MOMENTUM Worldwide



Sunday Performance Series in Partnership with Month of Performance Art

THIS SUNDAY, 12 MAY at 13:00 - 19:00

A ballerina with the Berlin Staatsballet matches her talents with a visual artist; 
an actress and playwright asks us to tackle the notion of presence; 
and the tireless duo of master and disciple continue their beautiful performance from last week.
Please join MOMENTUM for this interdisciplinary exploration of performance at its very best!


12 May
Sarah Lüdemann and Adrian Brun: Blind Spot  - 13:00 – 17:00
Catherine Duquette: On Presence | On Paper - 17:15 – 18:15
Emi Hariyama and Mariana Moreira: Impermanence - 18:30 – 19:00


19 May
Kirsten Palz: Manuals for R - 17:00 – 17:15
Joyce Clay: Book I, Book II - 17:30 – 18:00
Mariana Hahn: Empress of Sorrow - 18:15 – 19:00


26 May
Kate Hers: 7 Drawings, 28 Kisses - 17:00 – 17:45
Joyce Clay: Book I, Book II - 18:00 – 19:00


For Month of Performance Art, MOMENTUM curates a month-long program of Performance Sundays entitled Works On Paper. This exhibition series inverts usual assumptions, inviting performance artists to use paper both as form and as content; not as a blank slate upon which to create, but as a dynamic building block with which to create. Bringing together a diverse group of international artists based in Berlin, MOMENTUM invites them to work on paper and with paper to activate all the possibilities of the medium in unexpected ways. Working through durational performance, instruction pieces, physical and social architecture, live performance in dialogue with video performance, and a diversity of individual practices, Works On Paper invokes the breadth of performance art to reimagine paper: this most traditional of artistic media.  By refracting this traditional medium through the lens of performance, Works on Paper questions and challenges the very nature of artmaking and its formal, conceptual and process-based components.


Joyce Clay, Catherine Duquette, Mariana HahnEmi Hariyama and Mariana MoreiraKate HersSarah Lüdemann and Adrian BrunKirsten Palz, Yulia Startsev

Sarah Lüdemann and Adrian Brun - Blind Spot

The pile of paper containing thousands and thousands of sheets is reminiscent of laborious and repetitive exercises that are used for drill, punishment or mastering a skill. In this sense of an ongoing production and reproduction the pile also generates a metaphor for something one sits on top of in order to breed and keep alive, like a pile of eggs and in a more abstract sense a set of rules and traditions or a system.  In its multitude the sheets of paper become a solid body, which cannot only be marked on the surface, but also carved into, penetrated and shaped both literally and metaphorically. While the structure – the appearance of the pile – remains intact on the outside, changes occur on the inside. Both destroying and building, this penetration of the body may be regarded in a political context as a metaphor for underground movements and the act of undermining systems and ideologies, until they eventually collapse. In the context of scholarly, repetitive exercises the two performers take on the roles of master and disciple.  The seeming authority of the observer or the master is in itself a failure within the system, as the action carried out on top of the pile is not completely visible. Both the observer and the observed are aware of each others presence and their limited control. Somewhat both roles are interchangable, so that everyone is the observer and simultaneously the observed. The acceptance of this ritual is an absurdity in itself, however, it is so that systems continue to function or are eventually changed.  From Germany and Argentina respectively the artists are drawing on their personal histories as well as those of their countries, challenging current political systems and social power structures (class, gender, race, religion) still shaping our times.

Kirsten Palz - Manuals for R

The Manual as Script, Drawing and Experiment. I define the Manual as an open directive and conceptual sketch for a factual or potential intervention in space. The manuals are named after the industrial manual and prescribe the execution, matter and functionality of specific situations and objects. The manuals describe these developments, processes and objects trough texts and diagrams. Manuals for Rachel comprises a selection of manuals written in 2013. These new manuals are a continuation of the series Writings as Sculpture started in 2012.  Kirsten Palz was born in Copenhagen and is now based in Berlin.

