Previously featured performance artists VestAndPage embark on a month-long performance project tomorrow, May 8th 2015. The work is entitled 'Plantain'. During this ambitious work the duo plans to walk the path of war exodus that Stenke’s ancestors trekked 70 years before. The artists have prepared several explorative texts on their website which illuminate an even deeper investigation of personal narrative, memory and identity.
For our next Artist Feature, we present the work and words of a provocative and ambitious performance art duo, VestAndPage, Verena Stenke (DE) and Andrea Pagnes (IT). Not only does the collaborative present performances and workshops across the globe, but they also curate the Venice International Performance Art Week. I was lucky enough to meet the pair at Grace Exhibition Space in Brooklyn, NY for their MayDay workshop (2010). During the workshop, VestAndPage reconnected us (the participants) to our bodies, to our breath, our heart rhythms, our physical agility and emotional fragility. It is through these same physical and emotional connections that the pair explores their own work.
For this feature, I asked Verena and Andrea to discuss their approach toward live performance versus film, their evolution toward performance art and inspirational/influential artists - questions that I deem integral to this site. They provided wonderfully elaborate and insightful responses of which you can find in full below.
I hope you enjoy - Quinn Dukes
One of the largest and most comprehensive performance art events in the world begins this Saturday, December 13th. The Venice International Performance Art Week website is a wonderful resource to connect with performance artists working today. If you are in Venice next week, this is a must! www.veniceperformanceart.org
The project consists of a vibrant program of live performances, installations, photographic and video documentation, conferences, daily round tables talks, a Study Room, a Movie Room and meetings with the participating artists, researchers and curators.
For the second edition with the focus “Ritual Body - Political Body” the VENICE INTERNATIONAL PERFORMANCE ART WEEK 2014 aims to investigate a wide range of concepts such as: art as a space for civil negotiation where human ethical values are the core; interconnectivity; political confrontation; utopia; ecological issues; social and individual conflicts and responsibilities, and how the self relates to them, at the same time concentrating on the fact that the presence of the human beings in this world is always more than a temporary condition.
The communication that can be triggered between artists and the audience is an essential element. The topics addressed during the week will relate to the need to look at social relations and the lives of individuals with greater care.
Due to the specificity of the theme of this second edition “Ritual Body - Political Body”, the live performances and works on display will also seek to provide reflection and further considerations on how to find meaningful mechanisms to foster positive change through contemporary art and culture in a clearly vital way.
The VENICE INTERNATIONAL PERFORMANCE ART WEEK wishes to enrich the highly renowned art scene in Venice with the audacious art form of performance art.
Curated by VestAndPage and organized in collaboration with Studio Contemporaneo, Venice Open Gates, Weexhibit and Global Art Affairs Foundation, which hosts the event in its prestigious premises at Palazzo Mora on Strada Nova.
ART WEEK BLOG updated daily during the week with features, interviews and reviews on veniceperformanceart.tumblr.com.
QUINN DUKES is a Brooklyn, NY based performance artist, activist and curator.