An improvisation project by Magdalena Inc.+
Performances in Reichenow/Berlin, Cologne, Saarbrücken
Original length 50-60 minutes
Photos: Ruth Hommelsheim
The performance "Slow Space” explores the fusing and connecting of different layers of expression. While the performance “At the Edge of Time” focused on temporal structures, the performance “Slow Space” is an artistic phenomenology of forms of expression.
This includes the exploration of harmonies, resonances and sequences of movement. The movement along the edge, at the threshold between individual and group, between imitation and creation, is a state of constantly discovering and playing with changing identity.
The group relies on no preconceived structure but the stage setting. This allows the audience to undertake an exciting journey - even if they “won’t know where the journey took them until they leave again.”
2002 Magdalena Inc.+ / Slow Space
2002 Slow Space (Magdalena Inc.+)
Training for Sensitized Antennas
Saarbrücker Zeitung, July 29, 2002
With the performance "Slow Space" the artists of "Magdalena Inc.+" stimulated the senses of the audience in the Saarland Museum.
It is better to keep your senses. With its performance, the formation "Magdalena Inc.+" challenged the audience’s perceptual abilities, experimenting with time and space. What inspiring forms of collaboration could emerge on the fertile frontier between the disciplines? But in our region, unfortunately, visual and acoustic artists usually go their separate ways. Fortunately, recent initiatives have brought together these different art forms. One successful example was shown by the formation "Magdalena Inc.+" on Sunday at the well-attended Saarland Museum: their performance "Slow Space", part of the "Saarbrücken Sommermusik" festival, challenged the audience’s perceptions.
" Magdalena Inc.+" are the two media artists and performers Walli Höfinger and Christiane Hommelsheim, graduates of the Saarbrücken Academy of Fine Arts, the photo-artist Ruth Hommelsheim and the musician and composer Christopher Dell.
As the title "Slow Space" suggests, the four play with the parameters of time and space. They combine pre-produced images and sounds with movements, words and improvised live sounds. The protagonists improvise not only as speakers and singers, but also as actors and expressive dancers, now crossing the space with the grace of balletic elves, now crawling along the floor in slow motion like worms. Whether singing, acting or movement, all disciplines are mastered with consummate ease. The versatility is laudable. Alienation by means of technology also plays a central role: Speech gets multiplied and immortalized through echoes, thus protracting real time, the movements of a hand are enlarged and projected onto a big screen in the middle of the space. Here the screen functions as an eye-catcher, also showing the silhouettes of the performers alternating with pre-produced video images. Atmosphere is provided by stage lighting and electronic music whose pulsing signals are spontaneously set off by hand movements.
A perfectly-staged intoxication of the senses, though fundamentally different from our present-day monitor-world due to the dominance of slowness, which puts one into a kind of trance. But then the impressions accelerate and increase, more and more strange things happen to disrupt the aesthetic enjoyment: The protagonists get into conflicts, cryptic words appear on the screen. Increasingly, the spectator starts to wonder about the deeper meaning of all this. It is clear that it has to do with looking behind things and finding new truths through dis-illusionment. Maybe also to gain new freedom by throwing open doors, which, of course, might also be illusionary: "Fly! But they kept clinging to the rock": those are the last, significant words which release the audience from the dark.
Questions upon questions. In the end, everybody has seen a different story, a different truth. But reflecting on it, questioning one’s perceptions, that is something in itself - and so one went home with highly sensitized antennas.