German artist Verena Stenke and Venetian artist, writer and curator Andrea Pagnes have been working together since 2006 as VestAndPage in Performance art, filmmaking, visual art, writing and as independent curators. Being among the most acclaimed representatives of contemporary Performance art from Italy, their works, recordings and live performances have been shown extensively across Europe, Asia, Latin America and the US at galleries, biennials, museums, festivals and theatres.
Their art originates from a here-and-now interpretation of the fragility of the individual and its surroundings, researching private, social and environmental spheres through precariousness, transformation, memory, liminality, loss of control and authenticity. The socially or environmentally orientated live performances are primarily site-responsive and process-led, conceived psycho-geographically for architectures or in response to natural surroundings and historical sites.
VestAndPage collaborate with international theatre companies, humanitarian and social organizations in production and education, i.e. recently for the street-children workshop project Fear is Fear. Love is Love. in Mexico City.
They present methodological practical workshop series, which work on memory activation and stimulation of the personal, inner library for creative use, and have been held among others at NYU Steinhardt School of Culture (Venice/New York), Centre for Cultural Community Development (Hong Kong), Universidad de Arte Experimental (Caracas), Taipei Artist Village (Taipei), Theatre Academy IsoleComprese (Florence), Academy of Fine Arts (Venice), Universidad Austral (Valdivia, Chile), Alumnos47 Foundation (Mexico City), Deutsches Institut (Florence), Grace Exhibition Space (New York), TeaK Theatre Academy (Helsinki), Seoul Art Space (Seoul), EMBA Escuela Carlos Morel (Buenos Aires), The Substation (Singapore), BITEF Theatre (Belgrade).
Their theoretical investigations have been published in various books and magazines of contemporary art such as Flash Art, Flux News, Nexus, Art & Education, Research Catalogue, HESA Imprint, Re-Tooling Residencies, and in the book The Fall of Faust - Considerations on Contemporary Art and Art Action (2010) by Andrea Pagnes.
They have been active as independent curators and organizers, such as of the recent live art exhibition project Venice International Performance Art Week (Palazzo Bembo, Venice, 2012) and the on-going global art initiative FRAGILE global performance chain journey.
Between 2010-2012, VestAndPage produced the experimental art film trilogy sin∞fin The Movie in Antarctica, India, Kashmir, Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego, combining the ephemeral art form of Performance with filmmaking, realized through institutional co-productions with DNA Argentine National Antarctic Direction (Buenos Aires/Antarctica), Sarai Centre for the Studies of Developing Societies (India) and Confl!cta Contemporary Art and Science Research (Chile).
Their work has been rewarded among others with the AIR Taipei International Residence Fellowship (2012), Fellowship of the Cultural Program of Argentina’s National Antarctic Direction DNA (2012), Nassauer Kulturpreis (2011), La Parola Immaginata Video Poetry Prize (2011), ArtKontakt Prize (2007), Storie 2009 Literary Award (2010), Giovane Arte Europea (2001), Windsor & Newton Millennium Painting Award (2000), 2nd Literary Award Città di Venezia (1991), Robert Schuman Silver Medal (1990).
AUTHENTICITY | PERCEPTION | INTUITION | INNER LIBRARY | THREE BODIES: CORPUS - MIND - SPIRIT | TRANSFORMATION | READINESS | ENCOUNTERS | ENDURANCE | FRAGILE LIMITS | INNER SENSORS | MEMORY ACTIVATION | LIMINALITY | ARCHETYPES | OBJECT | SPACE
The intensive FRAGILE LIMITS workshop by artist duo VestAndPage (Verena Stenke & Andrea Pagnes) follows the artists’ unique method through the process of making a performative piece. During the practical exercises in different conditions the participants are being provided with tools to conceive, develop and realize a performance, using mainly the own body as a tool:
- To work towards touching point zero in perception, judgement (on one self and on the others) and intention, to then built up again a new way of authenticity-based perception and expression, for finally transforming visions and ideas into a concrete artistic action.
- To get distance from the mere being virtuous by establishing, evaluating, and energizing the personal action in se.
- To get free of common behavorial patterns to create new ways of encounters, collaborations and realities.
- 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 those as germinal matter for future artistic substance.
Actions and exercises are innovative but inspired by Dynamic Breathing, Social Theatre, Living Theatre, Grotowski, Barba, Stanislavsky, Leclerc, Sufism, Macro- and Microspherology, Authenticity, Inner Library, Liminality, Breath, Archetypes, Rituality, Memory activation, Body-Space-Object, Time-Duration-Rhythm, Voice/Sound, Emotional Atmosphere, Inter-activity.
Participants are required to bring: one object they feel related to, comfortable clothes, one blanket and cushion to lie on.
VestAndPage, Italy and Germany