WORKS 2011-2021
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STRATA

2021, Performance-based film

Exploring memory layers and Deep Time in human history and the geological. In caves of human prehistory at the caves of the Swabian Alb, the project brings together artists and researchers from the humanities, social and geologic sciences to investigate the human body as a place that exists in continuity with the geological. Body artists illuminate concepts of time, past and modern human cultures through performances for camera in caves. These poetic body images are nourished by documentary elements in the form of conversations with specialists from the fields of archaeology, palaeontology, geology, speleology, art history, philosophy, and time psychology.

Art, Body, Geology, Time, History, Science, Documentary

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 STRATA 
 Performance-based film 
 2021 

HOME 

2017 - ongoing, Cycle of collective performance operas

In a time in which people continue to displace – forcibly or by choice – the current performance cycle of VestAndPage inquires into the concepts of Home and the ideal force of a community and sites of belonging, while at the same time questioning the precarious umbrella of state systems and norms that ascribe conventional meanings to both the collective and places. The chapters of HOME are developed through intensive co-creation processes with collaborating artists, presented as final collective performance operas. During these processes of production, we migrate towards ourselves and one another.

 

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1 9 Monologue

2020, Letters from isolation

 

While many in Europe consider it to be long since eradicated, it still presents the deadliest pandemic worldwide. In the Romantic period, it was epitome of muse and poetry and a popular motif in painting, literature and music. The talk is of tuberculosis. In July 2019, atypically, the young German artist Verena Stenke was diagnosed with pulmonary tuberculosis. Her own experience of being as a body home to pathogens, flows into this autobiographical performance text, while building a bridge between precise self-observation and a global, historical and literary outside.

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 1 9 Monologue
Performance text 
 2020-ongoing
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HOME

Performance cycle of collective performance operas currently in production

2017 - ongoing

In a time in which people continue to displace – forcibly or by choice –, culminating in a global lockdown due to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, the current performance cycle of VestAndPage inquires into the concepts of Home and the ideal force of a community and sites of belonging, while at the same time questioning the precarious umbrella of state systems and norms that ascribe conventional meanings to both the collective and places. The chapters of HOME are developed through intensive co-creation processes with collaborating artists, presented as final collective performance operas.

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 HOME 
 Cycle of collective performance operas 
 2017 ongoing 
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SIGNUM

2018, Short film, 33 min.

(producer, writer, editor, performer)

The artists undertake a quest for real and imaginary signs – words and poetry to be revealed, composed and transcoded by the same geological strata from which they emerge and disintegrate, once they come into touch with their mutable substance, the natural elements. Here both nature and human reasoning serve as a home, labour, or border and frontier. The artists' temporary presence is marked by the diagnostic features of sedimentary rocks, porous caves and stratified layers that reshape the landscape, along which they wander in search for expressions, languages to speak, envisioning connections to be made beyond what words can name.

 

Performance, Film, Semiotics, Nature, Strata, Geology

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 SIGNUM 
 Performance-based short film 
 2018 
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Venice International Performance Art Week 

Since 2011

The live art exhibition project with residential character in historic Venetian palazzos conceived and curated by VestAndPage

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 Venice International Performance Art Week 
 Live art exhibition project 
 2012 ongoing 
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SiO2 – The Reason of Fragility:

Contemporary Artists Facing Glass 

2015, Exhibition project by VestAndPage

Albanian National Gallery of Arts, Tirana

With works by Marina Abramovic & Ulay, Chris Burden, Tony Cragg, Jan Fabre, Seamus Farrell, Joseph Kosuth, Armando Lulaj, Boris Nieslony, Yoko Ono, Jaume Plensa, Douglas Quin, Lawrence Weiner, Leonardo Cimolin, Dana Dal Bo, Andrea Morucchio, Nelda Ramos, Ermal Baboçi & Lindita Doçi, Klodian Deda, Eros Dibra, Oltsen Gripshi, Shqipe Jonuzi, Sead Kazanxhiu, and Ermela Teli. 

 

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 SiO2 - The Reason of Fragility:   Contemporary Artists Facing Glass 
 Exhibition project 
 2015 
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Im Schilde

2021, Installation of Imagination

Urban, City, Street signs, Woman, History, Research, Archive, Anniversary

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 IM SCHILDE 
 Installation of imagination 
 2021 
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AMOR AND PSYCHE (In Times of Plagues) 

2020, Short film, 9'24" min 

(producer, writer, performer)

A performatic approach to the chemical, physiological, psychological and spiritual aspects of Breath. Initially conceived during Stenke's own tuberculosis disease in 2019, the work has been resumed and actualized during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.

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 AMOR AND PSYCHE
(In Times of Plagues)
 Video performance poem 
 2020
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Plantain

[Spitzwegerich] 

2018, Feature, 90 min  

(producer, writer, director, performer) www.plantain-themovie.de

Award Winner: Best No-Budget Feature 

Starting from their personal German family story, VestAndPage embarked in May 2015 on a month-long performance walk from Germany through Poland to the Russian region of Kaliningrad, to perform and film on location of true events of post-WWII displacements. In 7 episodes, the resulting feature-length art film questions oblivion through a series of poetic moving images. 

