photographed by Tian Gebing
Muskelkater (German word for muscle pain), Magenkater (stomach pain), Weltschmerz (world weariness) … give examples to a way of word play quite specific to the German language. It appears inexhaustible. Or one could wittily claim, that the word game develops in a sustainable way. The haunting ‘Kater’, some sort of pain more felt than verbalised, at the end of those words means literally a male cat. The seemingly ubiquitous Kater moans with sustainable power in the sustainability issues of the world, issues that prove to be clearly unsustainable, whether springing on their surface or crouching in the invisible structural corners, at night in the metropoles, lingering in our bodies that are contained in urban apartments.
This performance is a situation of conversation, in the living room of a private apartment in Berlin Kreuzberg. Much ado and spoken, about discursive over-productivity, artistic over-productivity, about reinventing a future from experiences of failure. The owner of the apartment has long professional experience in sustainability, in feminist activism, in local aids to specific African countries, for instance on a UN poverty relief programme in Namibia, where she found herself learning so much after years of teaching and leading. There is so much to learn from the places that receive and follow on the hierarchy of capitalist development. A sustainable loop of learning stands out there like the nose in one’s own vision - unseen, so much learning to do between the developed countries and the developing ones, towards each other…
Problems produced by late capitalist production park in this Kreuzberger room, like an overloaded train parking on a transitional station. The resonances of the discussion co-construct an installation with the masks on the walls in the room. It cuts into the depth of contemporary history. Here and now, the ‘sealed box’ of Her Face opens, like Schrödinger’s box, filled with fragments of Paul Celan’s enigmatic inaudible voice, with petals of No One’s Rose, ghostly and poisonously haunting one another.
This is Episode III of the performance series in private room: Her Face. The host of the room is, by chance, absent. Her face becomes an invisible face, among the masks on the wall, or beyond them…