss cyclical ideas of reality, contrasting the recycling of plastic with the reincarnation of souls.
Optimizable reproductive techniques as another potential way of avoiding the end, heredity, and the propagation of humans and algorithms in extraterrestrial spatiotemporal dimensions: these are the subjects of the chat between the mathematician Andrea Pontiggia and the gynecologist Dr. Susanna Delfrati.
The Futurological Congress demonstrates how to organize the society of survivors and get a handle on the garbage in the neighborhood. It was organized by members of the subcommittee on culture, youth, and social affairs of the district committee for the 2nd district, Ludwigvorstadt-Isarvorstadt (Beate Bidjanbeg, Christian Modrow, Hannelore Rohrbach). Luzia is crawling around between the legs of tables and local politicians.
The class concludes with the violinist Ronia Sophie Putz, who plays four movements from Arsen Babajanyan’s “Painted Necklace from the Past” for Charlotte Diedrich in her bathrobe.
Guests: Conrad Ahrens, Beate Bidjanbeg, Walter „Luigi“ Burgmeier, Tommaso Castelletti, Susanna Delfrati, Charlotte Diedrich, Maditha Dolle, Klara Finck, Dr. Christine Gruber, Iago, Liane und Luzia Klingler, Magdalena Klotz, Almuth Kohnle, Dr. Cornelia Mittendorfer, Christian Modrow, Prof. Lindsey Nicholson, Andrea Pontiggia, Ronja Sophie Putz, Dr. Thomas Rainer, Hannelore Rohrbach, Dr. Alexander Schütze, Anna Schwietering, Dr. Baldassare Scolari, Victoria Wald, Paul Wellenhof, Oliver Zillig
We would like to thank all guests, Arsen Babajanyan,the camera team Miko Rein, Prajwal Neupane and Fahd Bouhouch, Sophia Mainka, Lilian Robl,Fabian Feichter, Karin Fischnaller, Danilo Bastione, Theo Thönnessen.
A bar at the end of the universe is funded by the Culture Department of the City of Munich, the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media in the NEUSTART KULTUR program and the BBK.