… the archaeological action … can be interpreted as the art of constructing the missing link to the self … it is this materiality that operates as other, as altérité, as the other of history and historical knowledge […] which brings back the question: What is materiality in the first place?
_Knut Ebeling, The Art of Searching. On “Wild Archaeologies” from Kant to Kittler, The Nordic Journal of Aesthetics No. 51 (2016), 7–18
obsessio//stupor – opętanie//osłupienie is a personal work about embodying alterity. It is inspired by the accounts of the life and visions of Dorothy of Montau, who lived in 14th c. in Gdansk and died as a recluse in a solitary cell. Her strange existence marks a treshold at which submission and freedom, madness and enlightment, fragility and resilience blur with each other, challenging the modern european rationality.
During three months of processing of Dorothy’s traces I created several speech scrolls: 60 meters long paper rolls with manually printed excerpts from Dorothy’s life story. In the live performance I am using those speech scrolls, as well as red bandages and my own inarticulate voice to construct a multilayered time-space in which I embody my alter ego Dorothy.
In the course of the work on obsessio//stupor another figure of alterity became relevant: Dagmar Sch. (1940 – 2015). As a young women Dagmar suffered a complete psychotic break. For the rest of her life she stayed true to her artistic vocation while going deeper into the impenetrable labyrinth of her illness. She covered big canvasses with endless dripping lines and constructed mixed media installations out of waste. I was using a stamp set, which belonged once to her, to print excerpts from Dorothy’s life on the paper rolls.
obsessio//stupor was realised in the frame of Polenbegeisterungswelle – Cultural Topographies of Polish Berlin
a project of agitPolska e.V. – Polnisch-Deutsche Initiative für Kulturkooperation and ARTUM Foundation ewa partum museum,
supported by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM) and by the Foundation for Polish-German Cooperation
12 October 2017
18:00 – 21:00
Studio1 at Kunstquartier Bethanien, Berlin
in the side aisles: the solo exhibition by Wawrzyniec Tokarski
video documentation by Roberto Duarte
photos by Berenika Partum (below 1-5) and Roberto Duarte (above and below 6)
with many thanks to:
as well as to Ulrike Sowodniok for vocal coaching and in-deph professional exchange
and to the WAH-collective for support and inspiration