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PERFORMANCE PASSAGE: Space for Poetics of the In-between

PERFORMANCE PASSAGE:
Space for Poetics of the
In-between

Q21 Backstage: the PERFORMANCE PASSAGE opened in October and was designed after the artistic concept of Christoph Meier. The installation concept, conceived and curated by Andrea Maurer, aims for a situational intervention, expanding the mirrored space through a linguistic-experimental, poetic dimension.

Designed after the artistic concept of Christoph Meier, the PERFORMANCE PASSAGE appears doubled by an entirely mirrored ceiling. Just like in front of the wall of a dance studio or the ceiling of a discotheque anyone can be a performer here, anyone can observe themselves. The installation concept, conceived and curated by Andrea Maurer, aims for a situational intervention, expanding the mirrored space through a linguistic-experimental, poetic dimension. The programme starts with Gerhard Rühm and his picture cycle WOCHENSCHAU.

Interview with Andrea Maurer and Christoph Meier

Who are you?

Christoph Meier: I am a visual artist working at the interface between sculpture and space. My original field was architecture. I studied architecture at the Technical University of Vienna (TU Wien), and sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and the Glasgow School of Art. In the academic year 2019/20, I was given the chance to head the research unit ‘Three-Dimensional Design and Model Making’ at the Institute of Art and Design of the Faculty of Architecture at TU Wien. Now, I have taken up the position of Senior Artist at the same institute.

Andrea Maurer: I live andwork in Vienna as an artist, predominantly in the contexts of performance, visual arts and, as of late, literature. After my formation in performance and choreography, I studied sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. Besides artistic activities, my work includes teaching at various art institutions, e.g. my last assignment was at the Institute of Language Arts of the University of Applied Arts Vienna. Performance Passage is my first long-term project as a curator.

What are your fields of activity?

CM: I work on every scale, I see every space a challenge, and my interests go beyond its limits. I consider my practice a platform within a broad field between art and architecture. Apart from numerous exhibitions in Austria and abroad, I have been publishing the artists’ fanzine BLACK PAGES with artists Ute Müller and Nick Oberthaler since 2009. Since 2016, I have been running the exhibition space Guimarães with Hugo Canoilas and Nicola Pecoraro in Vienna.

AM: I have just returned from Marbach, where I spent two weeks in a small cabin disassembling and re-arranging pieces of writing I was given by visitors – a poetic service which made me work into the tiniest parts of letters. Such stays often lead to very personal and funny encounters, allowing for a completely different art experience compared to museums or theatres. However, I often work on a larger scale, within and on spaces: exhibition spaces, theatre spaces or public space.

What added value do performances produce?

AM: I am rather sceptical regarding the term ’added value‘ and the categorisation of ’performance‘. If I wanted to apply a concept like ’added value‘, I would not consider it something measurable, but locate it in a sphere where this ’more’ or ’less‘ cannot degrade to a norm.

The new PERFORMANCE PASSAGE is…

CM: …a space whose design is reduced to a minimum. It is meant to be a stage, inspiring the visitors’ performative potentials by inviting them to interact with themselves, with their reflections. Performance Passage puts the performers at the centre and tries to avoid any kind of illustration. Instead, it reduces things to an essence and clearly dissociates itself from its extensively designed surroundings.

AM: …a space in space in space, and a passage at the same time. The temporal aspect plays an important role. The seven lightboxes are like a time machine where every score follows its own rules and develops its own duration. The curatorial setting of this lightbox keyboard focuses on the linguistic-experimental positions of artists who come from different fields but all develop their own individual poetologies.

© Andrea Maurer

Foto: Gregor Titze

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