HEROSTRAT Andreas Pashias & BBB Johannes Deimling
Imprint HEROSTRAT collaborative performance by Andreas Pashias & BBB Johannes Deimling duration: 32 Minutes as part of the festival "v_ideas, performances" by Beton7 and the event "epitelesis presents... BBB Johannes Deimling" by epitelesis - Performance Art Foundation (www.epitelesis.com) Athens, Greece 2014 photos: Monika Sobczak text: Francesco Kiais and Vassiliki Spyrou ÂŠ 2014 by the authors
"HEROSTRAT is not only a performative art work, but also a collaborative working method."
BBB Johannes Deimling
East Pediment of the Parthenon, Acropolis, 447-432 BC
Herostratos was an Ionian shepherd. To reap immortal fame, he set in the year 356 BC the 200 years old Temple of Artemis at Ephesus on fire and destroyed it. Later this temple counted as one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. The city of Ephesus imposed a ban on naming his arson and even his name, after he had admitted his act under torture and had been executed. His name became synonymous for a man who destroys cultural treasures or commits other irrational acts. HEROSTRAT, as named in German language, is a person who commits misdeeds only for the sake of fame.
HEROSTRAT (Impressions on) Text by Francesco Kiais
DICHOTOMIES. Two naked bodies lying side by side, one (BBB Johannes Deimling) covered completely in blue-cyan, the other (Andreas Pashias) lying supine between two wet, white sheets (like in a shroud). On the left, the raw immanence of a naked body, made evocative by the color. On the right, a semi-invisible body, made presence by the folds of a fabric. On the left, the matter heavily real, becomes lighter through the color. To the right, an idea materializes and gains weight in the concreteness of a diaphanous fabric. On one hand, color, pathos, poetry. On the other hand the drawing, rationality, History. WHITE. (light, rationality, solidity, verticality) Andreas rises as a koùros (*), but does not smile. He has rather the appearance of a classical statue, a static figure and aware of its being a symbol, beginning, center. He turns on himself, wrapping at his feet the wet sheet (or shroud) on which initially was lying. Turns on himself and does what every growing civilization accomplishes: it leaves a material trace, a solidification of the spiral of its movements around itself. At his feet lies now solidified this spiral: the pedestal on which the next epoch will be based. And in fact, he walks away from it and begins to recede. (*) Kouros: statue of archaic Greek sculpture depicting a nude young man and standing. Compared to the rigidity of Egyptian statues, from which the kouros draws, these statues are less rigid and idealizing. Closer to human sensitivity and sensuality, they smile. CYAN, OCEAN (ΚΥΑΝΟΣ, ΩΚΕΑΝΟΣ). (shadow, pathos, liquidity, horizontality) At the same time Johannes (o kyanòs, the cyan), from shape becomes he also, movement. He is a crawling shadow. As the real history creeps under the chronicles celebrating the official History. As the biographies of millions of anonymous individuals, silently crawls under the ruins of the ancient monuments. Crawling, it leaves a trace of its own skin, it leaves a sign that does not celebrate anything, and that is never celebrated. Johannes is the story of many, the one that generally falls into oblivion, or remains in the dark part of history.
