Performance- Research- Project

initiated by Yasna Schindler since 2000

Site-Specific Project exploring the relationship between

     

         performer & place
and
performer & audience.

  1. ‘Circle’, July 2000, Feld N. Eschbach
    Monika Strelczyk, Yasna Schindler
  2. ‘Untitled’, November 2000, Deutsches Filmmuseum Frankfurt
    Alexandra Horn, Yasna Schindler
    Balvanyos Ensemble, Hungary
  3. ‘Demostation’, Mai 2001, Portikus Art Gallary Frankfurt
    Melanie van der Laan, Sofia Greff, Zufit Simon, Yasna
    Schindler
  4. ‘Atmospheres Inside, Around and Outside the Body’, August 2001
    Bridge Holbeinsteg Frankfurt
    Monika Strelczyk, Yasna Schindler
    Judit Balvanyos (saxophon)
  5. ‘Deutsche Bibliothek’, June 2002, Frankfurt
    Melanie van der Laan, Sofia Greff, Yasna Schindler
  6. ‘Brunnen’ Alte Oper, June 2002 Frankfurt
    Sofia Greff, Yasna Schindler
  7. ‘Städelinstitut ’, June 2002, Frankfurt                    Sofia Greff, Yasna Schindler
  8. ‘Körperlandschaft am Main’, August 2003, Frankfurt
    Veronika Schäfer, Myrthe Hendriks, Alexandra Horn, Monika
    Streclzcyk , Yasna Schindler

10. ‘Auf meiner Haut’ , July 2004
Zeil Frankfurt, Shopping street
20 performer from Europe

Auf meiner Haut 2004, Foto: Maciej Rusinek

Articles: click on article to read

Performance- Research- Project 2000 – 2004

‘the wedding of the artwork to a particular environment.’
(Crimp 1993)

This project was initiated by Yasna Schindler in July 2000.
Her motivation was to make a site specific research about the relationship between

performer – place
&
performer – audience

She was curious to observe how the body would relate to different places and how the places would relate to the body, apart from a ‘normal‘ convinient behaviour.
Changing or adapting, integrating or refusing, inspiring or…
Furthermore during her experiences in studios and theatre she had arrived to a point where performing in black boxes was of no interest to her anymore. She felt it was just too boring and a pity to make dance works only in the theatre and only for a particular dance reserved audience. She wanted to see how everybody would relate to dance and performance. She was interested to know whether everybody had this particular feeling towards art deep inside, maybe sometimes even not knowing and she wanted to do something usefull where her art could serve a wider range of people.
It was and is still her task in life to give dance further to people and make them create their own freedom in which they can move. Everybody is a dancer in one or another way. Dance is a healthy and expressive art form, where there is space for all emotions to come out and feel free.

‘Everybody can draw in one or another way. Drawing is very important and
fundamental.’ (J.Beuys in: in gespreken met Beuys, Volker Harlan)

Well Yasna thinks the same, I think all art forms are very important, essential and fundamental.Connected to this was her internal desire to live art as a part of life and not as a part of something highly complicated in its own . She was seing and sees art everywhere and wanted to open people’s eyes for the beauty she was seeing..

Performance- Research No 1

‘Circle’

