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photographed by Tian Gebing

Vexing Mirrors

Exhibition and final performance

The snake bites its own tail. In an exhibition and final performance, the project "Her Face" returns to its imaginative starting point: The underlying poetic matrix is once again "Windrose", the lyrical obituary for the poet Zhang Zao by author Susanne Göße. Therein, an ephemeral path opens up, linking German, Chinese and other verbal and symbolic languages, "on a merry-go-round of tortured and bleeding words" that creates delirium and the joy of disorientation.

With "Her Face" 'Theatre' has wandered as an exiled spectre between the urban, historical and cultural spaces of Otherness. It visited eight homes in Berlin, the kitchens, bedrooms, living rooms and bathrooms of families. Eight homes were transformed by performers temporarily into artistic premises. Now the theatre situations will be collected and sculpted into the faded monumental walls of the "Kleiner Wasserspeicher" in Prenzlauer Berg. 

Following a fragmentary allegoric order, the exhibition space has the ground plan of a compass, the compass rose. On four screens, 8 performances are projected back out of a linear sequence into simultaneity. In the parallelism of the artistic cosmos, they are back-projected into individual appropriation. The viewer discovers the same in the other, the absurd, the foreign in the own. In the vexing mirrors "Her Face" becomes also His Face, Its Face, Everybody's Face. Appearing through the filter of individual fragmentation, transference and reconstruction. 

The performance series comes to a temporary, provisional home in order to begin anew there like the horizontal eight. Every point is the centre. "The exile of art has many directions. It can be anywhere. That is the treacherous thing about exile. It has misdirections and lies and deceptions and shams."

The water reservoir also becomes the site of the final performance. The audience gathers around an imaginary centre, a human pole. It forms a linguistic axis of rotation, the intersection of all visual and acoustic meridians. Performing "navigators" paint possible paths of appropriation as lines from celestial point to celestial point. In the process, the spectators themselves generate a secondary textual matrix by reciting from poetical texts: Once again, fix stars will be the texts of Hölderlin, Celan, Zhang Zao and Susanne Göße. Together with the performers, the audience throw words from star to star, dance on the chains of words. Everyone spins around their own axis, in their own centre, hearing each other laugh: Unalignable...




《她的脸》让"剧场 "幽灵般游荡在城市、历史和文化间的流亡和他者之地,进入柏林八个家庭的厨房、卧室、客厅和卫生间里。八个家庭临时转换为剧场。现在,这些叠加的场景嵌入毗邻的Prenzlauer Berg小水窖褪色的的纪念碑一般的墙壁上。

展览依据碎片式寓言式的次序,空间本身的建筑平面图如罗盘,罗盘别称风玫瑰。在四个投影里,八场表演打碎线性时序,投进共时共在。经由艺术的平行宇宙,这些故事回到自己的主人,自我挪用导致的错位和缝隙得到显影。观众在他者中发现同质物——自身内部的荒诞和异质。在这面“哈哈镜”里,"她的脸 "成为他的脸、它的脸、每个人的脸。穿过个体的碎片化、转译和重建等重重滤镜,她的脸显现。


这个昔日的水窖也成为最后一场表演的场所。观众聚集在一个想象的中心点,以众数肉身构成支柱,形成语言的转轴,处在所有视觉和听觉经络的交汇点。表演者、"领航员 "把可能的挪用路径描绘成从天体点到天体点的复数线条。在过程里,观众自身朗读诗歌文本,生成次生文本矩阵: 与过去的八次一致,星空中的锚点由荷尔德林、保罗策兰、张枣和苏姗戈瑟的文本构成。观众和表演者一起,由星星向星星抛送词语,在词语的链条上起舞。人人以己为轴圆周运行,在自己的体系中心,晃然听到彼此的笑声: 无法校准……

Place Kleiner Wasserspeicher, Belforter Straße, 10405 Berlin

Dates 28.3.23 - 1.4.23

Time 13:00 - 19:00

Finissage (Performance) 1.4.23 Saturday 19:00


Video concept Chen Xiongwei

Video Engineering Tong Xin

Editing Tong Xin, Wang Changpeng, Jiang Dingding

Subtitling Li Jingwen, Yu Xiao

​With Li Yan, Alexander Wagner, Alexander Ruby

Director Martin Gruber, Tian Gebing

Dramaturgy Alexander Wagner, Liu Chao
Music/Soundscape/Audio Engineering Pablo Gimenez Arteaga

Scenography/Lighting/Choreography Wang Yanan

Director Assistant Li Jingwen

Scenography Assistant Aline Suter
Costume/Makeup Ophelia Lam Suet Chi

Publicity Stephanie Zhou Jiayu, Anna Maria Wieder, Johannes Paul Richter


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