Yulia Startsev - Ectype ___

“His father’s name was Akaky, so let his son’s name be Akaky too. In this manner he became Akaky Akakiyevich. They christened the child, whereat he wept, and made a grimace, as though he foresaw that he was to be a titular councillor.” (Nikolai Gogal, The Overcoat, p. 1). To write, rather than to speak; to put to paper any given thought is to somehow bind one’s will to language. This is the weight that a paper frequently carries. But, to copy, is to somehow exclude one’s self from the process of making the word real, an avoidance of binding one’s self to the concept and meaning of language. A workshop-based performance will function as research into Nikolai Gogal’s book The Overcoat, both examining the act of copying from the perspective of Akaky Akakiyevich as abstraction, and as a societal relationship.  Yulia Startsev is an artist, curator, and writer born in Moscow, educated in Canada, and based in Berlin.  Drawing from a feeling of displacement and a precarious balancing acts between ex- tremes of comfort and agitation, visibility and invisibility, her work frequently requires the viewer to act. Currently her work reflects on and examines the cold war and its continuing repercussions in eastern Europe.

Mariana Hahn - Empress of Sorrow

“My dog, an avatar of Job, lacerates my foot with his desperate teeth and forever prints his message of indignation in the flesh of my memory”, This is one of the first sentences of Cixou’s foreword to her Stigmatexts. The body as paper onto which memory is written, wherein an augmentation of memory by a mnesic growth can be perceived, a scar has found its voice, it has been born like a dark star, orbiting the plane of our perception. The stigmatized person shows traits of a saint and an outlaw at the same time. Martyr at the same time as being condemned, elected and excluded, this is what the stigma conveys, a paradoxical message, it lives in between the worlds, as an interlocutor of the underlining message of humankind’s ill figure. Empress of Sorrow is a work that contemplates a body of a woman being enchained by family pattern, the fate of that family like a stigma writes itself into the body, the body of the woman becomes host of the family’s pattern desire to be – a pattern of abjection. The black fabric used in the performance acts as the herald of such a pattern, it tells the story and spins it at the same time, as it seems to be made of some mystic liquid it is able to access places which otherwise would be inaccessible. The bodies drink up the message inherent within the fabric. This fabric is the very fabric of their perception, beyond that these muted shells find only absence. The fabric entwines with their lost hopes, in this funeral mass of self symbolism it acts as the shroud, the remainder of their story. The bodies are instruments which the fabric uses to in order to realize the desire of the pattern to live on. The black fabric is draped around one of these bodies, her name is “the blackened body”. This body acts as the active element of the pattern, whereas there is another body, which is called “the other body,” that acts as the passive receiving element. The element that unconsciously realizes the pattern. At the same time these bodies aren’t distinguishable, one is the other in an endless pattern, they are both the empress of history, they herald the duty to sustain the mark. Sad empresses. Old is young and young is old. The blackened body devours the other body, as much as the other body devours the blackened body, they are both each other’s harbor, each other’s hope, each other’s devastation. They perform an unholy mass, cannibalistic heritage. There certainly is something sexual about the act of devouring, something profoundly animalistic and yet it emits deepest sensuality, the sensuality of the totality within an experienced ecstasy.

Catherine Duquette - On Presence, On Paper

What does it mean to be present? How does one close the gap between the actual self and the desired self? On Presence | On Paper is a meditation on the notion of presence, an interactive performance about works on paper from the perspective of the writer. Writing is the act of putting thoughts on paper, of concretizing self, of declaring, “I think, therefore I am – and here’s the proof”. The transference of ideas from mind to page is a simultaneous act of grasping and creating self, whereby the paper becomes body – a vessel containing thoughts that is malleable, desirable, transferable. Witness how one writer navigates the space between perceiving and being, separation and connection. The paper – in all its pliability – serves as her model, a highly coveted blueprint for the writer to become one and the same with her creation. However, the writer’s body appears too rigid to assume paper’s form and the paper’s content too exacting to realize. Propelled by text both off and on paper, the writer observes herself and others, all the while pushing and pulling at feeling present, ultimately unveiling her struggle as a static subject of longing whose creation is more present and powerful than she is.  Catherine Duquette is a writer and theater artist based in Berlin.

