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BBB Johannes Deimling

it's not the action that makes the performance agierte Bilder / performative Collages 2000 - 2014


“Anyone can make the simple complicated. Creativity is making the complicated simple.� [Charles Mingus]


Simplicity of Complexity

To present complex contents, situations and moments in time, in a simple and uncomplicated way, is a signature of the art of BBB Johannes Deimling. The intersections that inspire and provoke his performative works are the perception of aesthetics, concept and content. Deimling’s performances are comprised of a series of ‘acted images’ (agierte Bilder). The images or gestures are initially created from a purely visual standpoint, but gradually gain access to all other senses, creating a holistic view of the banalities of everyday life and all its transformations. With a deep interest in the aesthetics and transformational potential of materials and objects, BBB Johannes Deimling enters the performative field with a purely visual approach. Deimling suggests “it is not the action that makes the performance, but the quality of an image created in combination with materials, objects and action in correspondence with space and time”. To begin the creative process Deimling forms single images. The so called ‘acted images’ consist of reduced, simple actions often with only one object, one material or one gesture. With a passion for details, a visual alphabet of acted images accrues, allowing Deimling to literally and visually write his art that is performance. Using the technique of Collage he combines several acted images that allow Deimling to play in a cinematic way with all of the visual elements by deconstructing the course of actions and putting the parts anew together. The pureness of his artistic language causes the images to interlock. During this process various intersections appear in which unpredictable new images emerge. The material and objects begin to perform as Deimling treats them more like puppets. ‘What’s in my head’, ‘Leaking memories’, ‘Around the World’ and ‘A rolling stone gathers no moss’ are just a few titles of cycles in which BBB Johannes Deimling includes several performative Collages. From a simple single image the artist offers a complex and holistic universe of visual imagery.


The ephemeral Collages appear more poetic than descriptive and rather metaphoric than symbolic. The metaphor is an image which falls apart at any attempt of approaching it and invites the viewer to read the action in order to stop searching for words of explanation and to look for attributions. Deimling creates ephemeral images, not made to be interpreted and drowned out with the logic of language. The balance of the metaphoric, surrealist image and transformation of the artist into a unique readable sign, is what makes the works of Deimling so fascinating. The precision of his movements, the possibility of failure, and the presence of coincidence, achieve an uncontaminated visual sensation where simplicity generates a humorous magic moment that is imminent in all of Deimling’s performance art. The artist continuously invites a dialogue between other art forms including poetry, sculpture, architecture, dance, sound, and drawing. Deimling’s performative Collages are a forum for interdisciplinary discourses where performance is used as tool for communication where viewers are invited to take part in the performative process. The absence of rehearsal plays a distinct role and manifests the value of the creative act. Imagination and forethought are important tools that bring the artist’s concepts to life. This working method includes the possibility of ‘failure’ as to sharpen the focus and increase the artists’ concentration on absolute being within the moment. By removing the process of rehearsal, the sensation of a shared space is highlighted as the action unfolds in front of the viewer. Based on these experiences Deimling creates a visual knowledge that touches the base of memory, strokes the desire of tomorrow, and manifests the beauty of now.


" ... Approximately one hour before the public presentation of my performance I sit down - preferably in a cafe - and write down the order of the performance. This sheet of paper (always A6 format) is the only document which exists of my process before the performance. ..." Photo: Monika Sobczak


"leaking memories #4" Art Academy Karlsruhe, Germany 2011 Photo: Pietro Pellini - sitting on a pile of books - looking at the audience - binding a fish like a tie around my neck - writing the German word "IDEAL" as high as I can on the wall - taking a loaf of bread and open it - small golden bells falling on the floor - inflaming the two half’s of the bread - putting the half’s together - distinguishing the flames - binding books around my head - putting golden glitter on the fish - pouring milk out of a watering can on the floor - ripping off some pages of the books - taking noodle letters into my mouth - spluttering them into the audience


