A Performative Discourse by Irmela Kästner, Tanzinitiative Hamburg with contributions of 6 Choreographers and Dancers.
Photographed at Kampnagel, Hamburg 2015
The motto is: “allowing criticism”. With a focus on: allowing. Author and dance critic Irmela Kästner has invited six choreographers to challenge their critical praxis of contemporary dance – and ask questions about expectations related to the theatre. After the participants have encountered each other in an intensive workshop, exchanging visions, intentions, methods and techniques, they will perform together on stage.
Each artist will take his or her own position. Nevertheless, they represent parts of a whole: They will comment on, react to, or intervene. Objective analysis will switch to radical subjective self-presentation with open hearts and minds, fragile, ephemeral, passionate – as the participants are not only experienced choreographers, but also exceptional performers.
„Why do I enter this stage?“ They ask themselves this essential question from different viewpoints, diving into a dance discourse: What are my burning desires? Am I acting them out? Or have internalized viewpoints of outward expectations seduced me to behave and act strategically?
by and with: Josep Caballero García, Angela Guerreiro, Arianne Hoffmann,
Jochen Roller, Vania Rovisco, Robert Steijn
Concept & Direction: Irmela Kästner
Setting & Space Design: Klaus Stephan Neumann
Photography: Tina Ruisinger
Production: Schmidt-Rohr/Kästner-Tanzinitiative Hamburg in Co-Production with K3 Centre for Choreography / Tanzplan Hamburg, supported by Kulturbehörde Hamburg
Multimedia portrait by Irmela Kästner and Tina Ruisinger
Filmed and photographed at Kampnagel Hamburg, 2014
A portrait of the south african dancer and choreographer Dada Masilo during the companies rehearsal of SWAN LAKE at Kampnagel Hamburg
Dada Masilo is Dancer and Choreographer, born in Soweto, near Johannesburg. With her african interpretation of Swan's Lake she is breaking the classical white Tradition of Ballett. Tina Ruisinger and Irmela Kästner have accompanied her one day during rehearsals with her company for the performance of Swan’s lake in Hamburg Kampnagel in 2014
„.... the greatest challenge was fusing classical ballett and contemporary african dance, classical ballett is very graceful and light and pretty and african dance is loud and into the ground and to find the balance between the two technics meeting and speaking to each other ...“
Installation by Tina Ruisinger and Regula Müdespacher
Chamber of Fine Arts, Zurich, 2014
Places show traces of a personal history, telling about their past.
Own memories are awakened, one tries to match the own story with the place. Time dissapears. Fleeting moments, deeply retained in the consciousness, are awakened. They serve as reference for the location of the space. Impressions are absorbed and verified with all senses. Sensory and optical Irritations allow the opening of new spaces, own interpretations. Reality is mixed with the illusion, within it's own differential perception. The place has become another.
Installation by Tina Ruisinger and Regula Müdespacher, supported by Kaa Linder
Photobastei, Zurich, 2014
Influenced by a place of importance for both photographers, the project focuses on photographically reducing the strong sensual impressions, emanating from this place.
The main focus of their thesis is the search of the „subconscious image“ of that moment, and therefore evoking perceptions for the viewer. A sentence, a room, a fleeting memory. How much impulse does it need for their own story?
Silence is a statement in the project „we have always lived in the castle“. Also a statement for the working process. Instead of endless discussions about the value, function and meaning of photography, there should only be silent images, oscillating between the perception of the photographer and the recipient. The synthesis is done in the viewer’s head. Photography without any necessity for consumption. The experience is being born in absence of the image, it will only belong to the viewer. The room defines the frame: it conforms to the camera lens, the detail, the image boarder.
The room becomes part of the installation.
Book Project about the traces and memories of death
"Why can't I write something that would awake the dead? That pursuit is what burns most deeply. I got over the loss of his desk and chair, but never the desire to produce a string of words more precious than the emeralds of Cortes. Yet I have a lock of his hair, a handful of his ashes, a box of his letters, a goatskin tambourine. And in the folds of faded violet tissue a necklace, two violet plaques etched in Arabic, strung with black and silver threads, given to me by the boy who loved Michelangelo."
