Der Handshuch. Process by Caryn Louis & Valentin Leuschel

Der Handschuh(The Glove) is a ballad by Friedrich Schiller, Poet & Philosopher, written in 1797.

This video is work by 2 student artists from Stuttgart & London based on the process of taking the poem from the page into a performance within a space. They also worked with actor Johannes Frick.

The process became more important than the end product. This film was shown on an old TV alongside a large plain white large format print of the poem. At the opening the 2 artists & an actor performed the poem with all of the process notes, directions etc visible to the audience.

The performance in the gallery space was filmed and is being edited as a separate finished work.

Schiller’s ballad ‘The Glove’ was chosen as inspiration for development into a performance based work to be shown at the end of a 2 week period when the artists collaborated intensively with each other with the help of an actor.

The artists recognised that the ballad could be interpreted in a contemporary context considering the possibility that the characters could be of any gender and in a complexity of possible relationships.

Alongside this they worked through several experimental processes as a means of taking the text from the page and reinterpreting it as a performance. These processes were videoed and recorded as part of the edited material that would be shown in an exhibition as well as used as material for developing the performance.

Sounds implicit within the ballad were identified, rehearsed and recorded. Areas were defined within the exhibition/performance space using chalk to aid the process of producing the performance. An actor and the two artists placed themselves within the exhibition space interpreting the text in a performative way. This process was filmed and documented, material was refined, reworked and evolved.

The exhibition space was a large relatively open structure within the art academy in Stuttgart where they were working. The architecture lent itself sympathetically to some interesting choreography within the performance. Caryn and Valentin were able to place the work so that it reached out and inhabited the space. They experimented with an initial experimental performance that encouraged audience interaction but rejected this idea along with many other trial and errors. A set of carefully placed sounds, text and directions were woven between the work of other students in the exhibition to tell the story of the ballad. To one side, a small tv ran a video of the artists’ process fused with the rehearsal of the reading of the poem. The poem itself was printed on white large format paper and hung loosely next to the TV.

On the opening night of the exhibition the 3 artists performed the poem as it had evolved but with notes, directions etc visible to the audience…..the fusion between process and end product became embedded in the work.

Since creating the work a similarity between the process adopted by the artists and Bertolt Brechts theory of the ‘five truths’ has become an exciting development. Many of the ideas discussed during the development of the work i.e. that the couple could be of any sex, that there could be ambiguity in the relationship between the three players….they could be part of a ‘love triangle’ were in tune with Brechts ‘suggestions’ for theatre.

Correspondences and Interventions is a three year project designed to improve the quality of teaching programmes and increase cooperation between the Hungarian University of Fine Arts (MKE), Kingston University (London), the Krakow Fine Arts Academy and the Stuttgart State Academy of Art and Design (SABK). It brings together forty students and twelve teachers from different disciplines and uses teaching methods designed to maximise the use of its multi-disciplinary components within creative processes that take place over a fourteen day period. The project is funded through the Erasmus Programme.

While the mixing of disciplines occurs in many art schools, it is a practice not always widely accepted or fully understood; yet, this crossing of departmental borders, the overlapping and mixing of media and art forms, reflects the life-world of today’s art and visual media student. And, while there are a number of examples of an interdisciplinary or intermedia curriculum, the area of study is still sufficiently new to benefit from the objectives that are at the core of Correspondences and Interventions. Additionally, while each of the participating institutions has its own working definition of a multidisciplinary programme, it is the manner in which these definitions overlap in surprising and unforeseen ways, their meshing, that has facilitated the development of the project.

Recommended reading : large format printing

Related Posts

Leave a Reply