Wednesday, 30 August 2017

more about voice performance

 (this time only on english)

some thoughts about: Voice in (my) Performance Art

As a performance artist I try to find spaces inside of the realm of performance art in which the human voice can appear as a medium that doesn´t just transport musical material or language but has an impact by itself. Where is the place for the human voice in fine arts? This is the question that gives orientation to a lot of my artistic activities.

You can distinguish between performances, that use voice as one tool beside others (somebody sings or recites a text etc.) and performances, in which the human voice has a much more important role that is similar to the role of the human body in performance art. Then the creation of the performance or the performative situation starts with the voice and with a question or an idea how the voice would act in a special situation. This second form is what I call voice performance.
Sometimes the performative situation with its demands and requirements is also site specific. The space with its atmosphere and history has an effect on the way my voice moves.

When I talk about the voice I mean the human voice with all its tonal possibilities. Sometimes this idea of the voice is called „extended voice“. The voice implies much more sounds than we normally use. But every sound has the potential to be part of an artistic creation. My research as a voice performer is looking for new artistic forms in which all the sounds that my voice wants to show can be heard in an artistic way – without being music!

I work very rarelely with amplification or recordings, because these devices change the space very much. If you send your voice into a microphone you add a new space of listening to the original one. This is sometimes confusing and destroys the power of the original space. Listening to a voice means first of all being in a common space with other human beings. Through electronic tools this space becomes artificial. Sometimes this can be interesting, but in my work it is often better to let the original space resonate. Only then a voice performance can become site specific.

In my performances the audience is invited to leave or stay as long as they want. The relation to the public is one of the crucial issues for my work as performance artist. I want people to listen to what is happening in the space with my voice, leaving behind the idea of music. You can listen to me more in a way you would watch a sculpture. Maybe you just pass by hardly noticing what you see/hear. Or you get curious and stay for a while, maybe sit down and let the sculpture get in contact with you on different levels. Then the audience becomes a part of the atmosphere and the situation. The movement of the voice will change through this presence.

In a voice performance I stay in deep contact with the different dimensions of my self: my body, my inner situation, my reactions on the outer situation. At the same time I leave my voice as free from myself as possible. I don´t want to express my feelings or thoughts or pain or whatever. I try to give my voice the space to move freely while, at the same time, I stay in deep contact with everything that is happening inside and outside. Strong connection and big freedom.

In my performance series „Dao Series“ I work with mind material from ancient chinese thinking, mainly in Daoism. I use concepts like „the colourless voice“, „emptiness“, „beginning“ as they are understood in the chinese tradition and create situations in which I connect myself and my voice with one of these concepts. The artistic question is: How does my voice react on these ideas? These performances can be pretty long, from one hour to a couple of days (with breaks in between). I often need this time to enter the situation and to let my voice move more or less independently from my habits and intentions.

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