My interest in Performance Art is centered on the person of the artist. With him and through him the performative image develops. From this, some questions can be derived for the seminar: What is a performative image? How is the performative image created? What is Presence? What tools can the performance artist use to thematize “presence”?
The seminar starts with concrete, in some cases very movement intensive exercises. These exercises do not serve to teach performance art, but rather to deal with the tasks throws the participant back on himself/herself and thus promotes the examination of one’s own aesthetic experience. Existing insights, images or experiences should be activated and brought into actions.
In the sense of negotiating the topic of presence, the participant should identify himself/herself in relation to the given situation and the other participants. Questions about impressions as physical perception are the subject of the discussion. Presence in this sense is a “successful” relationship to the situation of performance – as an action in the here and now.
The workshop is divided into two parts: the first part is dedicated to group performance. This is about questions of common rhythm, impulse and perception. The accompanying exercises provide the basis for a common approach to Performance Art. The second part deals with personal approaches – the theme, material and strategy of solo performance. In the final public presentation, these two fields of work will be brought together.
For this 2 hour performance a solo performance will be developed, which will be performed in a public group performance with the other participants.
The workshop aims to support the participants in their personal artistic approach. By attempting to question or transgress the personal limits of social and gender identity, an attempt is made to create an inspiring and challenging situation that opens up new possibilities in artistic work.
You should be willing to engage in such provocative work and be ready to be led to your physical and mental limits.
Working hours vary according to the event. However, you should stick to the set times, the units of the workshop build on each other. It is not possible to join the workshop later or be absent in between.
You should agree that photos will be taken during the workshop by me. At the beginning of the workshop an agreement about the use of the photos will be made participants. The photos are intended for publication. However, you will be given the opportunity to have the photos that you do not want published deleted beforehand.
In general, I find the discussion about the right definition of Performance Art not very helpful in practice. Here I hold it with Hans-Thies Lehmann, who in his book “Postdramatisches Theater” has given the following definition:”Performance is what is announced as such by those who show it.
In the case of a workshop, however, it is necessary to limit the resulting spectrum of what can be considered as performance art. Only a binding language regulation allows the concentration on practical work. The workshop Exploring Performance Art is therefore based on the following understanding of performance art:
“Especially for this project the key was to start opening taboo questions about mental conditions, which we achieved with questions about social codes.
The result was mesmerizing. The musicians and myself broke our own limits, learned how to use material and found the place and time In-Between.”
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“After those intense ten days I feel stronger and better as a person. Through my body hurts and I am tired, the voice in my head keeps reminding \”no no, this is your body – not you\”. I would suggest this workshop to anybody who is interested in going to a journey within himself/herself. It is impossible during this trip not to question ones previous experiences, self-cognition, perception and processes of communication to others. It is a challenging mind bending trip which can bring you to the places you even did not have the courage to imagine. This creative process questions through action rules and restrictions of our society and at the same time one’s personal boundaries.”
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“What’s the next step? Jürgen Fritz’s course group (a week later) was pervaded by this question even before it was posed; debate on the realms of performance craft holding equal measure to the performance itself. Together we rose, sank, quarreled; were held, dropped and recovered. It’s hard now to reflect on Jürgen’s workshop without the image of his bell-ringing, bagpipe-backed euphoria piercing my mind. The reverie, even ecstasy, of his performance (at the NRLA) clasped the essence of our week in one simple frame: the joy of the act.”
„I just have to say, Jürgen Fritz is a mother fucking slave driver!“ (…) “We worked so fucking hard for that first hour. Then we did this back to back with a partner. We faced off to a partner, made eye contact and rhythmically clasped hands. Our bodies, pouring in sweat, we went neck to neck, then face to face, experiencing tension, intimacy, and the exchange of bodily fluid.“