The White, rises as a body that captures the light and casts a shadow. Maybe the Cyan (kyanò, in greek), is okeanò, namely ocean. An ocean of multitudes who always move parallel to the statuary verticality of the symbols of a civilization. Maybe the question is that we have forgotten that the statuary white (the solidified identity of any culture or civilization), comes out just from that shadow-ocean, from the creeping biographies. And in fact, when the ideal reflection of the collective identity of a civilization is disconnected from the intimate bond with his own shadow, it becomes a form of auto-celebration. Mirror that does not reflect, but that imposes an identity. CATHARSIS. They both come with their backs to the wall: the White to the right, the Cyan on the left. They both find an object, which they collect (alcohol and lighter for Andreas, a plastic bag full of coins for Johannes). They cross each other indifferently, approaching to the epilogue. Andreas now performs the destructive act, which remains ambiguous in its cathartic quality: he draws an invisible line along the trace of color, left by the creeping shadow, and lights the fire. Johannes, instead, creeping and silent presence, overturned its darkness in a grotesque parody of a joyful happiness. A grotesque parody replaces now the void on the white pedestal left from the body-statue-symbol. It jumps with the coins in his hands that fall tinkling, at each joyful jump. The flames are extinguished, it ends the jingle of coins… we remain to contemplate the ashes of the temple. CROWNED MONKEYS. When the temple burns, when the constructive and collective gesture of a community is deleted by a sudden and unexpected deviation of the historical course, you realize that you are like the emperor, "enthroned, at the greatest gate of the city, solemnly crowned" of which Cavafy writes in "Waiting for the Barbarians. " And maybe you realize that you're the one that has become barbarian, that is, stranger. Stranger to its own view of the world, stranger to its own history, ready to commit violence on the memory that is shared with others.
Flowing Creatures Text by Vassiliki Spyrou
The duo performance entitled “Herostrat” by performance artists BBB Johannes Deimling and Andreas Pashias, took by surprise the viewers of the festival “v_ideas, performances” at the space of art and action Beton7, in Athens - Greece. Already knowing the actions of Andreas Pashias that have been presented up to now, one may discover a similar character in those of German performance artist BBB Johannes Deimling, in terms of images alluding to a worldwide fertile co-existence. On their ground, ‘being ground’ themselves, on the borders that have been displaced by both performers in order to welcome an audience, lying on the floor and freely exposed to the passing viewer, to the viewer armed with curiosity and pursuit. The visual composition flows, melts onto their revealingly naked body, in a bold field that meets with the outside, the surrounding environment. Their breaths meet up rhythmically, in an almost synchronised manner, waiting for the trigger of initiation for the next move, with a duration that entraps the viewer’s assurance. Underneath the wet sheet, shroud of protection, one may detect the outline of Andreas Pashias’ body, ready to come in combat, a sculpture’s flowing figure, before the marble takes up it’s final form, before it shapes itself. It demonstrates it’s living organism, it sets up its premise. Underneath the blue paint, as a heavy earthly sky that is near to us, the sky itself alongside its correspondent, browsing the pattern of a body belonging to BBB Johannes Deimling, a compact sense of stability takes up its earthly space. The artists create the conditions necessary for a synchronous erection from their canvas, they begin to disturb their space, they slowly move towards the weaving of a continuation. The marble coordinates its intentions towards its materiality, the flowing blue sky incorporates its grandeur by crawling towards its rise, its elevation. The flows of these two elements become intertwined with a vibrancy that may be ironic, but honest, they become surface, they stand at the
same height with the viewer, they reproduce their continuation that grandly aims at the appearance of the central collective idea of the performance’s title, “Herostrat”. The visuality of colours and the materiality of bodies are involved with the arson of an epidemic assurance of the ‘specific’. A thin line of alcohol will cause fire on the traces of blue, whilst facetious, immodest movements will penetrate the white, causing the corruption of its purity with a handful of coins that deplore it from the air. The male statue distances itself, leaving in it’s place the blue hectic shadow that continues its mocking, in an attempt to triumph over their reason of existence and the elements. The two bodies overshadow the definition of gender, of race, of identity. They recreate themselves, they restructure an alternative kind of origin and evolution, they avoid to identify with the ‘existing’, they reorganise conditions that the viewer is called upon to recognize. The performance artists BBB Johannes Deimling and Andreas Pashias became the incendiary, vibrant, ironic analysts of a performance with a crucial, sharp and to the point kind of allure, creating in their adjacent environment the visualisation of a surrealistic painting of Interwar, that sets up with inventive conception a canvas of expansive significance.