28 of July 2000
field N. Eschbach
Monika Strelczyk and Yasna Schindler

This performance took place in the middle of a field between the skyline of Frankfurt and the mountains of Taunus. Visitors had been picked up from a guide at the train station and invited for a 25 min. walk through the fields of N. Eschbach. This walk was intended to give the audience time to connect themselves with nature , to come together as a group and to „awaken“ their senses: eyes, ears, noses and skin. Just before arriving at the place of the actual performance they could discover us already from far away running from one side to the other and falling into hay, dissapearing.
Then the audience sat down around the field and the second part of the performance began. It was a piece which had been created particularly for this place. A research about how nature and her surroundings insiprires us to find new movements, to define relationships with each other and to discover a wish for freedom. We wanted to connect as deeply as possible with the purity of nature. During the actual performance we were wearing skincoloured clothes to identify with nature and to become part of her. The clothes also became coloured by the earth herself. During the performance there were moments of being together, but also moments of being on our own. As in Life. The performance ended going towards and along the audience in a kind of rabbit jumping’ til we dissapeared again behind the fields on the other side. Then we came together with the audience and had a little picnic. We enjoyed the rest of the sun, the sky , the fields and being together. It became a social event, having time to be, to sit , to stay together and to talk for who ever wished. A very exiting moment for this performance was the fact that it started to rain in the afternoon of the performance day.(During our rehearsals we had always sun.) It rained till one hour before the performance had to start. We were sure we
would do it anyway, but we did’t expect: a beautiful rainbow to come out……. just in time…and the sun …

Feedback:
People thanked us after the performance and told us that they enjoyed so much to seeing art combined with a nature excursion, and that they were really happy to be outside and to open all their senses. Also, it had been very important for them to have the opportunity to stay in the end to talk and to become one with us sharing their experience.

Performance- Research no 2

‘Untitled’

November 2000
Deutsches Filmmuseum, Frankfurt.
Alexandea Horn and Yasna Schindler
Balvanyos Ensemble Ungarn

This performance took place at Deutsches Filmuseum Frankfurt. We used all the spaces except for the cinema itself, which was not availible for rehearsals. The entrance, the lockers, the stairs, the desk of the kassa, the elevator. The audience was facing us from two sides in front of each other. One side was the space just before the entrance into the hall, a space between two doors and walls made out of glass, so that the audience had to look through the panes. The other side was the entrance through the caferteria and the kassa area. In the middle, that means in between these two places the performance began in a big round space with marmour floor and mirrors all around. This piece was a structured improvised piece. The order of happenings and where to go when was set. The action itself was determined in the happenings themselves, but free in the choice of movement material. We had been exploring the rooms for about one month, internalizing what the space demanded us to do. During
the whole performance, two saxophonists and a viola were playing as well, in the different spaces of the filmmuseum. They were completely free regarding where to go and what to play: to go with or against us or to merge. The Balvanyos Ensemble is specialised in improvised performances, and that is very interesting to me. Will they follow, or go with their own will, and how will they relate to something they do not even know will come out. The Balvanyos Ensemble only joined us on the day of the performance. We showed them the structure of the piece, but the timing and movements they could only see in the performance itself.(This was a bit difficult for them in the beginning. They wanted to have a fixed piece, so that they could improvise, but I told them we’ll improvise, so that you can improvise! In the end everything went fine.) After about 10 minutes of dance, which contained exploration of space, play with mirrors, windows, audience, and relating to each other in a contact form, finally Alex unlocked the doors so that the group which had been observing
behind the panes could enter. From this moment Alex and I separated. The audience had to decide where to go and how long to stay at each place, because both locations were happening simultaneously. Alex went through the audience and found her new place on the top of the desk of the kassa. The desk was also from glass and lighted from underneath. In the desk , under the glass, there were things to sell. She took of her pants and blouse, in order to explore the landscapes of her body in the lights coming from underneath. I went into a very small room which was filled with lockers:
One locker next to the other where people use to leave their luggage while visiting the museum. I began to relate my body towards them. Just standing in front, then opening them, watching and closing them again, playing with rhythm of sounds, while opening and closing and varrying the tempo of the action. After a while I began to find out how my body could be formed into the lockers, how I could be one with them or relate more directly with them: put my arms, legs, head, upper body, ass into them. I ended up dissapearing completely in one of the big lockers, where I stayed for about 5 Minutes. Alex also left the space. Both of us were away from the audience for about
3-5 minutes. I changed clothes, turning from white into black an appeared suddenly, behind a secret door from the locker room into a new place next to the elevator and close to where Alex had been. First people didn’t recognize me. For about one minute I was part of the audience. I was just standing next to the open elevator, where a white dress was hanging, a memory of what had been before….Together, opening the next glass door we ended up at the stairs which were leading into the cinema. I sat down on the stairs, Alex rolled down the stairs. Audience sat next to me or were standing all around. Then she sit down next to me, and our „chess play“ began, Jumping and sitting on one stair after each other decending. Who will win? Or is the reaction against the other making us move? End

