FADO Performance Art Centre is pleased to present a special screening of two episodes from VestAndPage’s performance-based trilogy, after which Verena Stenke and Andrea Pagnes will give an informal talk about the work.
sin∞fin The Movie, is a trilogy of films of collaborative performances by artist duo VestAndPage in epic locations around the world. Teetering between the real and the visionary, the films feature the two protagonists undertaking surreal and ephemeral acts. Amplified by the unfamiliar environments, the performances reflect on universal human experiences such as altruism, partnership and the transient nature of existence.
Episode #1, Performances at the End of the World, set in Chilean Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego (2010) thematically focuses on the intimate, inner domain of the individual and the couple. The concluding episode, Performances at the Core of the Looking-Glass, filmed in Antarctica (2012) engages with narratives on nature and the universe. There is no script or storyboard and the artists’ actions evolve in direct response to the surroundings in which they find themselves. The camera records what possible spectators would view, yet the movie is not a documentary. Instead the works are pieced together organically, forming an autonomous story generated through the process of making to be read by each viewer in a personal way.
Diving into the absurdness of the quotidian, performances and installations were developed in response to each individual site. Based on the ethos of live performance, the two protagonists are primarily themselves – there is no acting in their actions; actions which appear poetic, but are based on real life. And still, sin∞fin The Movie is not a documentary, as the single acts are finally puzzled together organically, to generate a new story that enfolds through the dynamics that have been created, instead of through imposed intentions.
German artist Verena Stenke and Venetian artist and writer Andrea Pagnes have been working together since 2006, generating art in the mediums of live performance, filmmaking and writing, and through independent curatorship. Their works have been presented widely across Europe, Asia, the Americas, Australia and Africa. Their practice is process-led and conceived psycho-geographically in response to architecture, natural surroundings or historical sites. It examines the fragility of the individual within different social or environmental spheres. Exploring what, as human beings, we still have to offer, VestAndPage question our existence within a humanity characterized by social exclusion and global atrocities. Animated by a nomadic, confrontational spirit, they apply the themes of acceptance, resistance, crisis and endurance with a poetic bodily approach to art practice.
Episode #1: sin∞fin – Performances at the End of the World (Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego, 2010)
The two characters move through the rooms of a house that has no address: the structure of their interior spaces, stuffed with visions and memories. Patagonia is a hybrid of pathos and agony. Here the Magellan feeling arises by opposing surreal dream-sequences to situations of everyday life. The winds and climate of the land situated at the end of the world cause and favour a continuous disintegration and consequential transformation of beings. The vastness of the area, its isolation and solitude, tell repeatedly of a unique nature, permeated by mystery and surrealism, inside which the individual adapts him/herself searching to find a home.
Chile / Italy / Germany, 2010
DVD PAL, color, 00:38:52, 16:9, English with subtitles
A VestAndPage production 2010
Coproduction with CONFL!CTA Contemporary Art and Science Research, Punta Arenas (Chile)
Episode #3: sin∞fin – Performances at the Core of the Looking-Glass (Antarctica, 2012)
Here the two characters move through the deserted, icy Vastness of an oneiric land. They find themselves creatures being torn between life and death, absence and misleading mirages, fortune and emptiness. The flux of nature is mercilessly immense, where the wind sings its laments and silences its lullaby. All paradises are merciless, in a search for Beauty where anything is a Mirror. Is there any game left to be played, is there someone left to call for, when clocks don’t display time anymore, and no compass is guiding one’s way? Who’s the player and who’s the pawn, and whose turn is it, when civilization has lost its quotidian schemes, and just basic rules count? In the backdrop of Antarctica, a place where humans have neither roots, nor future, but only a frail and temporary presence always at risk, all questions inevitably lead to humbleness.
Argentina / Italy / Germany, 2012
DVD PAL, 00:45:42, color, 16:9, English with subtitles
A VestAndPage production 2012
Coproduction with DNA Dirección Nacional del Antártico, Buenos Aires; Thetis Spa, Venice.
With soundscape by Zai Kuning, Angie Seah, Black Sea Hotel and recordings of Weddell seal callings under the ice by the courtesy of Douglas Quin.
VestAnd Page, sin∞fin – Performances at the End of the World. Video still.