Reise nach Ägypten
As the six hour live performance trip “Journey to Egypt' unfolded inside a bus, 40 guests were led to the exhibition halls of Dortmunder Kunstverein in Dortmund, the Skulpturenmuseum Glaskasten in Marl and the Orangerie at the Castle of Rheda. The live performance went back to an event in 2007, in which the artist went alone on a bus trip to the Sinai region, which was bombed a year earlier. The title refers to the children's game 'Journey to Jerusalem' and acts as a reminder for a romantic theme that has fallen by the current political situation of the Sinai into disrepute. The journey began in the city of Cairo in the Catskills, led to the Bedouins at the foot of Sinai and from there to a group of young Turks in West Germany, and finally to a castle with a princess and prince. It reflected upon the psychological processes of projection and faith.
King Kong Theory
'King Kong Theory' is based on the book 'King Kong Theory' by the French feminist Virginia Despentes. Despentes selects as the protagonist femininity, which moves between the poles of staged reality, perception and self-assertion. It speaks to the diversity and uniqueness and against defined roles and clichés that govern our everyday image and shape our reality. King Kong, so to speak, her protagonist, embodies a natural, perfect original condition - neither man nor animal, male or female, good or bad - that changes only through the act of domestication into a true beast. In 'King Kong Theory' Marcin pushes out this exciting moment of animalistic simplicity and civilized complexity, her skepticism against rigid categories. She acts out her interpretation of 'Ann Darrow', while 'King Kong' is present in form of a distinctive sculpture. The immensely powerful appearing reminiscent of a gorilla evokes in contrast to the petite woman the traditional idea of good and evil, but the brutality of the original and the its traditional constellation are absent. In Despentes sense, subscribed gender roles need to be challenged and eradicated: Behind the perfect facade of tradition, where everything has its natural place, is a hidden standarizing and value-building norm supported by a poor, social structure. In the interaction with the supposedly man-eating beast Marcin reveals our dualistic negative-positive perspective and demonstrated to us their at times dangerous and hurtful absurdity. Text by Veit Rieber, Art Historian, Berlin
Love's Surrogates II
Standing on the artifact of privacy, a decontextualized dresser, Marcin unfolded a narrative about 'The Girl’s' childhood, presaging the rollercoaster of the Girl's love life, as well as power dynamics inside her family. Each sequence found humorous punctuation as Marcin launched herself repeatedly from a dresser onto a mini trampoline and onto the belly of an enormous sculpture (a blue dog-like animal) lying supine with knobby knees and elbows. Hence, Marcin chose a man from the audience, giving a concrete example for 'The Girl’s' interaction, placing him on a seat and giving him a hug. The awkward mini-romance dissolved when a Tango dancer stepped into the scene, taking her away on a dynamic dance in midst of the audience. Through an existential self-questioning, Marcin depicts the ambivalent world of emotions from its tragic-comical, unpredictable side and challenges the viewer to take position on the "The Girl's" experience.
Nadja by Breton
In the live performance 'Nadja by Breton' Marcin alludes to the topography of desire embodied in Breton’s story. Whilst balancing on a wooden construction inbetween two tress, she reads an Ecriture-automatique about a walk through the city of New York, explaining feelings of alienation towards a public space that is no longer social but commercial. As she steps closer and closer towards the center of the wooden beam, holding on to a single leaf of a tree, the beam starts to wabble and shake increasingly. Consequently, an enormous tension enfolds within the audience. Suddenly, the beam breaks into two pieces and Marcin lands an a gigantic sculpture that has been installed on the ground, covering only a small part of the center. Hence, a man from the audience starts to scream: “Call 911. Call 911. Why is noone calling 911?” Marcin's performance raises questions of social communication and accountability to the design and usage of a public, social and personal space as an immanent principle of life.