Art, Biography, History, Philosophy, War

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 Plantain 
 [Spitzwegerich] 
 Feature film based on a month-long performance walk 
 2018 
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Poetics of Relations

A Manifesto on Performance-Based Filmmaking

Stenke, V., & Pagnes, A. (2020). Poetics of Relations: A Manifesto on Performance-Based Filmmaking. Journal of Embodied Research, 3(1), 3 (26:55). DOI: http://doi.org/10.16995/jer.37

This video article expands upon the Poetics of Relations, the embodied research of VestAndPage (Verena Stenke and Andrea Pagnes), which informs their performance-based filmmaking theory and practice.

Embodied Practices, Filmmaking, Performance art, Manifesto, Geopsychology, Artistic collaboration, Socio-Cultural spheres, History, War, Environment

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 POETICS OF RELATIONS 
Manifesto on
Performance-Based Filmmaking
 2020 
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ANAM CARA –

Mirror in the Mirror

2020, Film

(producer, writer, editor, performer)

A collective co-created performance-based film about the concept of home, as part of the HOME cycle of collective performance operas by and with VestAndPage and the Anam Cara Collective. Produced during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown in April and May 2020, the film is a journey through an imaginary dwelling, a home of sorts.

 

Performance, Film, Home, Pandemic, Lockdown​, History, Co-Creation, Collective

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 ANAM CARA – Mirror in the Mirror 
 Performance-based film 
 2020
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Blood poetry 

2014 - ongoing, Visual work

Selected original blood poetry writings from the performances of the DYAD, AEGIS and HOME Cycles.

Blood on paper, 15 x 21 cm

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 Blood Poetry 
 Performance visuals 
 2014 ongoing 
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AEGIS 

2016 - 2017, Performance cycle in 6 parts

The performance cycle inquires the protective qualities of living matter, defence functions, shielding systems, and aspects of security, questioning what are valuable and timeless protections and safeties. In each chapter of the cycle, the bodily symbolic acts are to honour a specific human trait and persons that embody it. It is accompanied by the reading of the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the language of the place, and closed by members of the audience speaking their considerations voice-looped as the final Choir of Aegis.  Developed and presented with the collaboration of other artists with stations in Santiago de Chile (Care), Istanbul (Dreams), New York (Courage), Uppsala (Hope), Piotrków Trybunalski (Equity), and Thessaloniki (Home).

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 AEGIS 
 Performance cycle 
 2016 - 2017 
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AEGIS 

2017 Performance opera

YGGDRASIL comes as a hybrid theatre project combining experimental spoken word theatre and contemporary performance art. It layers texts (Kollektiv Phantomschmerz), installations and performance actions (VestAndPage), live soundscape (Marc Rossier) and light design (Viktoras Zemeckas).​ Starting from a contemporary Western confusion of rationality and absolutist ideas resulting in meaninglessness and detachment from our own mythological ritual roots, YGGDRASIL ventures into collective and individual believes. Inspired by the worldview of the Northern European mythology that once formed the base of a believe system, the work developed through the research of ritualistic practices from around the world. 

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 Yggdrasil 
 Performance opera 
 2016 
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DYAD

2014 - 2015, Performance cycle in 9 parts

Interested in what divides and separates us, and how divisions are applied socially and politically as mechanisms, VestAndPage look into the dangers of dichotomy, attachments to dualism, and the paradox of Ego. Through a series of poetic bodily images, they question how polarities are employed as effective tools of ideology, propaganda or collective manipulation. 

Developed and presented with stations in Toronto (Black and White), Amsterdam (One and Two), Zagreb (You and Me), Leipzig (Past and Present), Sokołowsko (Liquid and Solid), Bristol (Full and Empty), Aberdeen (Inside and Outside), and Moscow (Open and Closed).

 

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 DYAD 
 Performance cycle 
 2014 - 2015
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A Morphologic

Journey II

(On the borders of our bodies) 

2014, Performance

 

Started in 2011 at KARST Gallery as a 3-hour performance in four episodes, the performance is inspired by the journey of Ulysses under the aspect of his encounters with a variety of women. Splintering impressions of encounters with archetypes of Circe, Calypso, Nausicaa and Penelope are guideline analogies of behavioural patterns of people on the run, men and women in search to forget, longing for union and something that may finally last. The performance continued with part II in January 2014 upon VestAndPage's return to KARST.

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 A Morphologic Journey II 
 Performance 
 2014 
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Topolino

A Globetrotter's Fairy Tale 

2014, Silent video series

(producer, writer, director, performer) 

A series of performance-based silent videos as work in progress shot at Mount Sodom, the Negev Desert, the  Dead Sea, the Bosporus, Tuscany, the Chinese Wall, Glacier Perito Moreno, and Antarctica. Topolino is lost, lonesome and nostalgic, on his journey to extraordinary places. In a search for the myths that surround them, he entangles himself in failures and encounters first of all himself. 

