News | 04.01.2019

Maria Magdalena Ludewig,
curator of the Wiesbaden Biennale, killed in fatal accident

Maria Magdalena Ludewig, curator and director of the Wiesbaden Biennale, has died in a tragic accident. On 31 December 2018, an Atlantic wave on the island of Fuerteventura swept her into the open sea. Alongside Martin Hammer, Maria Magdalena Ludewig was the artistic force behind the 2016 and 2018 editions of the Wiesbaden Biennale hosted by the Hessian State Theatre, bringing internationally renowned artists from the fields of theatre, performance and visual arts to the Hessian State capital. Under her curatorship, artists such as Rabih Mroué, Gob Squad, Romeo Castellucci, Dmitry Krymov, Florentina Holzinger, Roger Ballen, Markus Öhrn and Dries Verhoeven visited Wiesbaden to take part in this important event. The construction of the controversial golden Erdoğan statue on the Platz der deutschen Einheit and the installation of a REWE grocery store in the Foyer of the Theatre were also projects for which Ludewig and Hammer were responsible.

Born in Lübeck in 1982, Ludewig studied philosophy in Hamburg and Berlin as well as stage direction at the Ernst Busch College of Acting in Berlin. She was active as freelance producer and director, staging productions at the Hamburg Schauspielhaus and Berlin Sophiensaele, among others. Since 2007, she worked regularly at Kampnagel Hamburg, where her project "Übung in Trauer - Exercise in Mourning" premiered in October 2017. In 2014, Uwe Eric Laufenberg, Intendant of the Hessian State Theatre of Wiesbaden, appointed Ludewig and Hammer as curators of the Wiesbaden Biennale. Maria Magdalena Ludewig was 36 years old.

On the death of Maria Magdalena Ludewig
by Uwe Eric Laufenberg

Maria Magdalena Ludewig is dead.
On 31 December 2018, New Year's Eve, while visiting one of the Canary Islands, Maria Magdalena was torn from a rocky outcrop by a surprise wave and swept out to sea.

Everyone at the Hessian State Theatre is mourning this irreplaceable loss.
Together with Martin Hammer, Maria Magdalena conceptualised and curated two editions of the Wiesbaden Biennale with her unbridled power, energy and imagination. She inspired those around her, pushed the boundaries and always remained the guiding spirit of the artists with whom she came into contact. Her indelible legacy will live on in all of us.
"This is Not Europe" and "Bad News" were the unusual titles of her (our) two editions of the Biennale. This message is indeed the worst "Bad News" that we could possibly send out.
Behind the bad news lies the following Christian message:
Every human life is unique.
This is where it ends. We live on.
Maria Magdalena Ludewig's life was unique, unforgettable and complete.
She has passed on.
Even if she has left us much too soon.