"leaking memories #3" Club MOZG, Bydgoszcz, Poland 2011 Photo: Monika Sobczak darkness - saying: “Pewnego razu…” (once upon a time) - lifting up slowly a lamp - drawing with yellow chalk a sun on the floor - inflaming the sun - opening a loaf of bread - glass marbles dropping on the floor - drawing with white chalk a door and a handle - trying to open it - turning on a hotplate and putting a small pot with milk on it - taking a teddy bear - putting into a bowl with water - opening with a knife the stomach of the teddy bear - milk is over boiling - placing the glass marbles into the stomach of the teddy bear - suturing the stomach - trying to open the door darkness - lightening up a candle - holding a metal key to the flame of the candle - dropping the key - too hot - into the flame complete darkness - saying: “… I zyli dlugo I szczesliwe.” (And they all lived happily ever after


"a rolling stone gathers no moss #2" 'performNOW!' Festival, Winterthur, Switzerland 2013 Photo: Monika Sobczak


"Ruhe" 'grenzART', Kirschau, Germany 2010 Photo: BBB-Archive


"Done" 'pro.existence' Festival, Schloss Broellin, Germany 2008 Photo: BBB-Archive


"around the world #8" Cyprus International Performance Art Festival, Nicosia, Cyprus 2013 Photo: Monika Sobczak - pushing a chair with soil in a circle - bumping the chair on the floor to mark North, East South, West - pointing with my forefinger at the audience - swinging a chair attached to a string around - chewing earth and rubbing it with both hands on the belly - throwing white tissues - placing a cake on my head - pressing the cherries of the cake on my white shirt - holding a white toy horse - walking around with an umbrella trestle - throwing white petals in the audience - waving a withe tissue and leaving the space


"leaking memories #5" S T O R E contemporary, Dresden, Germany 2011 Photo: Danilo Barsch - sitting motion less covered with flour on a brown, wooden chair - standing slowly up - patting softly the wall with the blossoms - bashing the roses against the wall - paint a house with black, liquid coal out of my mouth on the wall - binding books around the head - ripping off several pages while leaving the space


"cleaning memories" old market square, City Gallery, Bydgoszcz, Poland, 2013 Photo: Monika Sobczak - scrubbing neatly and tidily with a brush a cobblestone line marking the old market square. - placing roses on the cleaned line - collecting them and binding the roses on my head - standing at the end of the line an shaking my head and body


"green line" University of Nicosia, Nicosia, Cyprus, 2013 Photo: Monika Sobczak


"around the world #3" Norwegian Theatre Academy, Fredrikstad, Norway 2013 Photo: Monika Sobczak - standing in the middle of the space covered with flower - blowing softly into a white tissue while audience is entering - shaking suddenly and shouting "SURE!" - creating a circle with soil - shaking my body with apples on strings holding with my hands - drawing houses, trees and two people around the soil cricle - rubbing two onions into my eyes - erasing the chalk drawing with the face of a fish - creaming my head white - putting blue prattles into my eyes - releasing golden oil color out of my mouth - placing wheels of the fish - leaving the space with the fish-car


"youth" Theater Junge Generation, Dresden, Germany 2013 Photo: Monika Sobczak


"a rolling stone gathers no moss #3" PAO - Performance Art Oslo Festival, Atelier ANX 2013 Photo: Monika Sobczak - standing in a pile of brown wooden chairs - turning a small pocket barrel organ while the audience is entering - crawling over the chairs - screaming in a pillow - increasingly pointing with my forefinger at the audience - rubbing two opinions into my eyes - blowing into a golden horn - releasing feathers out of the pillow while swinging - waving a withe tissue and leaving the space


"all saints" Place de l'art performance, Paris, France 2012 Photo: Monika Sobczak


"Don't Hurt Me" 'Chamalle X', international Performance Art Festival, Ponte Vedra, Spain 2009 Photo: Stefanie Trojan


