DisTanzSolo III : Research : Movement and tonality of the void spaces

The purpose of this research is collecting the information related to the Erinnerungskulture / the Culture of Remembrance, visiting the historic sites and investigate the roll of void/emptiness in the spaces, to prepare for my future project A Silent Room.    

During the first Lock-down in 2020, I kept practiced alone in my studio. 
I have my studio in the Art complex Haus-Schwarzenberg, Rosenthalerstr.39, Berlin Mitte.

The museum Otto Weidt’s Workshop for the Blind is located in the side wing of the same building. As same as Berliner Anne Frank Zentrum (is also located in Haus Schwarzenberg), over years the presence of the museum became a part of my daily life.

Otto Weidt was German factory owner who’d tried to save many Jews, deaf and blind people during the NS regime in Germany. Since the discovery of the history in 1999 by the students of the Museologie / Museumskunde an der HTW Berlin (Prof. Hans Wilderotter), the workshop and the hide-out has been exhibited.

In 2018, supported by the Heinrich Böll Foundation I had an artistic research about the hide-out. The hide-out, the small, windowless dark room of the museum was the first place, which introduced me the Erinnerungskultur, the Culture of Remembrance.

Knowing this word made me realize that the seemingly disparate things I’ve been interested are probably all on one line. With my German writing teacher Dr.Vera Fischer I set my first question ‚How can the experience of the memorials as a stimulus for artistic expression?‘.

However, as a Japanese with no connection to any of the parties involved, I’ve hesitated to touch this subject. But then when my mentor Boris von Poser pointed me out the possibility of creating a performance through observing the subject and collecting the experiences from my Japanese perspective, I decided to do this research. Having a mentor in research mean not only about getting practical information and suggestions, but I think it is also about getting ethical guidance for my work.    

The theater director Boris von Poser as my research mentor, I’ll visit the following three memorials and further sites of the Culture of Remembrance. I’ll collect the stories of the lives of the survived people and their families today, create movement and vocal sketches.

Intended place to visit
– The concentration camp memorial Auschwitz-Birkenau (PL)
– The Herzogenbusch Concentration Camp (NL) 
Terezín Memorial (CZ) – changed to ↓
– The memorial and museum Sachsenhausen
– – The memorial Bergen-Belsen

* The plan has been changed due to the current pandemic situation and the effect of the performance and project schedules postponed from 2020.

Visiting a place is a subjective experience – in other words, an experience that feels differently depending on the person-  that goes through its physical and sensory qualities.

Whether music or movement, the process of transferring a personal experience into an artistic expression let me recognizing my own sight towards the object I have, and give me a new perspective. 

The silence of those void spaces gives us the space to imagine a time we haven’t experienced, and consider the time in which we live. 
And in this research I hope to find my way to listen to the spaces.  

updated on 25.August.  

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