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The Leakers

5 visual performances on leaking


Ingolf Keiner Ida Grimsgaard Andreas Pashias Corentin JPM Leven BBB Johannes Deimling Photos

Monika Sobczak Text

Annika Hagstrøm

MilleFeuilles PERFORMANCE festival Nantes, France 2014

The Leakers 5 visual performances on leaking IMPRINT Ingolf Keiner Ida Grimsgaard Andreas Pashias Corentin JPM Leven BBB Johannes Deimling invited by Romain Boulay and Melaine Rouger co-curator BBB Johannes Deimling MilleFeuilles PERFORMANCE festival Nantes, France 2014 all photos in this publication by: Monika Sobczak, 2014 text by: Annika Hagstrøm

© by SAMISDAT, published 2014

"Leaking and liquids are physical; our bodies opens up and out runs spit, tears, blood and sweat. Nothing is forever and together with the world we are in a constant change. We adjust our positions. In our eternal transformation we leak – something is getting away, something is being released. We work hard to keep together. We swallow our puke, put plasters on our wounds and try to hold back our tears, but our bodies are too small (or our hearts are too big?) to keep it all in."

[Ida Grimsgaard]

Annika Hagstrøm

“if it is not leaking - it's not performance art.” At the performance festival in Nantes this group of artists, assembled by BBB Johannes Deimling, had a discussion of art. All of them agreed that art expressed something that could not be put in to words. Andreas Phasias even stated that he didn't really like words. They see themselves as visual artists that work with images that they communicate to the public. I was therefore quite surprised when they asked me to write about their performances. I had the pleasure of spending time during the festival with the group that call themselves “the leakers” (since leaking liquid seems to be a combining factor in each performance). Since they don't want their work to be reduced to words I will instead of trying to describe the underlining meaning or the intention of the artist, give my reflection and experience of their art. They all work in different ways, but there is still something that binds them together. Their voices and presence are strong, and they each have a willingness to communicate to the viewer and to leave them wondering. And of course the leaking liquid. To sum up, I would like to quote them; “if it is not leaking - it's not performance art.” Corentin Leven « Soft frame » It all starts when Corentin enters the room. He is barefoot and is wearing a white shirt and something that could resemble as the pants of a school orchestra. We can see his earplugs, but we have no idea of what he is listening to. Then he turns to us and the show begins. He starts dancing like he is the only one in the room. And he gets it all out. It's full of energy and is a kind of a dance that we all want to do but doesn't have the courage to do outside the room where we grew up. We get quite curious in the public.

And we hear quiet whispering. "what's on his playlist?" He looses himself to the dance and even though we look a bit stiff in the public, we join him in the dance in our mind. While he dances colors starts to burst of him. Not in a metaphorical way but all of sudden there are colors everywhere. It’s mostly on his shirt but also at the walls and the floor. In the middle of the dance his earplugs falls out, but this doesn't stop him or slow him down. He just throw them on the floor, he doesn't need it anymore. The music must be inside of him. All of a sudden he stops. The sweat is dripping and he tells us that there is no present. There is only a past and a future. The thing in between is a process that creates a bridge directly from the past to the present. He repeatedly tells us "there is no present" until we get it. We are always told to live in the present. But what does that mean in this context if there are not any present? They are not necessarily contradictions. Maybe we can look at this as we are in a constant process; there is no stop or moment that we can call the present. When we try to reflect on a moment it is already in the past and we are now in what at the time was the future heading for the next. It is a play with the concept of time. So maybe there is no such thing as a present, but I love how he dances in the process. Ida Grimsgaard « Memories (in the forest) » Ida's performance is called Memories (in the forest). What can we expect from this title? In her description she says that there is a storm inside of her. We will soon see how and why. Out of nothing we hear rolling wheels and in an impressive speed she comes out on something in between shoes and roller blades. Her pink dress is lighting up the room. This could have been a scene from a dancing film from the 80's if it had not been for the mask she is wearing. A huge mask covered with wooden glue gives us an indication of her eyes and mouth.