"a rolling stone gathers no moss #6" Espai d麓art contemporani de Castell贸, Castell贸, Spain 2013 Photo: Monika Sobczak - pushing wooden chairs into the space - releasing white ping pong balls from a white, crackling plastic bag - drumming on my belly with flat hands - holding two toilet paper rolls in front of the eyes - enrolling the toilet paper - dancing in a strange and funny way - spraying gold color into my face - blowing into a straw, creating bubbles in a water glass - pulling the chairs out of the space


"Augenzeuge" SĂźlzer Salon, KĂśln, Germany 2001 Photo: Pietro Pellini


"shamrock" 'Extension Series', Grimmuseum, Berlin, Germany 2010 Photo: Grimmuseum


"a rolling stone gathers no moss #4" 'Abierto de Accion', International Performance Art Festival, Malaga, Spain 2013 Photo: Monika Sobczak - sitting in a pile of wooden chairs - blowing into a straw creating bubbles in a bowl with water and soap - spraying the face golden - pushing one chair while leaving the space


"a rolling stone gathers no moss #5" 'Abierto de Accion', Centro Parraga, Murcia, Spain 2013 Photo: Monika Sobczak darkness - lighting up a flash lamp while cowering under a pile of black wooden chairs - burning incense - trying to cut off a piece of a white stone with knife and fork - binding a bread on the face - drumming on a snare drum - imitating the rhythm of the drum with a dance - sitting on a swing - creating eyes and mouth into bread - destroying the face - throwing water marbles in the air darkness


"What's in my head #3" 'Perfo09', international Performance Art Festival, Pori, Finland 2009 Photo: Jan Virtanens - writing the word "illusion" into the air - slapping myself after each letter - using soil to write the each letter on the wall - smashing an onion to my head - gluing a table and a chair from cardboard on the wall - attach flowers to the table - placing seven plates on the floor - piling up black soil on each plate - pouring gasoline on each pile and set them aflame - running towards the wall without stopping - several times - scratching roughly the left side of my chest - grinning with black teeth - covering my head with white cream - dipping my face into the soil - tearing off the petals of the flowers - leaving the space while blowing the petals at the audience


"I can't I can't - What's in my head #9" 'home sweet home', international Performance Art Festival, Berlin, Germany 2010 Photo: BBB-Archive - writing the word "Prolog" on the floor - spelling the word "Illusion" in German - slapping myself with the flat hand after each letter - drawing the figure of a woman on the floor - dripping rose oil into a big pot with hot boiling water - painting the nails of my right foot red - lay down next to the chalk-woman and start to stroke her - trying to lift her up - undressing myself and putting the clothes into the pot - dressing up with the hot, wet clothes- writing the word "Epilog" on the floor - spelling the word "Truth" in English - stroking my cheek after each letter


"no rose without a thorn" '7a11d', international Performance Art Festival, Toronto, Canada 2008 Photo: 7a11d


"speechless" 3rd ORANGE art biennal, Saint Hyacinthe, Canada 2009 Photo: BBB-Archive


"What's in my head #1" K-Salon, Berlin, Germany 2009 Photo: BBB-Archive


"being friends" 'Direct Action', Berlin, Germany 2010 Photo: Stefan Riebel


"leaking memories #1" 'Interakcje', Performance Art Festival, Piotrkow-Trybunalski, Poland 2011 Photo: Matthias Pick - showing a video projection of an old 8mm film - writing the word 'Prolog' on the floor - inhaling very deeply a couple of times - binding a fish around my neck - releasing milk attached underneath a wooden chair - placing a cake on my head - creaming the cake on my head - release the fish from my neck - kneel down on the floor - rubbing the fish's face in circles on the floor - burning my white shirt - placing the smoking shirt on the chair - writing the word 'Epilog' on the floor - taking a deep breath and slowly releasing the air from my lungs


"silence" 'PrĂŠavis de dĂŠsordre urbain', Performance Art Festival, Marseille, France 2011 Photo: Dariusz Fodczuk


"Don't Hurt Me" Cornerhouse Gallery, Manchester, U.K., 2007 Photo: Mishka Henner


"Wille" 'pakt' Performance Art Event, Zionskirche, Berlin, Germany 2010 Photo: Roland Runge


