THOU TWIN OF SLUMBER
2013, Performance cycle in eight parts
J. S. Bach’s cantata Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen (BWV 56, 1726) closes with the simple choral "Komm o Tod du Schlafes’ Bruder / Come o death thou twin of slumber," invoking Thanatos/Death, the twin brother of Hypnos/Sleep, to "lose my ship from ropes that lumber / bring me safely into port." This performance cycle goes into death, sleep and slumber and liminal spaces, looking to wave mythical reflections on death 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. Being part of some of the performances, the moth – a master of disguise – is a powerful symbol of otherworldliness, secret knowledge, faith, intuition and determination.
The performance cycle in eight parts has been developed and presented on VestAndPage's 2013-tour 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 closed in a 7-hour long durational performance in Helsinki (Imago).
THOU TWIN OF SLUMBER: Caterpillar
Cyclorama - Boston Centre for the Arts, Boston, US
On the occasion of NDpae Near Death Performance Art Experience, curated by Vela Phelan
Photographs by Daniel S. DeLuca, Kim Napoli, Phil Freyer and Alexis Avedisian
A tributary of romantic unreason that VestAndPage touch in their performance, Thou Twin of Slumber: Caterpillar. Verena Stenke and Andrea Pagnes are far from one another at the opening, and between them space is tensile and electric as a light. (...) The piece has this quality of breath and gentle tension even as Pagnes crawls through, rolls over, broken glass toward his partner. She cradles a jar of light. The silence of the piece is extreme, without electronic sound, and with a great emphasis on the tiny noise of measured movement.
Allison Vanouse, “Exist Stronger,” HowlRound
Our bodies are our vehicles for experiencing waking life, but like the decomposing bread consumed by the larvae, it does break down. It bleeds when cut. It is subject to extreme environmental conditions. It is vulnerable. Through the use of highly visceral actions, some that even appeared to defy physical reality (walking on glass without harm), VestAndPage challengeD ideas about what it means to be in a body and conjured romantic notions of what can be experienced beyond the physical realm.
Sandrine Schaefer, The Present Tense
THOU TWIN OF SLUMBER: Cocoon
Kastelliotissa, Nicosia, CY
On the occasion of CIPAF Cyprus International Performance Art Festival, curated by Christina Georgiou
Photographs by Monika Sobczak and Emi Wilcox
VestAndPage have traced another path 'between.' On the one side, Andrea was immersed in an infinite, heavy, slow-flowing forward, while Verena, on the other side, was wearing a dress of leaves, light as the dream, as a being caressed by memories. Playing with the lightness of the dream and the density of dark blindness, they visited the limit that runs along with the sleep and nearby the dying, along with remembering and next to oblivion. They were not declaring the limit between, they were dancing on it. We danced together with them, with a jingle-jangling figure that brought us to a lulling dance, to joy, to listening, to sweetness: this figure made us finally meet the 'other side,' passing through a labyrinth of bells. Cold and grey: the little sphere that a blind figure was offering beyond the limit, was the content of the bell. Gold warmness: was the caress of the absent, a mute speaking of eloquent gestures relived in the memory, in the dreaming. Their path maybe showed a third way, between the presence and the absence, on the thin line that divides and at the same time makes contiguous the life and the death, time and no-time, ephemeral and eternal.
Francesco Kiais, In Conversation with Karolina Lambrou, Nicosia
THOU TWIN OF SLUMBER: Chrysalis
Grace Exhibition Space, New York, US
In occasion of Climate CHANGE!, curated by Jill McDermid
Photographs by Yoko Toda and David Crespo
Is it better to see a man walk on broken mirrors until his toes leave bloody red prints across the panes, or listen to the mirrors irregularly shatter in darkness? That's the choice you got last Friday evening at Grace Exhibition Space when duo VestAndPage performed as part of the Brooklyn International Performance Art Festival. (...) It was those visuals of the space that were the most powerful. Sound/participatory experiment aside, I was just fascinated to watch the calm and cruel progress of the evening. I didn’t find the blood or other visceral moments to be unsettling, and some moments were even beautiful, as VestAndPage are obviously a duo that values the visuals of their performance, even if they offer you a blindfold.
Allison Meier, "Walking on Mirrors Until You Bleed and Other Images from a Performance of Poetic Pain," Hyperallergic, New York
THOU TWIN OF SLUMBER: Pupae
MIXER Gallery, Istanbul
On the occasion of IPA Platform, curated by Burcak Konukman
Photographs by Ozge Celikaslan
THOU TWIN OF SLUMBER: Histo
Dfbrl8r Gallery, Chicago, US
Curated by Joseph Ravens
Photographs by Natalia Nicholson and Isabelle McGuire
THOU TWIN OF SLUMBER: Hemolymph
VIVO Media Arts Centre, Vancouver, CA
On the occasion of LIVE Biennale of Performance Art, curated by Randy Gledhill
Photographs by Ash Tanasiychuk | Vandocument
THOU TWIN OF SLUMBER: In situ
Museo Universitario del Chopo, Mexico City, MX
On the occasion of UTOPIA - Performances by Martin Renteria and VestAndPage. Presented by TRANSMUTED Network
Photographs by Elisa Garza, Juan Espinosa - Imagen en Vivo and Jessica Salazar
Video by Elisa Garza
THOU TWIN OF SLUMBER: Imago
Taidehalli, Helsinki, FI
7-hours final performance
On the occasion of La-Bas -> Irma Optimist, curated by Irma Optimist
Photographs by Antti Ahonen, Ignacio Perez Perez and Jason Lim