This paper argues that Schlingensief’s autobiographical techniques of self-care, which he developed after a lung cancer diagnosis in 2008, relate to his reception of the aesthetic and therapeutic concepts of the avant garde and neo-avant garde. Schlingensief’s theatre explores the modern nexus of salvation and self-care and develops what can be called an archaeology of the modern history of aesthetic therapeutics, stretching from Wagner’s concept of ‘Art as Religion’ to the avant-garde movements of the 20th century. The medium of Schlingensief’s approach to the historicity of these avant gardes is both filmic and theatrical reenactments of specific historical performances. Those settings, references and modes of citation are discussed more closely in the paper. While questioning the avant-garde movements as a sort of modern salvation story, Schlingensief’s own aesthetic concepts are deeply informed by those very movements. This is particularly rendered by the so-called ‘African Opera Village’, which key concept Schlingensief describes as: “Art Can Heal”.