"a rolling stone gathers no moss #7" Muthesius Academy of Art, Kiel, Germany 2014 Photo: Monika Sobczak


"around the world #2" 'Fluxee', Turku, Finland 2012 Photo: Monika Sobczak


"around the world #4" 'AccionMAD' international Performance Art Festival Madrid, Spain 2012 Photo: Monika Sobczak


"a rolling stone gathers no moss #1" Performance Art Studies, Rehlovice, Czech Republic 2012 Photo: Monika Sobczak


"BLANC #9" Venice international Performance Art Week, Venice, Italy 2012 Photo: Monika Sobczak


"TAXI libre" 'More Light!', art project, La Habana, Cuba 2005 Photo: Lianet Jardines


"Lilly [What's in my head #8" 'Las Bas biennial', Kiasma - museum for contemporary arts, Helsinki, Finland 2010 Photo: Antti Ahonen


" It ain't over until it's over [What's in my head #15]" 'Men Only', performance art event, Kunstfabrik am Flutgraben, Berlin, Germany 2010 Photo: Matthias Pick


"shamrock #4" Grimmuseum, Berlin, Germany 2010 Photo: Grimmuseum


"around the world #5" 'Blauverschiebung', Performance Art Festival, Leipzig, Germany 2012 Photo: Monika Sobczak


"Memorial for deceased performance and action artists" ongoing project since 2011 Photo: Monika Sobczak - holding signs with names, birth and death dates of deceased performance- and action artists for a couple of minutes in front of the face - collecting all the papers - folded as flowers - burning them

Drawing of the performance by David Dalla Venezia, 2012


Jan Swidzinski * 1923 - † 2014 Peter Grzybowski * 1954 - † 2013 Jerzy Berez * 1930 - † 2012 Marcus Vinicius * 1985 - † 2012 Norbert Klassen * 1941 - † 2011 Nel Amaro * 1946 - † 2011 Bas Jan Ader * 1942 - † 1975 Manfred Hammes * 1954 - † 2006 Emmett Wiliams * 1925 - † 2007 Allan Kaprow * 1927 - † 2006 Rose Hill * 1976 - † 2008 Wolf Vostell * 1932 - † 1998 Kurt Schwitters * 1887 - † 1948 Joseph Beuys * 1921 - † 1986 Augusto Boal * 1931 - † 2009 Dieter Roth * 1930 - † 1998 Robert Filliou * 1926 - † 1987 Yves Klein * 1928 - † 1962 George Maciunas * 1931 - † 1978 Simon Häfele * 1977 - † 2011 John Cage * 1912 - † 1992 Jochen Wüstenfeld * 1961 - † 1998 Ben d’Armagnac * 1940 - † 1978 Al Hansen * 1927 - † 1995 Terry Fox * 1943 - † 2008 James Lee Byars * 1932 - † 1997 Ana Mendieta * 1948 - † 1985 Rudolf Schwarzkogler * 1940 - † 1969 Paul Neagu * 1938 - † 2004 Gina Pane * 1939 - † 1990 André Philip Lemke * 1970 - † 2006 Antonin Artaud * 1896 - † 1948 Kjartan Slettemark * 1932 - † 2008 Nan Hoover * 1931 - † 2008 George Brecht * 1926 - † 2008 Bob Flanagan * 1952 - † 1996 X-Ray-Psy * 1966 - † 1999 Zorka Ságlová * 1942 - † 2003 Stuart Sherman * 1945 - † 2001 Bob Cobbing * 1920 - † 2001 Jan Piekarczyk * 1951 - † 2011 Marcos Kurtycz * 1934 - † 1996 Fritz Behr * 1949 - † 2006 Ian Hinchliffe * 1942 - † 2010 Miklós Erdély * 1928 - † 1986 and many others more


