2021/22, Performance-based film
The fifth performance-based film project by the duo VestAndPage deals with Deep Time and layers of memory in human history and the geological. In international collaborations and interdisciplinary processes, performance art, theatre, dance, visual art, and music meet science in human prehistory caves.
The production sites for this are the Swabian Jura caves, used by Ice Age humans for shelter about 33.000 to 43.000 years ago. The project brings together artists and researchers from the humanities, social and earth sciences to investigate the human body as a site that exists in continuity with the geological. Body artists illuminate concepts of time and ecological intelligence in caves through performances for the camera. These images are nourished by documentary elements in form of conversations with specialists from archaeology, geology, speleology, art history, philosophy, and time psychology. Here, progress is imagined through cultural exchange and cooperation. Growing complexity is seen as an evolutionary consequence, and plurality, the non-binary, and the social inclusion of diversity are considered necessary prerequisites to serve the understanding and further development of life.
Intending to open up a contemporary discourse on the past, the project illuminates the challenges of the present's central social issues from artistic and academic perspectives. Questions are whether the separation between nature and culture can be overcome by changing bodies' views and how we can give visibility to deposits in the depths of the human being, in the earth and human history, and society and the psyche. We are concerned with strengthening collective and ecological intelligence, contributing to understanding complex systems, and driving significant change through artistic production. The project is also the critical confrontation with romantically distorted images of nature and naturalness, requiring a dismantling of consolidated narratives and aesthetics. To draft a possible design of a future, it is fundamental to work together in an interdisciplinary manner between people and branches of the arts and sciences. The joint production process involves remembering and imagining real and possible worlds while raising awareness of our geological, political and social past and future. The participating renowned artists embody therein the fundamental principle of diversity; they are knowingly representative bodies that artistically reflect and put into discussion the layers of contemporary societies.
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Concept, Production, Artistic direction
Verena Stenke, Andrea Pagnes (VestAndPage)
Director of Cinematography & Editor Verena Stenke
Texts Andrea Pagnes
Assistance, still photography Marcel Sparmann
Lighting director, cinematography daz disley
Cinematography Fenia Kotsopoulou
Sound design, audio arts Douglas Quin
Set director, drone operator Giovanni Dantomio
Masks, costume design VestAndPage, Balaustio
Aldo Aliprandi (Sound), Marianna Andrigo (Movement), Marilyn Arsem (Video & Text), Andreas Bauer Kanabas (Classical bass), Nathalie Anguezomo Mba Bikoro (Performance), Giorgia De Santi (Performance), daz disley (Sound), Francesca Fini (Performance & Digital animation), Nicola Fornoni (Performance), La Saúla / La Pocha Nostra (Performance), Stephan Knies (Violin), Fenia Kotsopoulou (Dance, Visuals), Boris Nieslony (Performance), Ralf Peters (Voice art), Sara Simeoni (Dance), Marcel Sparmann (Performance), VestAndPage (Performance), Susanne Weins (Voice art), and more.
Prof Nicolas Conard (Archaeology and prehistory), Kurt Wehrberger M.A. (Archaeology), Dr Stefanie Kölbl (Archaeology), Dr Bernhard Stumpfhaus (Art history), Prof Timothy Morton (Philosophy), Prof Nigel Clarke (Human Geography), Dr João Florêncio (History of Modern and Contemporary Art and Visual Culture), Dr Luke Jones (Time psychology), and more.
A VestAndPage production, Germany, 2021
Supported by Fonds Darstellende Künste with funds from the Federal Government Commissioner of Culture and the Media.
Realized in collaboration with Museum für Urgeschichte Blaubeuren, Museum Ulm, Cojote Outdoor, University of Exeter Research Network Rock/Body: Performative Interfaces between the geologic and the body, EntrAxis e.V., A.P.S. Studio Contemporaneo E.T.S., Live Arts Cultures.
With the support of UNESCO World Heritage: Caves and Ice Age Art of the Swabian Alb, Landesamt für Denkmalpflege Baden-Württemberg, ForstBW, Stadt Blaubeuren, Stadt Schelklingen, Stadt Grabenstetten, Stadt Asselfingen, Museumsgesellschaft Schelklingen, Urgeschichte Hautnah, Tress Gastronomie/Wimsener Höhle.
Südwest Presse, "Hochkultur in tiefen Höhlen" (July 2021)
This project is supported by the Fonds Darstellende Künste
with funds from the Federal Government Commissioner
of Culture and the Media
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