(Patti Smith about Robert Mapplethorpe, 1989)
When people pass away, they leave memories and traces behind. In the life of their families, in their surroundings, in the world. Memories like footsteps in the sand, change with the wind and time, and only vague traces remain. However, people alsoleave real traces: objects, photos, well-worn clothing, lived-in rooms and houses where they have lived or stayed. With her own poetic pictoral language, Tina Ruisinger, goes on a search for traces left by the beloved deceased: brothers, mothers, daughters, dear friends. Without wanting or needing to explain, and without any voyeurism, the resulting photographs are touching, impressive andpowerful.
(Marion Elmer, editor Kontrast)
Choreographic project by Frank Willens
Photographed and interviewed by Tina Ruisinger and Irmela Kästner, Berlin 2014
The choreographer and dancer Frank Willens deals with the unfinished trilogy “In Search of the Miraculous” by Bas Jan Ader. Together with the dancer Maria Francesca Scaroni, he wanders aimlessly through the streets of Berlin, looking for the miraculous. Tina Ruisinger and Irmela Kästner followed them into the night.
Installation Art for the Bodrum Biennial, Turkey 2013
Tina Ruisinger's contribution to the Art Biennial in Bodrum consists in an installation of photographs, objects, sound and a slide show dedicated to one of the great photographer of the 20's century, Ted Croner. Again, Ruisinger deals with the memory and the traces that her close friend and mentor of her work "faces of photography" has left behind after his passing in 2005.
A Collaborative Performance by Isabelle Schad with Tanzinitiative Hamburg and 30 performers at Hamburg Oberhafen
Filmed and photographed 2013
A piece of untamed wild growth in the city that has being claimed back by nature is turned into a site specific stage: The Hamburg Dance Initiative places its new project amidst abandoned railway tracks at the Oberhafen – an area next to the Harbor City – which is undergoing massive changes through urban development. Bringing together a large group of performers from Hamburg, choreographer Isabelle Schad and a team consisting of a landscape architect, a photographer and a sound artist will create and enact this temporary outdoor stage. We sympathize with the individual as part of the collective, with the group as a moving organism, with the wasteland as an undefined zone, with choreography as urban Landart. > read more
Concept: Barbara Schmidt-Rohr, Irmela Kästner
Realisation / Choreography: Isabelle Schad, Berlin
Realisation: Y-LA, Ando Yoo, Landscape Architecture, Hamburg
Performance: 30 experienced amateur performers from Hamburg
Photography: Tina Ruisinger, Zurich
Sound Design: Gaël Cleinow, Brussels
Production: Schmidt-Rohr / Kästner – tanzinitiative hamburg, in cooperation with Kampnagel Hamburg, supported by Kulturbehörde Hamburg, Fonds Soziokultur
Performance Installation by Tanzinitiative Hamburg with Isa Melsheimer und Frank Willens, Ulrike Bodammer and Elijas
Photographed at Kampnagel, Hamburg 2010
In this project visual artist Isa Melsheimer together with the dancer/choreographer couple Frank Willens and Ulrike Bodammer and their son Elijas are staging the „shelter space“ together with the audience. In the installation GIMME SHELTER a classical nuclear family welcomes the audience as their guests, allows an unknown visitor into their private “utopia”. Father, mother and son, in biblical history this constellation of people even carries the image and idea of redemption. However, looking at ancient mythology, the family is often synonymous with violence and pain. And in precarious times like ours it means a challenge, in particular within the dancer’s profession. Openness is a central issue, open for the unexpected. In a sense as French philosopher Jaques Derrida has stated hospitality as an ethic principle “without condition” the installation creates openness for common experience, common time, in which we might spend the evening together singing a child to sleep.
Artistic Direction, Idea, Concept: Irmela Kästner, Barbara Schmidt-Rohr, Hamburg Choreography & Performance: Frank Willens, Ulrike Bodammer, Elijas, Berlin
Installation: Isa Melsheimer, Berlin
Photography: Tina Ruisinger, Zürich
Book Project since 2010
" there are no bandits" is an ongoing series about associated images and visual memories of childish fear, threat and at the same time the feeling of safety in an idyllic world. The certainty for children in the early years that there are no bandits and that we are all safe and sound as an initial position for this work plays with the childlike curiosity of seeing behind the curtain the dangers of life. Shadows, darkness, accidents, even the disguise deal with a new reality that will confront the vision of a child sooner or later and blur the colourful beauty of a big wheel, the smileys on a hand and the unique taste of a fresh cherry.