Feedback:

This performance got very much positive feedback both towards the music and dance. People mostly enjoyed seeing movement and hear sound all over the whole space. They said it was a particular experience. Also most of them enjoyed the freedom to decide where to go. Especially when we had left the performing place in the middle of the piece. „What shall we do?“, „Can we talk?“, „Shall we search?“, „Wait?“,¨Observe? Where questions which aroze in their minds. Most poeple liked to have time to be also able to observe the room and architecture by themselves. One person told me that she really had to think about her life and where she was belonging to.

Performance-Research no 3

’Demostation‘
Mai 2001
Portikus Art Gallery Frankfurt
Melanie van der Laan, Zufit Simon,Yasna Schindler (dance)
Sofia Greff ( free arts)

’Demostation’ was a performance which took place during a project of Portikus, where artists where relating to an Installation at the Gallery. This Installation itself was already a result of one artist Rikrit relating to the ’Waves, fig.’ which had been installed by Elmgreen and Dragset. Rikrit so built a platform on the top of the wave, with the disire, that events should happen events on this platform during the whole period of 4 weeks exhibition. One of this events was for example his cooking for everybody. During the nights there was a bar open, which was placed on a surfboard, and there was a DJ playing music. On one of these days we were invited to do whatever we felt like . Performance.We had about three meetings to explore the place.
We created a beginning structure, but the rest was free until the middle of the night. My aim with this performance was to see how you can drop in and out of a performance in a kind of party atmosphere, undertermind during the whole night (8 pm – 3 am). This performance began outside the building on a little island for pedestrians, between two streets. People where sitting outside on the stairs of that beautiful old Greek facade. There was a stoplight at the corner, so that often cars were stopping and watching at us or tooting. Then we crossed the street and our exploration began on the stairs, in between the people, lying on the stairs up side down or dancing with the stairs or just standing in between the poeple and making contact. There were also four large Greek collums, which inspired us a lot to move. The cue to enter the exhibition hall was that one of us would determine when exploration outside had achieved his highest intensity and would enter, so that the rest of us would follow. We
all lay down opon the wave and under the platform, which was built on the top and remained there for about 3 minutes. Then slowly we began to change our positions of lying on the wave, so that new pictures were appearing. After a while everybody was free to chose what to do and where to go. At the entrance there was also a video projection where a camera was filming and showing the audience during the whole night. Integration and participation of the audience was an important aim for our performance.

Result:

We were surprised how easy it was to shift between performing and just being at the party. I had lovely conversation and I succeeded in making 5 people participate in the performance. With one of them, a tall guy, I had a wonderful contact- duo. After our dance he told me that he had never done something like this before and that he thought that he couldn’t dance. I told him that everybody was able to dance if we only follow our desires.

Feedback:

„Was it difficult to shift from performing to normal behaviour?“- No, I feel the
performance let me behave even more normally than I usually do.
I can’t express hpw good I felt in my skin , but everything: talks, jokes,
communication was much easier. Also I feel communication went right to the point of my interest, because they had just seen me performing. I think people really enjoyed joining the performance. I could see it on their faces. I recieved an e-mail from a man who wrote:
’You just broke all the boarders of what I thought I could do.’

