In a performance in the empty Haus Lange, the artist Linda Nadji explores the polarity between body, space and interior. The body, which moves towards space and architecture and is repositioned there anew, repeatedly allows new compositions to emerge.
Employing monumental and minimal gestures at the same time, four performers appropriate essential features of Mies’s spatial creation. In the process, the boundaries between the bodies of the performers, the interior elements and the axis-oriented geometrical architecture blur. Very much in the sense of the Bauhaus stage that focused on the rationalisation and geometrisation of the human body and its spatial staging, Nadji’s performance contains echoes of Oskar Schlemmer’s utopian concept of the ‘New Human Being’ that he defined both literally and symbolically as the ‘measure and mean’ of all things and strove for universal harmony. At the same time, he saw the human being as a spatial body that was thus relieved of all subjectivity.
The bodies of the visitors likewise play a key role in Linda Nadji’s performance. As an optimal viewer perspective, the artist selected the garden area for the start of the performance. The back of Haus Lange appears like an elongated band with large windows in which the four performers can be seen. The architecture as stage and the large windows as glass frames offer an exceptional view of the changing body images in the interior. The viewer changing his position and striding alongside the outer facades opens and closes visual axes, spatial and corporeal lines become superimposed and break, reflections mask motions and forms in and over each other, interior and exterior come together and split apart, light and shade simultaneously assemble and dismantle collages.
The perspective changes in the interior: The boundary between the space of the stage and the space of the viewer that had previously been marked by the outer walls is now broken. The visitors move about freely in the interior and encounter the performers. The previously ostensibly flat and moving window image now gains a depth in which visitors likewise position themselves. The performers use their bodies in order to selectively accentuate the space and expand the interior elements in a linear manner. An interaction occurs: The human body becomes architecture and architecture becomes tangible as a moving body. In her performance, Linda Nadji plays with Mies van der Rohe’s flowing spatial concept and the notion of open and moving living.
Performers: Malin Gebken, Clara Marie Müller, Yana Nonotorova, Xenia Toews
The sculptor and performance artist Linda Nadji (born 1972, Teheran) concluded her studies at the Kunstakemie Düsseldorf in 2011 as a master student of Hubert Kiecol. She previously studied acting in Cologne and design at the Fachhochschule Aachen. She now lives and works as a freelance artist in Cologne.