“The mirror and its reflections” Camilla Graf Junior´s project of artistic research was a day reflecting objects and acts of giving, memory and its relation to mourning and imagining, projected identities as tools for creating and acting. Her project looks at the possibilities for performance to create new understandings and to invite new ways of being in the world.
Last year at the 3rd edition of Month of Performance Art-Berlin, artist Ilya Noé presented her research project about erogation and surrogation with a performance series and an exhibition with the documentation of the processes behind these performances. The research as such raises questions on how collaborate-structures are created as well as discussing complex issues related to authorship and authenticity when performing and even re-authoring other performers work.
Arriving from New York the morning of the performance, I was already overwhelmed with anticipation for arriving to Berlin and the programming by Month of Performance Art- Berlin. This is my first time to Berlin, and what really struck me was all of the greenery and how closely many cultural places were to the river. One of these institutions was Funkhaus, the original radio broadcasting space for the German Democratic Republic from 1952 until the reunification of Germany. Curated by Emanuelle Nedelcu in collaboration with Gaby Billa-Günther, the program featuring 16+ artists who explored the themes of visibility and invisibility within a private institution with site specific performances and installation.
I received a souvenir from Steve Slater, a small pebble-like object that he used in Black Hole (Berlin) to playfully illustrate a black hole. Since, I have found myself revisiting reflective moments from the performance where it allows me to linger.
Black Hole (Berlin) was hinged around an analogy: the black holes in space are like those we carry within ourselves. The performance was a deeply personal exploration and it is for this reason that I only now, seven days later, feel able to write about it.
Photo by Aleks Slota
On Sunday, May 25, I attended the last of the three-day Direct Action 2014 symposium. Unfortunately my timing did not allow me to see any performances: I rocked up to the Institut für Alles Mögliche in Mitte a bit after noon — just in time for the lovely brunch, I might add — and had to leave at three, just when Navigate (a London-based collective) was going to give a performance. However, I got to meet with the main organizer, Maria del Consuelo Guijarro, and two artists, Paula Bourke-Girgis (from London) and Penny Rafferty aka PUNK IS DADA (Berlin), while we were eating. Then symposium participants informally showed their videos to the group as more participants slowly trickled in. Still, these discussions and videos were interesting.
Obviously this event is a rather insider gathering. Good and rightly so.
Looking over the faces, knowing what this one and that one have done over the course of this 2014 edition of MPA-B and marvelling at their stamina and visions, it is impossible not to be already sentimental, for the day is becoming night and May will soon become June,and this is the last time they will meet in this way in this one time only, at least to say in Berlin,”House of Performance Art”
Photo by Joern J. Burmester - Joel Verwimp and Camilla Graff Junior
Born in1984, River Lin is an independent curator and artist working across the fields of performing and visual arts. Out of artistic boundary as strategy, River’s work includes site-specific performance, theatre, dance, and installation making. In River’s interdisciplinary art practice, he concerns culture differences between generations, the contemporary psychological state, and the performative body in ritual process.
River performed River Walk at the MPA-HUB on May 25th as part of the Public Try-Outs series. Here is an interview between MPA-Blogger Ai-Chi Liu and River about his performance.
Ai-Chi Liu: Walking is a simple and easy movement but in your performance, River Walk, you transformed this simplicity into a task that required lots of effort to complete. What was your inspiration and ideas behind this performance?
MY PERFORMANCE 1-2-4 curated by Dirk Thorwarth and assisted by Yoto, May 24th, Herrfurth Platz
A Spring afternoon in the Life of the MPA-B 2014
During my performance, ‘Unfinished Business,’ I had the provocative idea to write about this event myself, although I was performing. I realized that I had the best position to see and feel everything that was happening during these three gentle but intensive hours; extreme observation – telepathic signalling. This is my neighbourhood, my Saturday market, I sit in this church sometimes to hide and think and the shoppers and café´ visitors faces are often familiar, occasionally old friends pass by, and am enjoying sharing it with international performance guests.