She is struggling on her skates, and we wonder; why did she choose to use these rolling shoes when she clearly isn't comfortable in them? And why is she going so fast? She falls, and we get an urge to help her. But before we get the chance to react she is up and rolling again. All around in the room, falling and up again. Even a tough meeting with the wall doesn't stop her. She struggles with her balance but manages to get into the centre of the room. There she finally stops. With her hands held up to find the balance we find her in a vulnerable situation. It has such a natural and intuitive atmosphere. Then she takes to her head and where her eyes should be. A thick fluid starts pouring out of one of her eyes and down the mask. The fluid is also tearing down inside the mask and on her dress. It is dripping. She stands like this for some time before she starts blowing up a balloon. We can hear that she struggles, it's almost like the fluid strangles her inside her mask. She shows us her vulnerability. She is there in front of us with all her struggles. Her breathing becomes faster. Finally, she succeeds to blow up the balloon. But instead of keeping the air within she punctures it. The sound is empowered by the space. Then she turns to her shoes, makes the wheals disappear and walks out with her head hold up high. With this performance we are under the impression that Ida shows us a will to continue, vulnerability and a struggle. We can relate to all of this. With her dress and rolling shoes it gives us a sense of nostalgia, of a passed memory. Wearing a mask that covers her face leaves us with her body. It can be anyone under there. It could be one of us. It's not just her memory, and maybe it's not even a real memory she is referring to, but while communicating it through her body it belongs to all of us. The feeling of unsafe ground, struggle and vulnerability. Andreas Pashias ÂŤ Vinaigrette Âť The artist enters the room; in front of him we see two white perfectly shaped squares. He starts to pore oil on one of the squares. When he has shaped a circle he starts with the balsamic vinaigrette. He looks at it as a painter that looks at his canvas and gives us time to think about his next step. He takes a piece of bread and starts slowly to make a circle with the dark color of the vinaigrette within the circle of oil. The movements becomes quicker and quicker.

The smell of vinaigrette spreads into the room. Performing on a French scene this is a familiar smell for the public. But we are not used to smell it in this setting. Andreas leaves the bread in the centre of his circle and draws his attention to his next canvas. Here he stands over the square and is no longer precise with the oil. The whole square is now covered. Then he turns to the balsamic again. But this time he straps the bottles to his arms. The public in front of him is moving farther away. He prepares himself like an athlete and is lifting up his arms. Then he starts to paint. The balsamic is everywhere; it's dripping down from his arms, and floating out of the bottles. He has a unique presence throughout his performance and is completely in control of his movements and the public. We don't dare to speak, some of us are afraid to breath too loudly. We don't want to disturb him. Using materials that plays such a natural role in our culture creates a new meaning for us. Bread and vinaigrette is often looked as an appetizer, but here it is in the centre if his composition. He lifts this every day like act of dipping bread in vinaigrette to a higher level. It isn't just something that we eat before our meal but the main ingredient. The blending of oil and balsamic creates patterns and becomes a painting. We look closer at its structure and abilities. We see the beauty in our surroundings. Normally we don’t think much of this, but here he makes us see what normally plays a natural part of our daily life as art. Andreas finishes his performance by eating the piece of bread from his first painting. And with that he takes us back again to the everyday use of the bread and the vinaigrette. BBB Johannes Deimling  a rolling stone gathers no moss # 9  Johannes uses an interesting collage technique in his performance consisting of different images. In front of us we can see various scenes; two buckets with a shirt and a dress in it that are connected to threads, some straws and a huge pile of wooden chairs. Under the sculpture-like pile of chairs we can see the artist. He begins to slowly pull the strings so the clothes in the buckets rise towards the ceiling. They are wet and small water drops

are dripping down on the floor. It’s completely quiet except from the sound of water drops. The artist is breaking out of the chairs, still holding the thread connected to the clothes. He gets to the centre of the room with his arms out like a crucified man. He is looking at the public and suddenly a blue liquid appears from his mouth. While the color rains down on his shirt he is slowly sinking the clothes again. Johannes turns to his next image. He is arranging the chairs to a circle. When he has finished this task he takes one chair out and drags it in front of him around the circle. While dragging the chair to the floor it creates a sound that is strengthen by the gallery space. It is like the chair is almost protesting. In the next image he puts a tissue box in front of his mouth and starts coloring the floor with a mixture of milk and the color green. After he has managed to create a circle of color he sits down on the chair and drags the tissues out of the box and throws them into the paint. He leaves them there and returns to the circle of chairs and starts running in circle on top of them. As his speed increases the chairs starts to fall and break the circle. The artist returns to the tissues that are now soaked in paint. He glues them to his face so they block his sight and mouth. Then he starts searching blindfolded for the threads again. When he finds them he gets the clothes to his level and takes up the straws and violently starts hitting them. The tissues from his face fall off. In the next image he ties the shirt to a stick that he puts in the pile of chairs. He then returns to the buckets where he starts throwing up water and small balls of various colors that jumps towards the public. They instantly start to collect them and feel their surface. The artist leads us to the last image where he takes a rope through the pile of chairs and ties it to himself. In his pocket he takes out a small music box that he starts turning so the music comes out. Slowly he walks out of the gallery and outside with the chairs after him. If it had not been for Johannes’ calmness and ability to bring all the images back together again, this could have been difficult to follow. But due to his calmness and presence he presents us to different small stories that he connects to each other and makes to a

