Picture: Pia Hofmann

Picture: Pia Hofmann

SHOW ME WHAT`S UNDER IT

 

What is performance?

 

Performance is the art of action.

 

The action itself is in the center. It becomes the work or part of the work and affects through immediacy. The action provokes statement by asking questions, opening a new perspective on certain circumstances and issues, astounds or shocks.

 

Performance art engages with what is in between.

Exactly there it does research, picks something out as a central theme, denominates and plays. The performance artist creates an experimental setup to expose themselves to it. They experience something. The audience witnesses by being present during the action.

 

Performance is free in the choice of media. That makes performance attractive for artists who don`t want to commit themselves.

 

And complicated, if you want to classify and evaluate.

 

The perception of concept, the understanding is as versatile and varied as there are performances and performance artists.

 

An important criterion for me is how deeply I get touched.

Do images and emotions appear? Does the performance do anything for me? Does anything get activated or initiated? What remains?

 

All of that I can only answer for myself. The emotions of each single person are inviolable, because they are what they are. They are our very personal wealth.

 

What we can do is to communicate. By exchanging our thoughts and feelings we connect. We continue the process of the performance.

 

To speak about it, to philosophize about its topics, to discuss meaning, aim and thoughts behind the performance is sometimes more exciting than the performance itself.

 

But still: the performance is the product  which carries everything.

 

Besides the immediacy, it is typical for performance that it tends to have a slow effect, to sink slowly. It opens up with the flow of time, appears in other places, other circumstances, sometimes long time afterwards. Like a seed that suddenly starts growing makes us see what was hidden. Now we understand.

 

The knowledge about this moment of understanding is important.

 

The moment gives us the freedom of immersing into the process and letting it work independently of its length of time.

Even though the performance is the product, the conclusion, the process continues.

 

That`s the point, that something gets created.

Although it is not visible, it is the basis that enables us to penetrate the surface.

 

Sometimes it is important for the performance that the artist is really personally affected by the action of the performance. Through that the audience get to know what the artist wants to communicate. Through that, independent of narrative relations, a state becomes  noticeable. I witness because the artist lets me enter by making himself the object of the action.

 

I am interested in an immediacy which opens space and allows me to discover by myself.

 

Performance always pulls the audience into the action, touches sensitive points and raises questions. It opens up, but does not answer. Through that the audience becomes accomplice. The question of responsibility gets passed on. Responsibility, which might call for action and challenge it at the same time. Even though intervention from the audience is not necessarily expected or welcomed, it still might happen. The question is there and some artists provoke it in their works.

 

I, the artist, my work is a mirror, through which you can recognize part of yourself and part of the world. I catch it and throw it back. I reflect light and pain.

 

There is a transformation of space, because something happens.

 

Through the content of the performance that occurs, this transformation becomes  noticeable. That means I, the artist, arouse empathy. But still it is the image of a reality transformed to an artistic truth.

 

I send a message into the world. I transform awareness.

I give them a form.

 

Were I a painter my form would be the picture.

 

The lines and colors of the performance artist are the commitment of the body, voice, action and the inclusion of symbolic objects.

 

It is always the artist’s idea, the artist’s process, the artist’s choice of media, the artist’s coloring.

 

The artists are inseparably connected with their work.