FROM ME TO YOU (Lennon-McCartney, 1963) One is reminded of other similar actions. Giotto, the blue that disrupts the fixity, and the distance of the religious Icon from everyday life. His blue carries a new sense to the need of sacred, as the need for a spirituality closer to the human than to God. Yves Klein's blue, which claims the poetic space of a conceptual act. They are not simply revolutionary gestures, or avant-garde. These gestures, return to fundamental principles, as attempts to find possible harmonies into an ever changing chaos. Which means that the art does not produce novelty but reacts to the new, in a way ever different. Anthropologically could be defined as the expression of an attempt to survive, as a technique to adapt. White is the sheet (in this case, paper sheet and not bed sheet) where we write all this. Francesco Kiais
BBB Johannes Deimling Deimling’s artistic practice encompasses performance art, action art, video, installation, drawing and music. Since 1988 Deimling has traded on everyday objects to create living images that would reflect a society full of contradictions, sentimentality, stupidity, creativity and cooperation. Searching for and finding ideas and suggestions in the banalities of daily life, Deimling transforms topics such as patience, will, war, religion or transportation into physical and poetic images. His ephemeral work has been on show in Europe, Israel, Canada, South America and Cuba, including the ICA in London, Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, Kiasma I museum for contemporary art in Helsinki, Center for contemporary art in Tel Aviv, Art Hall in Tallinn, Cornerhouse Gallery in Manchester, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein. Deimling participated in several international Performance Art Festivals, such as Interakcje in Poland, 7a11d in Canada, Bone in Switzerland, AccionMAD in Spain, Venice International Performance Art Week in Italy. Since 1998, Deimling has been actively lecturing and teaching on performance art at various academic institutions, including the F+F, school for art and media design in Zürich, Switzerland; the Estonian Art Academy in Tallinn, Estonia; the Akademi for Szenekunst in Fredrikstad, Norway, and the TU Dresden in Germany. Since 2012, he is Associate Professor for Performance Art at NTA – Norwegian Theatre Academy at the Østfold University College. In 2008 he founded PAS-Performance Art Studies, a workshop project for international art students and young artists, hold in Canada, Germany, Israel, Serbia, France, Poland, Norway, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Cyprus, Netherlands and Estonia. more information: www.bbbjohannesdeimling.de
photo: "INSPIRED PERFORMANCE", BBB Johannes Deimling & Andreas Pashias, by Monika Sobczak, Charles de Gaulle Airport, Paris, France 2014
Andreas Pashias As a visual and performance artist, Pashias’ practice is grounded in the field of performance art through the creation of live performances, video performances, installations and performance photography. By establishing the artist’s body as the basic material for creation, Pashias sets up performances in the form of a situation or an environment, where the artist’s body meets the bodies of audience members in order for ‘action’ and ‘re-action’ to take place. This connection can be paralleled to the relationship of an individual to society, as the artist’s body is dismantled into a set of pieces, physical parts, habits or ideas, and it is offered for consumption in order to be received or perceived by others. Food and traditions of culinary culture have been employed as a reflection of ‘nationhood’ offered by the body/ vessel as a carrier of ‘manhood’, in order to reconsider the pre-inscribed physical and behavioural attributes attached to these two notions. Pashias has graduated from Goldsmiths University (BA Fine Art & History of Art, 2010) and Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design (MA Performance Design & Practice, 2011) in London. Whilst presenting three solo exhibitions in Cyprus and Greece, his work has also been included in group exhibitions and international festivals taking place in the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Russia, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Bulgaria and Turkey. In 2013, Pashias co-founded with Demosthenes Agrafiotis the epitelesis – Performance Art Foundation and has been active in curating exhibitions and series of events on the relationship of live action to other artistic practices, through an ongoing research into diverse exhibitory interpretations of performance art. more information: www.andreaspashias.com
"INSPIRED PERFORMANCE"- Radio conversation between BBB Johannes Deimling & Andreas Pashias (Beton7 Art Radio): www.vimeo.com/100589585