Text, Voice, Flower Vase, Sequencer Software
I am interested in the dynamics between language-verbalisation and action-doing. I use language as a material to visualise action, and action/movement as a process of verbalisation.
Oftentimes, the starting point for a text is a real-time experience in a concrete setting or scenery that I enter as an observer. For Lake Song, I followed a score/instruction. It said to walk down to the lake in the early morning, to sit on a bench for 30 minutes and watch the runners.
My texts-songs are the result of observing elements that move in space, e.g. observing the bodies of runners, their gestures, and the sounds they make while running, feet stepping onto the frozen ground, moans, breathing out loudly, as well as observing the water flowing, causing ripples on the surface of the lake.
Producing a text is the result of processing a real-time situation as well as performing memory in that situation. Memory is accessed in relation to the spatial and emotional contexts that we find ourselves in a given moment, meaning that the scenery influences and determines how and which memories are accessed and retrieved. In Lake Song, old memories from an internship at the Sigmund-Freud institute in Frankfurt a.M. came to the surface. The lake that I walked to is located in a wealthy part in the south-west of Berlin, where I had been staying for two weeks in order to look after a friend’s flat while they were abroad. When walking down to the lake in order to perform my score, I noticed that the doorbell panels and mailboxes had a lot of Doppelnamen. This reminded me that the female psychoanalysts that I worked with during my internship mostly had double names. In Germany, only since 1991 heterosexual married couples were allowed to choose between the wife’s last name or the husband’s name as their family name. Before, for the woman to keep her name when entering marriage, the only possible way was to decide for a double name. Historically, in Germany the wife had to take the husband’s name after marriage, which expresses the Objekthaftigkeit of the woman, who was traded as commodity into the possession of the husband. This is not true for some other cultures, e.g. ancient Egypt, where the woman passed on her name matriarchaly to the daughter, whereas the man passed on his name to the son. During my internship in the Sigmund Freud Institute, the same black and white portrait photograph of Sigmund Freud was hanging on the wall in every meeting room. Freud, with a serious face looking into the camera from a slightly elevated position, looking down on us. In Lake Song, I loosely connected the memory-cue of the Doppelnamen that got activated in the lake-space - a wealthy, white, western-german middle-class metropolitan suburbia - with the problematic position that Freudian psychoanalysis held (and partly holds until the present day) in the discourse around pathologizing certain forms of sexuality and desire. Only in the 1990’s, homosexuality was not anymore considered a pathology according to the WHO, but until many years later, trainees in psychoanalysis had to deny their homosexuality in order to get accepted for a training in psychoanalysis in Germany.
What is it that language actually transports, or make visible? Where are its limits, and what is in between the lines and airy spaces around the words?
I write in English, where my vocabulary is limited as a German speaker. I like its imperfection and that it oftentimes circles around things that I am not able to describe precisely or properly. Getting close to saying what is there, and at the same time never getting fully to what is really there. Language in my texts is both descriptive and lacking description, it is both visual and refusing to create a fixed picture.
Formally I am interested in working with temporality of language, its rhythms and timing when performing text, as well as non-verbal aspects of the voice and breath.