janet grau

durch und durch

durch und durch

Performance, 2008

The performance durch und durch (through and through), created for the festival WAS IST DAS WERT at Hellerau – European Center for the Arts, Dresden , explores the tensions between remembering and forgetting, private and public spaces, and the interplay between strong emotions and formally conceived actions.

For two weeks prior to the theater festival, three fellow artists and I traveled around Dresden by public transportation, spending time in various public spaces such as tram stops, parks, museums, and shopping malls. We dedicated ourselves to two activities: working on our own embroideries, and engaging in an ongoing conversation. Our embroideries depicted images related to personal losses, while our conversations delved into private thoughts and experiences.

Before the public performance, we selected images that symbolized ‘loss’ and transformed them into embroidery designs. This ‘loss’ – whether past or anticipated – became the material for a social, manual, and artistic process, enriched by the time and effort invested. The meticulousness with which this work was carried out gave depth to our research and the impact of performance.

Typically, such private actions are not only performed in public. Our mixed group of men and women further emphasized the unconventional nature of the performance, making it clearly staged. In this way, durch und durch humorously tested the validity of traditional female models of community building and communication through collective work.

Many thanks to my wonderful collaborators:

Photos: Thomas Trepte

durch und durch
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