Kate Hers - 7 Drawings, 28 Kisses

As an artist who works in the realm of social art practice, Kate Hers seeks to create conceptual happenings which engage issues of transnational identity and cultural belonging. Her most current projects are interactive, performative, and multi-disciplinary, often bound up in current political topics of a particular region, such as anti-immigration sentiment and the so- called failure of multiculturalism in Germany or the lack of access to sex education in Korea, resulting in teen pregnancy and shame. Her works investigate (and sometimes undermine) themes of (imagined other) transnational/transethnic identity, cultural mythology, collective historical memory and the seeking of self through language and literature, while straddling several traditional and unconventional forms. In addition, she interpret the nonplussed feelings of the spectators as a reflection of the artworks’ aesthetic meaning.  Kate Hers, born in Korea, educated in America, and now based in Berlin, is a visual artist and cultural producer who works in the field of social art practice. Her work seeks to rethink and reshape notions of transnational and cultural iden- tity, often through different modes of communication and public/private interventions.

Emi Hariyama and Mariana Moreira - Impermanence

As part of the theme of this work is paper, The stage will be set with multiple levels of hanging paper and a paper cylinder, in which one of the artists will wait prior to the performance. Once the music begins to play, she will dance, playing with light and shadow as it falls upon the paper. Suddenly cutting herself free from the cylinder, the other artist will join in the background painting the word “hakanasa” (“transience”, “impermanence”, “fragility of existence”) upon a hanging sheet of paper in Japanese. Both artists, dressed in paper costumes, will be covered with writing and words. As the first artist dances and the second artist works, the paper costumes will be torn from their bodies and the first, through the dance, will tear down the paper hanging with the word “Hakanasa” upon it, revealing another drawing behind. This work, inspired by the main use of paper – communication and recording of ideas – and its short life, focuses on the nature of change as well as the transience of ideas and forms. From the paper cylinder a concept is born in the form of the dancer, described and defined by the words applied to it. From its birth to its eventual destruction, it fights against becoming outdated, oldfashioned and useless. The initial black and white scene evokes the sterility of the written word upon paper, as opposed to the vibrance of reality, and distances the audience from everything except the world of written communication. In its fight against the changing context, the concept’s initial definitions and descriptions are stripped away, leaving it less and less of what it was. Finally, in a last act of violence, the dancer as concept will try to defy the nature of “transience” and “impermanence” itself via her attack on the first canvas, where the second artist will have written “transience”, only to reveal the vibrant piece of art behind: a reality which she cannot destroy, and in acting against it, she is destroyed by it. This work attempts to focus on the utter inability to permanently define or express anything, the inability of the human mind to create an immortal concept.  Emi Hariyama, born in Japan and educated at the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow, is a ballerina with the Berlin Staattsballet.  Mariana Moreira is a Brazilian artist with a focus on illustrative arts who is also based in Berlin.

Joyce Clay - Book I, Book II

The underlying theme common to my works is the conflict or dialogue with myself and my interactions with the world. What should I hide about myself? What should I show? What should I reveal? There are questions, there is inquiry - and all of this goes on within the context and with the understanding that I’m sharing the space and creating an experience with other people who are busy with the same thing. The two works I have presented here feature performance, sculpture, and body in an intertwined re- lationship. Body is a part of the sculpture, and an inseparable piece of it. The perfor- mance is putting into question the presence of the body, and the experience is relating to the artist as a person or as a part of the object in that moment. As the designer of these frameworks for experience and an integral performer of them, I experience the performed sculptures as an extension of my body, and as a frame for my body that de- fines borders, declares division, and offers points of access and inaccessibility. In these works, I create a specific structure for the situation or interaction, which I assume has clear guidelines. However in reality, each person present, individuals loaded with imagi- nation, cultural conditioning, social inhibitions, influence of their peers, will perceive, interpret and act differently in the given situation, and that’s when things get interesting.  Joyce Clay is originally from Israel and is now based in Berlin.

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