On and beyond a Stage

1. Abend der Performancereihe AS CAN BE SEEN FROM

Artists: Laia Fabre, school, Sööt/Zeyringer (Tiina Sööt and Dorothea Zeyringer)
Curator: Anat Stainberg
Exhibition: 03 04 2015 - 11 04 2015


Performance is a time-based act of communication involving some people in the role of the artists and some in the role of the audience. The common understanding of this equation is simple: the artists create a ”living artwork”, a performance. The audience perceives the performance, witnessing or participating, they read through the different parts involved. The artists expose a new arrangement of elements that fits their purposes; among the material they choose from – sound, text, image (etc) – the artists also design the persona in which they will present themselves, the way they will behave while performing.
The audience plays their part as well: they listen, look, cough, whisper, laugh, snore, fall asleep or leave, slamming the door behind them. They show themselves with their behaviour too.

The first platform of direct communication between people is the body, hence body language. How we hold our body, our demeanour and our facial expressions make more of an impact than our actual physical form. We build our body language and develop it throughout our lives. We start by trying to communicate our urgent needs to our early caregivers. And we continue by trying to communicate our identity to our social surroundings.

Our body language is composed of our basic physical tendencies and the behaviour we see around us. Those we like we copy, integrate and train by acting them out in social settings. We do this more or less all the time, more or less consciously.

This is also how we get to know the people around us. Often we believe they are who they appear to be. Often we end up believing ourselves. We think: “This behaviour represents my personality, this is me.” But it isn’t. It’s an act we choose and design to fit our ideas about ourselves. It is our “self-character-act”.

“I’m just an advertisement for a version of myself”. (David Byrne)

Performance is a real-time event. There is no attempt to create a poetic fantasy as there is in the theatre. Everyone involved knows it’s happening here and now, to us. But this “us” or “I” is a pretence that is played with, it’s a “self-character-act”, a most valuable and influential component of any performance.
The specific approach or style the specific performance artist chooses to deliver a work with becomes a part of the performance’s aesthetics and collected meanings, influencing the ways in which the time-based communication act unfolds. And it should receive its rightful focus.

The performance evening “On and beyond a Stage” presents a variety of positions towards the act of performing one’s “self-character-act”.



The performance “We will figure it out”, by Sööt/Zeyringer, deals with the process of finding creative solutions to situations that appear to have no solution. Sööt/Zeyringer explore not only how to solve problems and overcome obstacles but also examine other strategies to relate to an obstacle. When the obstacle is “unsolvable” they attempt to find ways to approach it, how to deal with it or how to cheat the whole set of rules. They deal with the accomplishment and overcoming of problems, but also study the stages of frustration and giving up.

Sööt/Zeyringer (Dorothea Zeyringer and Tiina Sööt) is an artist duo who have been collaborating since 2012, working with performance on the edge of fine arts and dance. Sööt/Zeyringer likes to explore simple everyday movement, mundane events and casual actions.

Sööt/Zeyringer has participated at events such as Imagetanz 2013 (Brut Wien), “Wir lassen sie einfach angelehnt” (VBKÖ Vienna), the IN-FORMATION Performative Month (Künstlerhaus Passagalerie, Vienna), and the fresh – festival for contemporary dance and performance, Braunschweig. They received a TURBO residency at Impulstanz and an Artists at Resort residency at Tanz*Hotel, studio RESORT 1020, Vienna.
In 2015 they are premiering their new production “lonely lonely” at Imagetanz 2015 and have been invited to work and perform at the transeuropa festival in Hildesheim.



Laia Fabre

The performance “A Feast for Open Eyes: One Letter, One Movie, One Room” by Laia Fabre, presents an installation landscape inspired by and in the spirit of Jack Smith’s notorious film “Flaming Creatures”. Fabre is fascinated by a variety of aims that she takes from Jack Smith’s identity presentation selections. With her tableaux vivants she approaches consumerism, conflict management, new ageism, fantasy, feminism and pornography.

Laia Fabre, born in Barcelona (ES) is an artist based in Vienna (AT).
She has a BA from the BAU Art & Design University of Barcelona and is studying
video/installation with Dorit Margreiter at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. Her work, mainly video works and performance practice, is developed through the live experience by exploring the boundaries between life and the art of her generation. She has exhibited and performed internationally, such as at the Buda Arts Centre, Belgium / Pact Zollverein, Essen (Germany) / Welt Museum Wien / Secession Wien / Arts House Melbourne.
Sometimes she examines and experiments with materials and colours and makes use of different art forms creating installations and drawings. She has taught workshops at Impulstanz several times.
In 2007 she founded the artist group “notfoundyet”, which focuses on subjects around contemporary life and the notion of community.
Fabre has also been collaborating with other visual artists, with films and productions, including Pedro G. Romero, Anne Jure and Krzysztof Kaczmarek.




The series OBJECTS FOR SETTINGS deals with the mise en scène of performative acts, focussing on the space as flexible element and assembling tools to outline the form of the works. These tools (objects that organise space and movement through space) might in the process become performers themselves, leading, organising, misguiding or even provoking rebellion within an arranged site. These rearrangements create a new topography of space in which its perception and experience is sharpened:

The space is performed before and after the performance takes place.
(based on Fiona Wilkie: Out of place, 2004)

school is is a space and collective founded by Yasmina Haddad and Andrea Lumplecker in 2011. OBJECTS FOR SETTINGS, a series of objects created in the context of school, is used to define certain features of a space. They may be presented as objects per se, or as devices for exhibition and performance settings.
school´s event series PERFORMATIVE SCREENINGS focuses on the screening as a frame and defines a specific realm within selected artistic positions that employ performative strategies and relate to (political) realities.



Anat Stainberg

Anat Stainberg is a multi-disciplinary performance artist, busy sorting out reality from fiction, and the prepared from the improvised. She works within various visual art and writing disciplines as well as video-making and directing. She gives dramaturgical advice and curating services on demand, with expertise in performance. Anat studied theatre, film and anthropology at Tel Aviv University, 1992-94, and acting at the Yoram Levinstein acting school in Tel Aviv, 1995-98. She participated in numerous theatre and film productions, performing for the Israeli TV and theatre stages until 2004. She then moved to Europe and graduated from DasArts in Amsterdam (2006, dasarts.nl). Today she lives and works in Vienna, teaching in the performative arts department of the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts.
Her work has been presented internationally in galleries, museums and theatres: Brut Wien, Kunstraum Niederoesterreich, Vienna, school, Vienna, the Stedelijk Museum Bureau, Amsterdam, De Apple Gallery, Amsterdam, the Frascati Theatre, Amsterdam, Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus, Düsseldorf, the Austrian Theatre Museum, Vienna, the Im Ersten Gallery, Vienna, and Wien Modern, Vienna.



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