Performance- Research no 8

Körperlandschaft am Main’

July 2003

Monika Strelczyk, Alexandra Horn, Veronika Schäfer, Myrthe Hendriks, Yasna Schindler (dance and performance) + 13 Body sculptures:

A one and a half hour journey along the river accompanied by 5 Solo performances and 13 body sculptures on the way, a journey from the skyline of the city, ending up in an unknown green area, almost forgetting that this could still be in the center of a city.

A journey to open up peoples’ senses, making them aware, letting them enjoy,

a journey with sun and people, together with a guide

a journey of surprises, discoveries and memories,

a journey on your own.

For a bout one month my group of four performers and I made our way along the river. My concept was clear. I wanted to make a journey, but what exactly would happen on the journey was still a mystery for everybody. Also it was clear to me that I wanted everybody to find their own space and to create a Solo on it. As we were walking along the river I discovered that I had never been before at the end of the journey. There was a beautiful green place still in the middle of the City. I said to myself: ?It’s incredibly easy to sit your ass and not walk further.” During the walk I asked everybody to look for potentially interesting places, and so it came that we began to explore one place after another. First together and later in groups of two. It was   very difficult to decide for one place as there were so many interesting ones. Also, while rehearsing new ideas always came up and we were inspiring each other again, when we shared the space. So it took us a while to finally find our place. The rehearsals were very important for the development of the group, and the performance itself. In every rehearsal we got to know better the places and also the route. Finally, two weeks before the performance, everybody had found their place and from then on everybody worked daily on the place itself to deepen the investigation and find out the relationship between the performer and the place.                                     Veronika chose an oblique grass field, where she was making a research of what her body could do on that space and how she had to adapt. Myrthe chose an area under the bridge in the middle of the pathway. She surprised the audience by walking with them since the beginning of that piece and suddenly start to hold audience person’s hands and putting them on her chest, so that they could feel her breath. Then she went to the stairs were she had created a dance on the stairs in between the swans, and ducks… Alex created a declaration of love for the city at a place near the water where boats can depart, Monika’s performance was a birth out of a selfmade nest out of ahold-fresh folie, which she had created on her own in between the trees. I created two different performances for each day. On the first day I show my exploration on a very long, flat sculpture out of many different stones, which representated a boat. I was very interested to research the structure of the scupture and the energy of the stone. The sculpture has a peak in the middle. The surface of the sculpture was very uneven and so challenging to me in terms of finding the ballance and playing with risk. On the second day I had a permanent performance, where I started with the audience taping one white paper on the ground along the way, and then, first writing I, then love, and then names…….one name after the other….I ended up not thinking anymore about names, as people on the way asked me if I could also put their names on the paper. One old lady stood about for 20 minutes next to me talking about the second world war….In between these Solo performances from about 10 minutes each, during the rehearsal time, I suddenly got this idea to hang everywhere bodies, or place them in space somehow….While observing people….I saw the beauty of each body just in space. I was imagining body sculptures everywhere in symbiosis with the space itself. This luckily then I could also realize as I found enough people who wanted to join in the last moment. I think one of my next projects will be to create a landscape full of bodies. Body sculptures everywhere would be my dream. Also, this performance ended up in a social event, where we invited everybody to have a picnic with us at a secret, green place.

the space we live in is a kind os electronocally mediated one .’

( Tim Etchells in (1) )

What I wanted to achieve with this performance was to bring people back to their roots and make them realize that there is also a natural space in the city.

Performance-Research no 9

‘Auf meiner Haut’

Juli 2004

Frankfurt Zeil

Alexandra Horn, Bettina Karch, Oriane Boyer, Eugenia Rebetez, Maren Emde, Ingrun Schnitzler, Myrthe Hendriks, Emily Welher, Michael Hartenfels, Michael GB.Horstmann, Katja Kämmerer, Jan Deck, Sven Biller, Marc Freitag, Matthias Ellinger, Marion Kortenkamp, Thomas Milavec, Julia Folger, Sandra Scherer, Iris Hufnagel, Bob Uijen de Klein, Nicole Blumenthal, Melanie von der Laan.