Adventure, Art, Comedy, Drama, Family

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 Topolino 
 A Globetrotter's Fairy Tale 
 Performance-based film 
2014 ongoing
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Thou Twin of Slumber 

2013, Performance cycle in 8 parts

Inspired by J. S. Bach’s cantata Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen, this cycle goes into death, sleep and slumber and liminal spaces, looking to wave mythical reflections on decay and rebirth into the narrative of urban regeneration. The moth is the animal totem of this cycle, and the single episodes are named after stages of its life cycle.

Developed and presented with stations in Boston (Caterpillar), Nicosia (Cocoon I, II and III), New York (Chrysalis), Istanbul (Pupae), Chicago (Histo), Vancouver (Hemolymph), Mexico City (In Situ), and Helsinki (Imago).

 

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 Thou Twin of Slumber 
 Performance cycle 
 2013 
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sin∞fin

Performances at the Core of the Looking-Glass 

2012, Trilogy episode short, 45'42" min 

(producer, writer, director, performer) 

Produced in Antarctica, the concluding episode short of the sin∞fin trilogy engages through narratives on the comprehensive spheres of nature and the universeThe trilogy of art films of collaborative performances in epic locations around the world teeters between the real and the visionary and is amplified by the unfamiliar environments.

 

DVD VOD | www.sinfin-themovie.de

Adventure, Art, Biography, Documentary, Drama, Environment, Science, Philosophy

 

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 sin∞fin 
Performances at the Core of the Looking-Glass
 Performance-based film 
 2012 
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FEAR vs LOVE vs FEAR 

2013, Long durational performance of 24 hours

VestAndPage inhabit an empty house in Mexico City for the duration of one day and one night. Preceding the actual performance, VestAndPage held a 6-days intensive workshop with Mexico City street-girls, inquiring with them fears, desires and dreams. The video and text material, as well as puppets produced by the girls, are part of the performance installation. ​The project is inspired by a psychology theory stating that only two basic human emotions exist: Fear and Love, and that all other emotions are aberrations of one of these two.

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 FEAR vs LOVE
vs FEAR 
Durational performance of 24 hours 
 2012 
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TERRA NOVA (AmundsenScottOates)

2012, Performance

TERRA NOVA (AmundsenScottOates) takes as an inspiration the lives and ventures of the Polar explorers at the beginning of the 20th Century, which VestAndPage studied in their artist-in-residence in Antarctica in January 2012. The performance ends with the famous last words of the British Antarctic explorer Lawrence Oates (1880-1912), said to his companions just before he walked out into a blizzard towards his self-sacrifying death during Robert Falcon Scott's Terra Nova Expedition.

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 TERRA NOVA (AmundsenScottOates) 
 Performance 
 2012
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The Smile at the Top of the Ladder

2012, Performance

The Smile at the Top of the Ladder is a performance inspired by Henry Miller's book The Smile at the Foot of the Ladder, the touching fable of Auguste the clown, as well as a tribute to other clown figures of art.

Conceived for Ex Teresa Arte Actual's program The Sound of the Last Laughter, the performance develops around absurdity towards humour and sound. It sees Stenke sitting on a table suspended from the dome of Ex Teresa, continuously screaming "No No No No," while Pagnes fights with quotidian absurdism and failures.

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 The Smile at the Top of the Ladder 
 Performance 
 2012 
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Panta Rhei

2011 - 2012, Performance cycle in 7 parts

 

Panta rhei is the Greek expression for "everything flows." The cycle works on impermanent states and the concept of change and transformation, referring not only to the transitory states of matter, life and relations, but also to the temporary nature of thoughts and presumed orders. Is there something indefinite to cling to, when all is altered within the course of continuous evolution?

 

Developed and presented with stations in Singapore (Body), Thailand (Thoughts / Convictions / Relations), Taipei (Matter), Seoul (Time) and Hong Kong (Systems). 

 

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 Panta Rhei 
 Performance cycle 
 2011 - 2012
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sin∞fin  Performances at the Holy Centre 

2011, Trilogy episode short, 37'14" min 

(producer, writer, director, performer) 

Produced in Northern India and Kashmir, the second episode short of the sin∞fin trilogy highlights the sphere of society and religion. The trilogy of art films of collaborative performances in epic locations around the world teeters between the real and the visionary and is amplified by the unfamiliar environments. 

 

DVD | VOD | www.sinfin-themovie.de 

Adventure, Art, Biography, Documentary, Drama, Environment, Science, Philosophy 

 

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 sin∞fin 
 Performances at the Holy Centre 
 Performance-based film 
 2011 
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Without Tuition or Restraint

2011, Long durational performance of 5 days and 4 nights

A durational performance experiment about the idea of freedom, in which Pagnes is jailed inside a dog crate in the gallery space for five days and four nights consecutively. Stenke is also closed inside the gallery, executing one durational action each day, and the gallery is open to the public during opening hours. The title of this performance are the conclusive words of a quote by Irish political theorist Edmund Burke, who argued in the 18th century that "freedom without wisdom and virtue is the worst of all evils, nothing but folly, vice and madness, without tuition or restraint."

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 Without Tuition or Restraint 
Durational performance
of 5 days and 4 nights 
 2011