whole. The aspect of time is difficult to get a grip on. He does not explain anything or uses his voice. Above all he shows us these small stories visually. They can be read as glimpses of memories, small windows to the past that he combines together. There is a certain sense of sadness and passed time over it. Johannes is using a visual scene to take us back to some distant memories. We get a feeling of a parallel universe. Sometimes we can experience references to a childhood, like building a fortress out of chairs or the play with colors. But there is also the feeling of searching for something blindfolded. If they are real memories can only the artist himself answer. But it appears like it isn’t the specific memories that matter, but to recreate feelings and atmospheres, which he projects and shares with the public. The fact that the public started to collect the colorful balls and take them with them as a small memory shows that the performance made an impact on them. Ingolf Keiner  my fear is my horse  In front of us we can see a table covered in silver tape placed up against the wall. On it we can find small steel bowls and buckets. Behind the table there is a huge silver canvas and steel pipes. It looks like a religious alter. From behind us we can hear strange sounds. We cannot distinguish a certain language. The artist enters the room. He is wearing black over-alls with white paint on it and construction shoes. He gets on top of the table and starts to dip a white towel into one of the bowls with blue paint. During this he constantly talks in this bizarre language that we cannot understand. But the tone is full of passion and confusion. He takes the towel, which is now blue, to his throat and is almost strangling himself with it. His face turns red. After a while he starts mixing other colors like yellow, red and green and paints himself with it. He uses sounds and gestures from the animal world. It gets more and more intense and even though we cannot understand what he is saying, we understand and feel his frustration and agony. At one point he is mixing the colors on his stomach and hits himself in the gut like he is stabbing himself. He repeats the movements

two times and we can hear a change in is voice. He starts making the sound of a wounded animal. The artist turns to the wall and takes two of the pipes down and smash them together. The sound is so high and uncomfortable, that several among the public feel the need to cover their ears. He repeats this movement until there are no more pipes on the wall. Then for the first time he turns to the public in front of him and says “parce que… ” Which means “because” in French. He takes the canvas down from the wall and wraps it around his body and walks out of the gallery. And there he leaves us hanging and invites us to discover for ourselves the meaning of the work and maybe even our own fear. The artist uses a lot of high sounds and colors and is in that way very expressive. However, the performance also shows loneliness and a sense of vulnerability. It is like all these sounds and instruments strengthen the feeling of being alone with one’s fear and the chaos that comes with it. He is communicating to us through his body in a visual manner and by the variations in his voice. Even though we cannot understand the words he is using, we can imagine the meaning of it. Instead of hiding the fear away we get the feeling that he is not only confronting it but also worships it. He gets inside himself and presents us his own feelings of agony and chaos that he connects to his fear. He does not show us what he is actually afraid of, but he presents to us his battle and the feeling of fear.

Corentin JPM Leven SOFT FRAME 12 minutes

Headphones: on A white shirt, a time ... to dance, the physical aggression of the body as a canvas by movement. The violent tracking of the action out of the so called present timeframe. Exhaustion. Headphones: Off, out of sight. Exhaustion. A shirt, colors, sweat, silence, reminiscence of a beat, an energy. Stop. "There is no present, I am the bridge from the future to the present. There is no present. Only eternity moments; out

"Milk is the new dance."

Ida Grimsgaard Memory (in the forest) 10 minutes

Figure arriving in pink dress and white roller shoes. The head is covered with a white running mask that has stooped in time. The figure rolls around and when she moves laughter appear from her body. She stops and put fingers into her eyes. White liquid runs out from the mask. The figure put a finger into her mouth and there is a white balloon. She breath into the balloon. The ballon becomes pink and explodes. The figure removes wheels from her shoes and walk out.

A memory: We are in your room. You are sad because we believe the world is against you. You throw your sweater at the floor and we laugh. Suddenly I realize I am crying. A bird could have crashed into your window and it would have fitted. I repeat myself and you keep listening. Another memory: I break my collar bone. More memories: You lay in the grass with your eyes closed. Inside me there is a storm and you could be a commercial for toilet paper. I don’t turn around and walk away. I don't spit into your shoes. I don't wake up from the fire alarm. I fall down from a mountain and die. Memory in the forest: We count to ten and let the bicycle fall.

