Performance and Light Installation
Church of St. John Saarbrücken 1999
Accompanied the exhibition "10 Years of Media Art at the Saar Academy of Fine Arts"
original length 35 minutes
Performance: Walli Höfinger
Tech. Support: Harald Söther
Copper pipe bells live: Joachim Darmer
Camera: Martin Luckert, Klaudia Stoll
Photos: Martin Luckert, Dietlinde Stroh, Christa Werner-Geiselhofer
hang - stay - last - to let the impulse to escape pass by - be here - sense - to be still - to stay present - to go further into tension - to halt - until the tension dissolves on its own - the state becomes a process mirrored in my body
A "carpet" of 10 neon tubes is installed on the floor of the performance space.
As I climb, there is the sound of galloping horses, getting louder and louder and stopping once I arrive at the top and stop moving. I hang at a height of 8 meters and surrender to the situation of hanging in one place for half an hour. In this time I follow my body impulses which come out of this physical situation. In this phase you hear the sound of crickets and copper pipe bells live, fading imperceptibly into silence.
A gentle clangor breaks the silence and ushers in the end of the performance. I climb up through a hole in the church ceiling. Before I reach the ceiling and disappear, there is a short reprise of the galloping sound, which signals the end of the performance.
The occasion Prof. Ulrike Rosenbach invited me to give a performance as part of the exhibition "10 Years of Media Art at the Saar Academy of Fine Arts". This invitation inspired me to adapt the work “Hanging” (previously performed at the Scheidt Waterworks) for the Church of St.John in Saarbrücken.
The Space The Church of St.John in Saarbrücken is a big, lofty space with Neo-Gothic architecture, which emphasizes the high, empty space. As the interior decoration of the church is very restrained and minimalistic, the space offers the scope to contemplate visual and acoustic events.
Where the apse intersects the nave, a round hole in the 17 meter high ceiling leads into the roof truss. This opening makes it possible to install the whole technical rope installation and to disappear through the ceiling during the performance, which is an absolutely unique spatial situation.
With a height of 17 meters, this space was an absolute challenge for me – personally and artistically. Apart from the aspect of exploring an airspace like this with my body, it turned out that working at this height dramatically raised the inner concentration and attention level, leading to a very special tension and transparency during the performance. The red glass windows of the apse were illuminated from the outside, to maintain the transparency of the space and to create red light reflections on the ceiling.
Many thanks to: Prof. Ulrike Rosenbach/ Saar Academy of Fine Arts, Jörg Metzinger/Project Church St.John