- knowing full well that this does not exist -

“Beyond the Civilized Body” ist ein Projekt von 8 internationalen Performancekünstlern, die schon mehrfach zusammengearbeitet haben, wie zuletzt bei „Exploring Don Quixote“ im Jahr 2018.

“Beyond the Civilized Body” ist ursprünglich ein Konzept von Jürgen Fritz für eine performativer Arbeit von zwei oder mehreren Performern, das konsequent die soziokulturell geprägte Person als Material des performativen Zugriffs definiert.

Gesellschaftlichen Vereinbarungen und persönliche Vorlieben, die sich letztendlich zu dem zusammenfügen, was individuell als Identität angenommen wird, werden auf ihre Tauglichkeit hinsichtlich neuer Bildideen untersucht.

„Die Aktionen starten nicht von einer emotionalen Vorlage aus, wie Aggression, Verlangen oder Liebe. Jeder versucht das, was „Identität“ ausmacht, zurückzuziehen und seinen Fokus, seine Aufmerksamkeit auf rein körperliche Wahrnehmungen auszurichten: Was bewirkt die Aktion, bzw. die Vorstellung davon? Bewirkt sie positive Gefühle, negative, Freude, Angst, fühle ich mich zu der anderen Person hingezogen, fühle ich mich von der anderen Person abgestoßen, wirkt die Aktion erregend, abstoßend, spüre ich Ekel, Peinlichkeit, Aufregung, Empörung usw.“ (aus den Vorgaben von “Beyond the Civilized Body”)

Auch wenn diese Arbeit vordergründig nicht politisch ist, so besteht doch die Hoffnung, dass über das Bild eines transformierten Körpers sich die Möglichkeit eines veränderten gesellschaftlichen Miteinanders andeutet.

Nach einer einwöchigen Vorbereitungszeit mündet das Projekt in eine Performance von 9 Stunden Dauer bei dem Festival BLACK MARKET INTERNATIONAL EXPLORING 2021. Es ist eine offene Form der Begegnung, es werden keine Choreografien geprobt, sondern Herausforderungen definiert: Vielleicht entstehen zarte, vielleicht aggressive Bilder, orgiastische Überschreitungen genauso wie leise Annäherungen. Der Zuschauer muss sich einlassen, das Spiel entsteht aus einem Prozess paralleler Ereignisse mit unterschiedlichen Rhythmen und spontanen Höhepunkten.

Petra Strahovnik ergänzt die Aufführungssituation mit ihrer akustischen Installation:

Toxic Hale - Exhale

Finding the Voice

‘Finding, following, searching the Voice’ is a setting along with ‘Beyond the Civilised Body’ for a performative work for two or more performers. In a search for new ways to intertwine musical language with performance art, which influence one another, but live in symbiosis, we work through close collaboration and intense practice. Breath is a fundamental action for living, but also for singing.

Sound I take as a mixture of frequency and colour. Adding musical parameters such as articulation, rhythm, pitch relation, tempo dynamics and putting one into the frame of repetition, gives the material an opportunity to grow and become personal. Only through practice one can start getting aware of all the parameters and properties that the sound is offering. The performance artists/musicians’ involvement is the key to empowering the suggested material and through their presence the audience is invited into the experience.

Speech, beginning of vocal music, expressing our thoughts begins with a breath. Breath is a sound in the context. It can influence our perception and our emotions. The intent is to detach from the past corelations and see it for what it is. In a search of our own essence, for our own voice through sound, requires going through the process which involves personal steps like rethinking our existence, our role, our presence, our belief. Questioning our perspectives, ideas and points of view, may help free inner reservations and encourage us to step back and question social language.

The focus is sound, the intention opening our sensory system and gaining awareness of the sound richness in the performance and in the world around us.

“Beyond the Civilized Body” is a project by 8 international performance artists who have already collaborated on several occasions, most recently on “Exploring Don Quixote” in 2018.

“Beyond the Civilized Body” is originally a concept by Jürgen Fritz for a performative work by two or more performers that consistently defines the socio-culturally shaped person as the material of performative access.

Social agreements and personal preferences, which ultimately combine to form what is individually assumed to be identity, are examined for their suitability with regard to new image ideas.

“The actions do not start from an emotional template, such as aggression, desire or love. Everyone tries to withdraw what constitutes “identity” and direct their focus, their attention to purely physical perceptions: What does the action, or the idea of it, do? Does it cause positive feelings, negative, joy, fear, am I attracted to the other person, do I feel repelled by the other person, does the action seem arousing, repulsive, do I feel disgust, embarrassment, excitement, indignation, etc.” (from the guidelines of “Beyond the Civilized Body”)

Even if this work is not superficially political, there is still the hope that the image of a transformed body suggests the possibility of a changed social interaction.

After a week of preparation, the project culminates in a performance lasting 9 hours at the Festival BLACK MARKET INTERNATIONAL EXPLORING 2021. It is an open form of encounter, no choreographies are rehearsed, but challenges are defined: Perhaps delicate, perhaps aggressive images will emerge, orgiastic transgressions as well as quiet approaches. The audience has to get involved, the play emerges from a process of parallel events with different rhythms and spontaneous climaxes.

Petra Strahovnik complements the performance situation with her acoustic installation Toxic Hale – Exhale.

ARTISTS