‘Auf meiner Haut’- upon my skin

The performance ‘ Auf meiner Haut’ deals with the theme ‘Identity and the Search for

our Personal Identity in the Midst of the Age of Mass Consumption.

During the performance about 20 performers will change clothes about every five minutes and join a trip (journey) through different clothes and the associations of identities these clothes provoke in ourselves.

How does the body react to different kind of clothes?

Does the body feel free and invited to move or maybe restricted?

How does the material and the color of the cloth let inside experience be represented and lived? Which identities and roles causes every change of the clothing?

Result:

It was very interesting to work as well with professional dancers, actors as well as non-professionals.

Especially because of the theme, it was very important to me that every body could have something to say.

Also I was not only interested in dance movements, but also in referential and daily life movements.

I really enjoyed watching them and how they were dealing with the Cloth.

Every one could work so well within their own creativity.

It was all about their spontaneous reaction in the moment. That means that all performers could only act, when they were getting their new Clothing. We could observe, that some Clothes evoke similar reactions, like the Cocktail dress = feeling like a princess. And other Clothes were more free in their interpretation. Especially with level 4 Transformation, everyone went their own way.

There was a very good group dynamic and I’m very proud of this. To me Performance is also an event of social communication. More over I think this performance allowed every one to find own personal discoveries during the journey.

Many men for example said that it really felt nice to be in women’s clothes. Just like that, without having to feel transsexual.

Feedback:

As I was leading the group from the outside I had the possibility to get feedback from the audience. I really like this fact. Many people came to me, gave me their opinion, asked questions or simply talked to me.

Most people could recognize themselves in the journey, the possibility of identities, which can be inside one self.

Also the desire and necessity to find ones own style and what fits.

One old lady said, when she saw the men in high heels, she can understand the cruelty woman are doing to themselves while wearing high heels. Another person said: It is like in the dressing cabins of the shops, but out here.

I also heard people saying: I would like to join! How I can integrate this will be my next investigation?

Reflection on the whole project:

Reflecting now what I have done in the last 4 years, I realize that there have been many important moments in my research.

The most important to me I could say is to involve the audience, not only as a viewer, but also as a participant. This could be either active, that they could step in directly into the performance or active/passive ( after the performance) when they might feel the desire and necessity to move themselves and take an initiative to do so..

Also while rehearsing the contact with the viewer has been very important, as there was always time to talk with some of them, to explain my work and answer questions.

The second big desire I discovered is , that I do not want only to create art pieces, but also events of social communication in combination with my art. The picnics after the performances have brought a lot of ‘space’ to communicate and let the audience take part in whole events. Also, for us, there was so much space for feedback and to get to know the audience.

With social events I also mean that they did not have to pay the entrance and so my art was accessible to everybody. (Of course luckily I got subvention to realize the projects.)

Another element which appeared in my work has been water. I discovered that water somehow always makes me want to move and, and that water can bring me into states far beyond consciousness. In P-R-P No 4, 6, 7 & 8 water has been always part of the process.

Furthermore concerning the movements themselves every site has brought different inspiration to move. In general I can say that this work has taught me how to listen to a place in order to get one with it: to not disturb the place, but to discover what the place is offering.

We may plan and consider in the privacy of our mind, but it is the body that puts those plans into motion through spoken words, phrases, gestures and movement.’                                                                                           (Lorna Marshall)

Also the collaboration between artists from different disciplines like fine Arts, Music, Performing Arts and Dance was a fruitful exchange.

It was necessary to open up for different point of views and to listen to other opinions. And like this we opened up our minds to things we did not know before and things which were different.

An example is Sofia Greff with her Performance. Her main aim is to explore the place, the object as if it were completely new. She would never start to move immediately, but rather observing and feeling the place through her body, sensing it.

I’m happy that I did this research and I feel it has enriched me not only physically, but also in a social and spiritual way.