This week, many students presented their thesis projects at the Berlin University of the Arts’ digital media class. Since all of them were quite good, we will cover them over the next couple days.
Lisa Rave (also being a student of the experimental media department around Heinz Emigholz) has created a beautiful two-fold project which takes a look at the relationship between performance art and its documentation, strongly referring to works Robert Morris‘ “Box with the Sound of its Own Making” and performance art of the 60s and 70s and its representation in general.
For the first piece “Oak Frame”, Lisa illegally cut down an oak tree (which would have been felled anyway because it stood on the future property of Berlin’s BBI super-airport) and photographically documented the tree, the actual deed and a trace that the tree left behind when it was rolled over the grass. These pictures were put into frames which fellow artist Erik Blinderman in Frankfurt crafted from the same tree’s wood and put up on the wall, together forming a kind of tryptich. Since the wood is still fresh, the frames will warp as they dry and eventually destroy the panes of glass in front of the photographs, somewhat obscuring the images of the tree. For the presentation, she got a humidifier from Berlin museum Hamburger Bahnhof which was actively working against this process and in a sense stretching the time-span of this part of the performance.
The second piece, “Dokumentation einer Performance; Zaehlen bis 2500 in absoluter Dunkelheit” (Documentation of a performance, to count to 2500 in absolute darkness), plays on a similar idea – it is a photograph of Lisa who was standing still as long as the camera had collected enough light to produce a properly exposed image. The duration of the creation of the performance became the time of the creation of its documentation and vice-versa.
Related: Safari by Lisa Rave.