Artist
VestAndPage

Germany / Italy
https://www.vest-and-page.de/

Verena Stenke and 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 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.

sin∞fin by VestAndPage

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. Refreshments will be served.

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.


PROGRAM

Episode #1: sin∞fin – Performances at the End of the World (Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego, 2010)
TRAILER

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)
TRAILER

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.

MayDay Workshop with VestAndPage

In this 6-day intensive MayDay performance art workshop, participants experience VestAndPage’s unique method through the process of making a performance art piece. Through practical exercises and reflecting on the use of the body as a tool, the workshop will focus on introspection as a way to develop authentic modes of expression and artistic action, and participants will be provided with the means to conceive, develop, and realize their own performance piece. Through methodology aimed at understanding prevailing behavioral patterns, participants will develop new ways of communicating and overcoming fears created by conflicting contemporary conditions. The workshops will also offer insight into the framework of process-led and conceptual art practice, with the aim to provide basis for future material. Participants will develop a heightened awareness of mind and body, with the means to stimulate artistic personal action though inner sensitivity.

As facilitators, VestAndPage will lead exercises on a range of performance techniques and approaches which blur the boundaries between fine art, live art and contemporary performance practices:Working solo and as a group;

  • Creating intimate solo performance material;
  • Devising and improvisation techniques;
  • Actions/rules/chance-based techniques;
  • Objects and actions in space as performance;
  • Developing quality of presence;
  • Confidence in using the physical self as a vehicle for meaning in performance;
  • Audience-performer relationships—levels and modes of interaction;
  • Exploring the role of time and pattern, e.g. duration, endurance, speed, and repetition.

Through the following processes:

  • To work towards touching point zero in judgment and intention, heightening perception, introspection, to then rebuild an authenticity-based expression, to transform visions and ideas into a concrete artistic action.
  • To take distance from being virtuous by establishing, evaluating, and energizing the personal action in se.
  • To free oneself from common behavorial patterns so as to create new ways of encountering, collaborating and living.
  • To overcome the fragile constituent limits, may they be based on physicality, fears or social patterns.
  • To touch and strengthen the most human inner sensors in order to activate personal and universal memories, for using as germinal matter for future artistic substance.
  • To enter a state of heightened awareness and perception, in order to conceive out-of-the-ordinary artistic visions, being in first instance process-led.

Actions and exercises are innovative and process-led, inspired by processes and methods such as: Dynamic Creative Breathing, Social Theater, Living Theater, Grotowski, Barba Stanislavsky, Leclerc, Oriental Theatre, Martial Arts, Contemporary Dance & Butoh, Authenticity, Inner Library, Liminality, Breath, Archetypes, Rituality, Memory activation, Object work, Time-Duration-Rhythm, Voice/Sound, Emotional Atmosphere, Inter-activity, Group dynamics, Macro- and Microspherology.

There will be a final public presentation on May 19 @ 7:00pm