"white sun" Performance for video, Norway 2013 Camera: Monika Sobczak


"fressen und gefressen werden [what's in my head #6]" Kunsthalle D端sseldorf, as part of the exhibition "Eating the Universe - Food in art", D端sseldorf, Germany 2009 Photo: Katja Illner - snorting flour from my mouth over my hands - creating a semi-circle - spreading red chili powder over my feet - creating a semi-circle - taping with long plaster-stripes the feet to the ground - drawing a white waistcoat on the black shirt - pointing a cardboard gun at the audience - eating it finally - burning a couple of holes into the white shirt - arranging plates on the semi-circle - black earth, forks, fire - covering the head with cream - tearing the letters E-G-O out of cardboard - scratching with two forks a "sun" around my bellybutton - spilling black liquid out of my mouth - while smiling - blowing petals into the audience


"exercise chair and violin" Norwegian Theatre Academy, Norway 2013 Photo: Monika Sobczak


"comments" project with Monika Sobczak, since 2011 Photo: Monika Sobczak


"comments" project with Monika Sobczak, since 2011 Photo: Monika Sobczak


BBB Johannes Deimling 2014 Photo: Monika Sobczak


BBB Johannes Deimling 2013 Photo: Monika Sobczak


BBB Johannes Deimling It's not the action that makes the performance agierte Bilder / performative Collages 2000 - 2014 Š and published 2014 by BBB Johannes Deimling www.bbbjohannesdeimling.de

index cover page | "this is my land" 'pro.existence Festival', Schloss Broellin, Germany 2008 Photo: BBB J. Deimling page 6-7 | Photo: Monika Sobczak page 8-13 | "leaking memories #4" Art Academy Karlsruhe, Germany 2011 Photo: Pietro Pellini page 16-21 | "leaking memories #3" Club MOZG, Bydgoszcz, Poland 2011 Photo: Monika Sobczak page 24-25 | "a rolling stone gathers no moss #2" 'performNOW!' Festival, Winterthur, Switzerland 2013 Photo: Monika Sobczak page 26 | "Ruhe" grenzART, Kirschau, Germany 2010 Photo: BBB-Archive page 27 | "Done" 'pro.existence Festival', Schloss Broellin, Germany 2008 Photo: BBB-Archive page 30-35 | "around the world #8" 'Cyprus International Performance Art Festival', Nicosia, Cyprus 2013 Photo: Monika Sobczak page 36-39 | "leaking memories #5" S T O R E contemporary, Dresden, Germany 2011 Photo: Danilo Barsch page 42-47 | "cleaning memories" old market square, City Gallery, Bydgoszcz, Poland, 2013 Photo: Monika Sobczak


page 50-53 | "green line" University of Nicosia, Nicosia, Cyprus, 2013 Photo: Monika Sobczak page 54-59 | "around the world #3" Norwegian Theatre Academy, Fredrikstad, Norway 2013 Photo: Monika Sobczak page 62-65 | "youth" Theater Junge Generation, Dresden, Germany 2013 Photo: Monika Sobczak page 66-71 | "a rolling stone gathers no moss #3" PAO - Performance Art Oslo Festival, Atelier ANX 2013 Photo: Monika Sobczak page 74-75 | "all saints" Place de l'art performance, Paris, France 2012 Photo: Monika Sobczak page 76-77 | "Don't Hurt Me" 'Chamalle X', international Performance Art Festival, Ponte Vedra, Spain 2009 Photo: Stefanie Trojan page 78-83 | "a rolling stone gathers no moss #6" Espai d´art contemporani de Castelló, Castelló, Spain 2013 Photo: Monika Sobczak page 86-87 | "Augenzeuge" Sülzer Salon, Köln, Germany 2001 Photo: Pietro Pellini page 88-89 | "shamrock" 'Extension Series', Grimmuseum, Berlin, Germany 2010 Photo: Grimmuseum page 90-95 | "a rolling stone gathers no moss #4" 'Abierto de Accion', International Performance Art Festival, Malaga, Spain 2013 Photo: Monika Sobczak page 98-103 | "a rolling stone gathers no moss #5" 'Abierto de Accion', Centro Parraga, Murcia, Spain 2013 Photo: Monika Sobczak page 104-109 | "What's in my head #3" 'Perfo09', international Performance Art Festival, Pori, Finland 2009 Photo: Jan Virtanens page 122-123 | "I can't I can't - What's in my head #9" 'home sweet home', international Performance Art Festival, Berlin, Germany 2010 Photo: BBB-Archive


