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 place in continuity with the geological. Body artists illuminate concepts of time and past and modern human and ecological intelligence in caves through performances for the camera. These body images, poetic and political at the same time, are nourished by documentary elements in conversations with specialists from archaeology, palaeontology, geology, speleology, art history, philosophy, and time psychology. Here, progress is imagined through cultural exchange and cooperation. Growing complexity is an evolutionary consequence, and plurality, the non-binary, and the social inclusion of diversity are seen as 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 geological 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 the collective and ecological intelligence, contributing to the understanding of complex systems, and driving significant change through artistic production.
The project is also the artistic questioning and critical confrontation with romantically distorted images of nature and naturalness. In our world view, every living being has the right to a self-determined life, and nature is used wisely instead of being exploited. This always includes the other, the unknown, the new, the complex, the unexpected and change. It requires the urgent and critical dismantling of consolidate 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 geological, political and evolutionary past and future. The participating renowned artists embody the necessary principle of diversity: they are knowingly representative bodies that artistically reflect and question the layers of different cultures, societies, age groups, sexes, genders and physicality.
A VestAndPage production, Germany, 2021
In collaboration with urmu - Museum für Urgeschichte Blaubeuren, Museum Ulm, Cojote Outdoor Bad Urach, University of Exeter Research Network Rock/Body: Performative Interfaces between the geologic and the body, APS Studio Contemporaneo E.T.S., Live Arts Cultures.
Concept, Production, Artistic direction, Cinematography Verena Stenke, Andrea Pagnes
Production assistance Marcel Sparmann
Lighting director & Cinematography daz disley
Cinematography Fenia Kotsopoulou
Sound design & Audio arts Douglas Quin
Set director Giovanni Dantomio
Artists Aldo Aliprandi (Sound), Marianna Andrigo (Movement), Marilyn Arsem (Video & Text), Andreas Bauer Karnabas (Classical bass), Anguezomo Mba Bikoro (Performance), Giorgi de Santi (Performance), daz disley (Sound), Francesca Fini (Performance & Digital animation), Nicola Fornoni (Performance), Saúl Garcia-López (Performance), Guillermo Goméz-Peña & Balitronica Goméz (Video & Text) Stephan Knies (Violin), Fenia Kotsopoulou (Dance), Boris Nieslony (Performance), Ralf Peters (Voice art), Sara Simeoni (Dance), Marcel Sparmann (Performance), VestAndPage (Performance), Susanne Weins (Voice art), and more.
Scientific collaborators Prof Nicolas J Conard (Archaeology and prehistory), Kurt Wehrberger (Archaeology), Dr. Bernhard Stumphaus (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), as well as other participants of the research network ROCK/BODY of the University of Exeter.
Supported by Fonds Darstellende Künste
with funds from the Federal Government Commissioner
or Culture and the Media