Are you lonesome tonight
In 'Are you lonesome tonight' Nadja appears in a public bar in Kaunas, Lithuania, which belongs to the head commissar of the police. She mimics the Elvis performance of 'Jailhouse Rock', wearing a hand-made costume that could be a cross between a German gymnast’s and erotic lingerie. As she tries to interact with the partly inebriated guests, such as some older men playing chess, or a woman who actually joins in the dance and begins taking her clothes off, she turns the bar into a playground for an exhibition. Marcin’s implicitness to maintain a physical, energetic and out of order presence clashes the stagnancy of the expected. Therefore, a field of tension and ambiguity enfold between each character’s right to maintain and define its existence. The two different concepts start to interrelate and battle. In the center stands the absurdity of the question, whether Elvis could be contemporary and, if so, could he be a woman? Marcin manages to caricature the contradictions within a young, provocative, post-feminist attitude and, simultaneously, the stigma of an elder generation’s torpor. At the opening of Kaunas Biennale Marcin performed her “Are you lonesome tonight” video-performance as live karaoke on a stage and invited the audience to sing along. This project was commissioned by TEXTILE’09- Kaunas Biennale.
Fall and Rise of a Fish
In 'Fall and Rise of a Fish' the fish and its vital water surroundings serve as a metaphor for the dependence of (human) life on its environment. As well, Marcin explores our vulnerability to the whims of superiors and the forces of nature. Often subtle, yet critical problems are the fundamental questions of independent freedom, terrorism and social rites. At the same time 'Fall and Rise of a Fish' looks at how common social paradigms are media dependent and rely on the perspective of the viewer. Thereby contemporary topics like power and belief, the question of individuality, and the paradigm of artificiality versus reality, are brought to awareness. (Susanne Husse, Kuratorin von 'Aquatieramento', Berlin, 2008)
Singing in the rain
In the magical morning hour of downtown L.A., a female figure appears in the deserted city center wearing nothing but a nude costume of skin-colored tights, underwear and a handmade-bra with stuffed breasts. As she begins to reenact Gene Kelly’s famous dance of 'Singing in the rain', his male movements find realization in her improvisational act. Lacking the significant rain of the original scene that serves as a catharsis and relief, the nude continuous her tap dance on a water fountain’s steps, and finally jumps into a larger basin. The ongoing movement with the autonomy of a child’s play or a private practice is underlined by the strong presence of melancholy. Hiding the identity of the person, the character’s nudity reduces her to a clownish gender stereotype. Contradictorily, her clumsy and authentic movement reveals an imperfection that shows personality and Gestalt. Marcin’s ambiguous spectacle of 'Singing in the rain' reverses the pretense to an uneasy amusement. (Greta Gesenberg, curator, Berlin)
From Hollywood to Buchenwald
In 'From Hollywood to Buchenwald' the performer tells a story about a horse ride from Buchenwald to Hollywood, meanwhile she is sitting in a white house simultaneously being projected live in the exterior courtyard. As the story gets more and more surreal and dream-woven, all of the sudden the land of plenty is in Buchenwald and the souls of the Jews are asking for their bodies. Food is chasing us. Finally, the performer leaves the house and starts to interact with the gathered crowd. She faces individual people, attempting to get closer to them, and asks repeatedly, 'Are you an actor?' 'Are you a director?' As story telling is based on pretense, illusion and nostalgia, the audience is invited first into a narrative. In the second part of the piece the performer breaks out of the frame, steps beyond the level of politeness and ‘attacks’ the audience. By breaking the rules, the action becomes an actuality and threatens the viewers. In “From Hollywood to Buchenwald”, Marcin points to possible parallels between the entertainment business and Fascism.
In 'Street' nine performances were carried out in a guerilla action manner in public spaces in Berlin, while being documented by video and photography. The performances relate to historical events and comment on the obvious structure of consumer society and its battlefield. Using human rights as an authorization, the discrepancy between law and action evolves in the eyes of the observer.
In the performance called 'Love's Surrogates' Marcin stands on a cupboard in the foyer of a school and jumps over a trampoline onto a gigantic dog sculpture. Between the jumps, she delivers a speech about 'The Girl's' childhood, revealing family power dynamics and the struggles of 'The Girl's' intimate life to four hundred viewers. Consequently, an atmosphere of tension establishes that challenges the viewer to take a position on 'The Girl's' experiences, and in this way become part of the piece.
Holidays in Kakao
As the performer is telling a story about her beach holidays in Portugal, she starts to cut her dress and cover herself in a chocolate paste. She crosses the story with thoughts on ageing. 'Why does nobody get children anymore?' Wintertime is now getting closer and the performer asks the audience to sing a Christmas song. Meanwhile a person illustrates the winter landscape with Hollywood snow. Marcin walks through the artificial weather, repeating: 'In the multitude of feelings we enjoy the moment of not alone feeling.'