Andreas Pashias Vinaigrette 25 minutes

The audience encounters a space with two white rectangles painted on the floor next to each other. The artist enters the space and assumes a position behind the first right rectangle. By kneeling at the edge of the rectangle, he pours a small quantity of olive oil at its center, followed by the pouring of balsamic vinegar, in order to form a circular spill. A loaf of bread is cut and dipped into the spill, attempting to mix and absorb the liquid formation through an escalating circular gesture. Once the liquid has been absorbed, the artist places the bread loaf at the center of the circle left behind as a trace of this action. By assuming a position behind the second left rectangle, he pours a bigger amount of olive oil at its center, until the two-liter bottle is emptied. The artist takes two glass balsamic vinegar bottles and straps them onto the upper part of his arms by using black tape, with the bottles’ tips facing downwards. By having his arms raised, he unscrews both cups and slowly lowers them, in order to allow for the first amount of vinegar to be spilled onto the rectangle. The artist follows an escalating gesture of raising his arms over his head and down again, until the bottles’ content is completely emptied. By kneeling again at the edge of the rectangle, he places the whole bread in the middle of the spill and slowly rests his face on to the bread. Through a circular head movement the artist attempts to mix and absorb the liquid content

from the rectangle’s surface. When this process reaches its peak, the artist gets up and stands in-between the two rectangles. He takes the loaf of bread that was left at the center of the first right rectangle and attempts to place it into his mouth. During the process of chewing, the artist establishes eye contact with each member of the audience, until the bread loaf is completely swallowed, and then exits the space by passing through.

BBB Johannes Deimling a rolling stone gathers no moss #9 29 minutes

- laying under a pile of chairs - pulling strings attached to a white shirt and a white dress (in buckets with water) - standing up slowly - holding the strings and letting blue color running out of my moth - placing the chairs in a circle - pushing one chair aside - drawing a green cycle on the floor - binding a box with tissues on my mouth - sitting on the chairs and pulling the tissues out of the box - running on the chairs in a circle - placing the wet green tissues on my face - hitting with a bundle of grass shirt and dress - binding the shirt on a wooden stick and waving the flag - throwing water with water marbles in the air - pulling the chairs out of the space - playing a small pocket barrel organ ("Ode to joy")

Ingolf Keiner THE FEAR IS MY HORSE 20 minutes

0. Like a freshly grounded canvas I enter in tongues speaking the room. It is a prayer in incomprehensible languages similar to the endless stream of thoughts in my head. 5. On the table I then choking myself with a bright blue into the silence. Oxygen disappears and the larynx tastes like eucalyptus. Between the jaw and the thyroid gland says a fine voice, what to do now. 1. The red fear sits in the coccyx and smells of cedar. I roar everything solid in the body with wild beats into primal trust. The spleen wants to survive. 2. The orange is tightly pressed between my legs. Sweat, tears, semen, urine, everything is orange and pepper. Nicely, the poles stick together. And: Wash hands and releasing. 3. The great good belly brain is deep caressed with singing yellow. Only seldom a punch comes in between. 4. Unconditional shows me my heart its selflessness. I answer on my knees with pink and green. It is the center of the performance. 6. The third eye now is thirsty. I don't have sapphire with me, so I pour out Indigo Blue a short distance before the pituitary gland. Then I pull humming old soul from his forehead. 7. Now I have to be quick! Aaking a sound for the Highest, absurd. Find a body position for the thousand-fold, impossible. To connect The Big Picture with the moment, what else? So setting the steel cup with the violet very quickly in the middle of the vertex. Finally, hand washing. 0. The colored body parts vibrate analogous to the tuned aluminum rods. This is easy to demonstrate and proves to be very loud. I had completely forgotten that liquid colors can mix ...

In contrast to previous works that were designed as preparatory exercises for death, this performance is the first Preparatory exercise for life. It originated from internal images which often show up in analogies, colors and sounds. Especially during the performance is this inner perception very strong and I would like to reflect the expiry of "Fear is my horse" at this point from inside.

The Leakers Performers

Ingolf Keiner Ida Grimsgaard Andreas Pashias Corentin JPM Leven BBB Johannes Deimling Photos

Monika Sobczak Text

Annika Hagstrøm

MilleFeuilles PERFORMANCE festival Nantes, France 2014

the leakers  

5 visual performances on leaking

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