The project “Various Stages – Bedingte Bühnen” focused on the performative conditions of contemporary artistic production, and made connections to current practices of performing, staging and acting within the exhibition space. The different formats of exhibition, salon and festival interacted thematically and sometimes even spatially with one another and thus only enabled “various stages”. The title of the project refered to the two differing meanings of the word 'stage': it is both an arena and a phase.
In the exhibition “Settings”, international artists focused on the stage as a sculptural form and created parameters for potential scenarios. The results were compositions that correlated partially to the autonomous artist’s space, and partially to situations that initiated an interruption or a movement. This allowed for a spatial inquiry, in which the given setting – be it the dramaturgy of the exhibition itself or the architecture was tackled via the artistic works.
The unfolding of the drama stimulated by the exhibition “Settings” was augmented by evening scenarios during “Salon Rähnitz”. The program was designed by artists: films were screened, performances and situations were staged. The meeting of artists, audience and curators, allowed for a discourse a propos the works.
The encounter has been intensified during the two part festival „Test“. Their program encompassed performance, dance, reading, initiative, food performance, film screening, lecture and a round table. The first part “Test Run” took place at Kunsthaus Dresden. The cooperation partner presented the second part “Testing (Re-)Production” at ms2 of Muzeum Sztuki in Łodz.
Artistic director: Petra Reichensperger
Curators ms2 Muzeum Sztuki: Aleksandra Jach, Katarzyna Słoboda, Magdalena Ziółkowska
Artists „Settings“: Nevin Aladag (TR), Nairy Baghramian (IR) with Janette Laverrière (CH) and Carlo Mollino (IT), Steven Claydon (UK), Yael Davids (IL), Discoteca Flaming Star (ES/G), Hanna Ewers zum Rode, FORT, Hella Gerlach, Liam Gillick (UK), Channa Horwitz (US), David Lamelas (AR), Kalin Lindena
Artists „Salon Rähnitz“: Paul Barsch, Rolf Dieter Brinkmann, Hannes Broecker, Sali Kedun, Peter K. Koch, Rick Nowak, Christoph Rothmeier, Marten Schech, Claudia Schötz, Roman Schramm, Megan Francis Sullivan (US), Harald Thys und Jos de Gruyter (BE)
Artists „Test Run“: With performances by Ulf Aminde, Sarah K. Balzat / Channa Horwitz (US), Gerry Bibby (AUS), Julianne Csapo, Daniel Triebe, Falco Kneschke, Yael Davids (IL), Hella Gerlach, Liz Rosenfeld / Imogen Heath (US/AUS), Karl Holmqvist (SE), Channa Horwitz (US), David Levine (US), Adam Linder (AUS), Anne Retzlaff, Megan Francis Sullivan (US);
With film screenings by Ulf Aminde, Gerard Byrne (IE), Wojciech Bruszewski (PL), Keren Cytter (IL), Discoteca Flaming Star (ES/DE), Jimmie Durham (US), Elmgreen & Dragset (DK/NO), Liam Gillick/Anton Vidokle (GB/RU), Aneta Grzeszykowska (PL), Karl Holmqvist (SE), Judith Hopf/Henrik Olesen (DE/DK), Judith Hopf, Annika Larsson / Samuel Nyholm (SE), Anna Molska (PL), Amy Patton (US), Mario Pfeifer, Elodie Pong (US), Mathilde Rosier (FR), Markus Schinwald (AU), Martin Skauen (NO), Chicks on Speed / Douglas Gordon (DE/GB), Teresa Tyszkiewicz (PL), Clemens von Wedemeyer, Annette Wehrmann, Aleksandra Went / Alicja Karska (PL), Ming Wong (SG);
With theoretical contributions and presentations by Olaf Stüber (Curator „Videoart at Midnight“, Berit Stumpf (Performer), Nina Tecklenburg (Director, Performer), Sandra Umathum (Theatre Scholar)
Artists „Testing (Re-)Production“: With performances by Agata Bielska (PL), Yael Davids (IL), Discoteca Flaming Star (DE/ES), FORT, Wojciech Kosma (PL), Igor Krenz (PL), Pracownia Fizyczna (PL), Claudia Schötz and Hannes Broecker;
With films by Absalon (IL), William Forsythe (US), Judith Hopf, Judith Hopf and Henrik Olesen (DE/DK), Alicja Karska and Aleksandra Went (PL), Ali Kazma (TR), Joachim Koester (DK), Igor Krenz (PL), Les gens d’Uterpan (FR), Dora Maurer (HU), Kelly Nipper (US), Bettina Nürnberg and Dirk Peuker, Erik van Lieshout (NL), Julika Rudelius, Tamas St. Auby (HU), Union Gaucha Productions (BR/AR), Monika Zawadski (PL), Katarina Zdeljar (XS); With lectures by Kirsten Maar, Maaike Gouwenberg (NL)
“Various Stages – Bedingte Bühnen” was funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation, the Kulturstiftung des Freistaates Sachsen, Mondriaan Fonds, ifa Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations, Foundation for German-Polish Cooperation, with the support of Manufaktura.
Exhibition “Settings” August 3rd – October 14th, 2012 Opening on August 2nd, 2012, 7pm
“Salon Rähnitz” Every Tuesday, August 7th – October 9th, 2012, Scenarios 8:30pm Mobile Bar 8–11pm
“Test” Festival in cooperation with Muzeum Sztuki, Łodz (PL)
Part I “Test Run”, Kunsthaus Dresden, October 12th – 14th, 2012
Part II “Testing (Re-)Production”, Muzeum Sztuki, January 11th – 12th, 2013
Laying its focus on theatricality, the festival “Test Run” took place in the exhibition “Settings”, in the courtyard and on the Kunsthaus’ square. Subject of the festival was performativity of art. The program comprised performance, dance, reading, initiative, food performance, film screening and a roundtable.
Some of the performances in “Test Run” were developed especially for works shown in “Settings” and have been expanded performatively at Kunsthaus Dresden. This way, the modes of showing (in) an exhibition and (during) a performance have been interlaced. On a theoretical level, the festival primarily seized the process of rehearsing and testing. On the level of presentation, the format of the event was central. Referencing one another, the inherent staging conditions of the different formats exhibition, salon and festival were put into a thematic focus.
Invited theoreticians, performers, artists and filmmakers no longer created and debated an index for an ’external artistic reality’. Dealing with the art-innate of the medium and the format, they reflected on its respective forms of production, and its methods of showing.
The title “Testing (Re-)Production” refers to the emergence of new aesthetic forms during the 20th century, described by Walter Benjamin in his essay on early film. Metaphorically speaking he states that through a test certain situations and processes can be observed under actual or simulated conditions. The thematic focus of the festival was the museum Sztuki`s own history. The building of ms2 situated is a former textile factory, belonging to one of the biggest architectural complexes in Łódz. In 2008 the building was changed into a museum. It is nowadays still a site for production with an emphasis on presentation, research, archive and communication. “Testing (Re-)Production” took place in the main hall and in the exhibition space on the ground floor, in the exhibition „Correspondences. Modern Art and Universalism”, and in the nearby Manufaktura mall. The festival related to the conditions of productivity and performativity in contemporary society and in art.