page 120-123 | "no rose without a thorn" '7a11d', international Performance Art Festival, Toronto, Canada 2008 Photo: 7a11d page 126-129 | "speechless" 3rd ORANGE art biennial, Saint Hyacinthe, Canada 2009 Photo: BBB-Archive page 132-133 | "What's in my head #1" K-Salon, Berlin, Germany 2009 Photo: BBB-Archive page 134-135 | "being friends" 'Direct Action', Berlin, Germany 2010 Photo: Stefan Riebel page 136-141 | "leaking memories #1" 'Interakcje', international Performance Art Festival, Piotrkow-Trybunalski, Poland 2011 Photo: Matthias Pick page 144-145 | "silence" 'PrĂŠavis de dĂŠsordre urbain', Performance Art Festival, Marseille, France 2011 Photo: Dariusz Fodczuk page 146 | "Don't Hurt Me" Cornerhouse Gallery, Manchester, U.K., 2007 Photo: Mishka Henner page 147 | "Wille" 'pakt' Performance Art Event, Zionskirche, Berlin, Germany 2010 Photo: Roland Runge page 150-153 | "a rolling stone gathers no moss #7" Muthesius Academy of Art, Kiel, Germany 2014 Photo: Monika Sobczak page 156-157 | "around the world #2" 'Fluxee', Turku, Finland 2012 Photo: Monika Sobczak page 158-159 | "around the world #4" 'AccionMAD' International Performance Art Festival, Madrid, Spain 2012 Photo: Monika Sobczak page 160-161 | "a rolling stone gathers no moss #1" Performance Art Studies, Rehlovice, Czech Republic 2012 Photo: Monika Sobczak page 162-163 | "BLANC #9" Venice international Performance Art Week, Venice, Italy 2012 Photo: Monika Sobczak


page 164-165 | "TAXI libre" 'More Light!', art project, La Habana, Cuba 2005 Photo: Lianet Jardines page 166-167 | "Lilly [What's in my head #8]" 'Las Bas biennial', Kiasma - museum for contemporary arts, Helsinki, Finland 2010 Photo: Antti Ahonen page 170-173 | "It ain't over until it's over [What's in my head #15]" 'Men Only', performance art event, Kunstfabrik am Flutgraben, Berlin, Germany 2010 Photo: Matthias Pick page 176-179 | "shamrock #4" Grimmuseum, Berlin, Germany 2010 Photo: Grimmuseum page 182-185 | "around the world #5" 'Blauverschiebung', Performance Art Festival, Leipzig, Germany 2012 Photo: Monika Sobczak page 186-191 | "Memorial for deceased performance and action artists" ongoing project since 2011 Photo: Monika Sobczak page194-197 | "white sun" Performance for video, Norway 2013 Camera: Monika Sobczak page 198-203 | "fressen und gefressen werden [what's in my head #6]" Kunsthalle D端sseldorf, D端sseldorf, Germany 2009 Photo: Katja Illner page 206-209 | "exercise chair and violin" Norwegian Theatre Academy, Norway 2013 Photo: Monika Sobczak page 212-213 | "comments" project with Monika Sobczak, since 2012 Photo: Monika Sobczak page 214-215 | BBB Johannes Deimling photographed by Monika Sobczak, 2013 and 2014 back page | "from sunrise to sunset" Savvy contemporary, Berlin 2012 Photo: Monika Sobczak


"It's not the action that makes the performance" | Š BBB Johannes Deimling, 2014

It's not the action that makes the performance  

catalogue, 220 pages, documenting the work of BBB Johannes Deimling

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