The work shows 12 photographs of four dancers. Only in the fast running sequence of these photographs and their constructed order does an artificial, seemingly endlessly repeating choreography emerge. This dance is a metaphor for the constantly, laboriously turning wheel of life, at the end of which death stands as liberation – a memento mori! dance.
Text: from the Kreuzstabkantate by Johann Sebastian Bach.
Dancers: Silvana Lemm, Therese Madeleine Thonfors, Natalie Farkas
Countless small will-o’-the-wisps buzz in this artificial underwater world. They symbolise all the people who drowned between 2014 and 2022 on their flight to Europe. At the bottom of this sea, we listen to the stories of five young refugees from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Ethiopia and Gambia. They talk about their families, their flight from violence, their hopes and dreams.
The audio material was made available with the kind permission of the Junges Theater Augsburg.
“Mother” is a symbol for “care”. But what does caring mean, what does being a “good” mother mean? Perhaps there are universal criteria that are free of socio-cultural conditioning. In fact, however, motherhood is shaped by social conventions that – viewed over time – have not always been the same.
Inspired by an old family album and a fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm, a story develops here that makes me think.
For centuries, the image of the mother has been shaped in every culture by religiously motivated ideals, of which Mary is the Western role model. She embodies male power fantasies of chastity, submissiveness, selflessness and unconditional loyalty – qualities that still shape the image of women in almost every patriarchal society today.
This image is fragile and increasingly beginning to dissolve. Women want to be self-determined. But what does it mean to be a “good” mother? Reflecting on the myth of “motherhood”…
I try on different identities like I try on clothes. They are people I knew and whose story I continue as a “descendant”. Who am I and what have they made of me? Does a part of them live on in me? For the moment of this installation, they come alive again through me.
2013, Photo album, different papers, acryl, gaze, 34 x 21 x 6 cm,
An old family album is filled with mental links to the past: letters, photographs, texts … It is an attempt at reconstruction. Bringing back the past by means of the present. But how much truth is there? And how much utopia is reflected in it? Because memory is a mixture of truth and decorative accessories. The greater the temporal and spatial distance, the more the truth content is reduced to a sediment. What remains is the essential – a metaphor about time and space: childhood and home.
This work is available as a physical object or video.
“In the end of 2015 I visited the area, which normally isn’t accessible for the public, for the first. I immediately got attracted by the atmosphere of the metal chambers of the gasometers with their impressive height, the strange acoustic and the obvious time marks. It looked like something very unique, which has to be conserved somehow.”
The video Postludium is an obituary for the former gasworks area in Augsburg/ Oberhausen. It shows a ghostlike dance in the empty rooms of the building especially of a historical disc-type gasometer, built in 1915, and another recent disc-type gasometer (“Gaskessel”). This work raises the question of whether a building has a memory and thus also an identity.
The piece “Echoes of Industry” was recorded in the “Gaskessel”.
Dancer: Alessandra La Bella
Credits: Gerald Fiebig, Christian Z. Müller, Alessandra La Bella, Oliver Frühschütz
Nature is determined by chaos as the driving force that leads to order. The strongest form of order is a pattern or rhythm.
Part one Patterns are regularly recurring structures generated from modules in predefined order and repetition. As individuals and social beings we are naturally influenced by patterns: heartbeat and breath have a rhythm (auditory pattern). The genetic code resembles a pattern. Metabolism is determined by “patterns”: Nutrient absorption, transport, transformation and excretion – as well as the course of nature: spring, summer, autumn and winter – birth, growth, reproduction and death. We surround ourselves with patterns: wallpaper, patterned textiles, music, dance, customs, behaviour. Patterns give us security because they are predictable.
Part two – the machinery Patterns also help individuals to fit harmoniously into society and contribute to its success. This fact makes us similar to machines. These work because drives and gears follow certain patterns and thus keep the machinery moving.
Part Three – Perpetual Motion We are part of a system made up of individuals who function according to patterns. If one part fails, it is replaced by another working element – a principle that keeps a system in constant motion.
Dancer: Alessandra La Bella, Jennifer Ruof, Silvana Lemm, Therese Madeleine Thonfors, Natalie Farkas
“After all, rhythm is the repeated pattern itself – the code and the looping. And we all dance to that. We dance to a choreography that is pre-programmed into the interface. This choreography has power: it is the planned moves of control.(…) But really we are just making the same old moves that everyone else on the dance floor is pushing out of their (seemingly) free flowing limbs. We dance, and we are part of the choreography of control.”
“Memento…Boltanski!” is a vanitas dance on the futility of life.
An artificial choreography is generated by variation of order and repetition of 25 stills of a dancing Person. In the same way a rhythm is formed by moduls of natural and artificial sounds (water drops and a machinery’s chattering). A whispering voice recites “The Burial of the Dead“ out of the poem “The Waste Land“ by T.S. Eliot.
In the left part of the screen there is a static image that at first sight reminds us of a sacral motif, perhaps some kind of altar. In fact, it is a table with a bird’s nest in the light of a neon lamp. In it lie small bird skeletons.