♦♦♦ALL GOOD THINGS HAVE TO COME TO AN END♦♦♦
AND WE HAVE REACHED DAS ENDE OF MPA-B 2014!!!
FULL PROGRAMME: http://www.mpa-b.org/31-may-2014.html
We celebrate tonight with a full-blown MPA-B style extravaganza with food installations, performances,live music, DJs, fabulous hosts, debaucheries of various kind and a celebration of the seven deadly sins. Hosted at an original 1920s silent-film theatre. Remember this is the last day of your life, so dress for the gates of Heaven or the fiery pits of Hell, as judgement day is upon us.
How did the Black Hole project come to life?
The Black hole theme came from a couple of places - an interest in science and Science Fiction and struggles with depression (the black holes inside us) I always try to find the personal in situations and ideas.
FULL PROGRAMME www.mpa-b.org/30-may-2014.html
THIS IS IT MPA-B PEEPS!!
We have reached the ***FINAL*** night at the MPA-HUB. For the first time in its 4-year history MPA-B inhabited a space dedicated to the month of performance art and tonight we say goodbye and mark the occasion with the EXAUGURATION of the space. This follows from the INAUGURATION we had at the start of the month. It will be a Valedictory Act: the displayed and anticipated objects from the inauguration will be back together with the catalogue which documented their states before their were used in performances.
BUT THATS NOT ALL, whoever missed the auction at the Inauguration has now the great chance to get hold of another “performed upon” object, body of work, relic, leftover, documentation or remainder from the countless ephemeral and unique performative interventions. MPA-B gives you the chance to start your own performative collection or just take a memorabilia home with you!!!
Under the title PLEASE INSERT £1 COIN – SOME NEWS FROM THE EMPIRE, students and teachers from the Performance Art programme at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London, will bring a number of actions, interventions, objects, talks to Spinner and Weber
(FROM 19:00 AT BRUESSELERSTRASSE 37)
Passion/Flower is inspired by a ritual known as Matam, which takes place during the Ashura ceremony. During the ritual, Shiite men beat their chests with razors, their heads with swords, or their backs with a Zanjeer(a whip with five blades on the ends). These are only a few examples of the types of self-flagellation done during this ritual. These acts of self-flagellation commemorates and mourns the death of Imam Hussein, the grandson of Prophet Mohammad, who was martyred in the 7th century battle of Kerbala. Through the appropriation of this ritual, Enrst Fischer and Thomas Bacon created a passionate experience. With pins plastered to the palms of their hands, I watched them beat their chests repeatedly. Eventually their wounds revealed themselves to be in the shape of a heart.
On Sunday evening, May 25, I experienced PASSION/FLOWER with Ernst Fischer and Thomas John Bacon at the MPA-HUB.
The performance included two bodies engaged in a simple repetitive action. A ritual of self-flagellation was intensified by small pins that penetrated the chest with each slap. As the action continued, the wounds grew. With every beat, they changed shape, their bloody images closely mimicking the process of a flower blossoming. The repetitive action was continually interrupted to stop the performance from building to a climactic peak.
It was a painful, frustrating, and yet beautiful experience visually and emotionally. I was lucky enough to sit down with the two artists the following day to ask them a few questions about the piece and about their relationships to performance art in general.
FULL PROGRAMME :www.mpa-b.org/29-may-2014.html
Today we delve into the ‘unsolvable’ debate as to whether performance art can be taught or is learnt in the process of doing. Under the title LEARNING AND TEACHING PERFORMANCE ART, curator Lise Mignon invites artists, curators, researchers and academic minds to discuss their views towards the process of acquiring knowledge through practise. We invite audience to join the discussion with Jelili Atiku, Joern Burmester, Dani Ploeger, Prof. Rhys Martin, Johannes Deimling and Nathalie Fari.
Join us from 17:00 at the MPA-HUB