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Performance in conjunction with the exhibition: “We Refugees – On the Right to Have Rights”, 22/04–12/06 2016 in Badischer Kunstverein Karlsruhe

A suspicious body lives everywhere, where an incalculability of action and identity is percei- ved as a danger. A suspicious body wears the most different clothing and speaks a foreign language, evading its logic. The performance "suspicious body" is a dialogue attempt: using movement, skin, prostheses and using voice and words, it approaches the suspicious body. Where does a compulsion to change become evident, where a pleasure in what is alien to identity? The performers investigate how images become explicit, stigmatizations obsce- ne, and associations suspicious – and whether a sensual revaluing of values can take place.

We use the architectural intervention that was built as part of the exhibition in order to serve as a venue for meetups and discussion. One moving performer and one vocal performer are split up, facing each other and leaving the space in between for the audience. The audience faces me, the moving performer, and watches my excercises with the foam, the melting with the material, its spreading in the space, and the interaction with the orange life jacket. As I am performing within an exhibiton that deals with refugees and com- munity, the life jacket becomes a 'no-go' symbol, a superficial literal translation. I play with this cliché, building a figure and trying to open my pores towards the material of the jacket, releasing the object from its connotations. The vocal performer speaks a text (see parts below), playing with different character voices reacting on my movements, and is exaggerating, ironizi- sing, and constantly altering the atmosphere of my non-dramatic 'dance'. Who is the suspicious body? My ungainly body? The figure? The audi- ence? The ‹others› which are not even present? Is it our desire to become a free, boundless non-subject next to the forced non-sujectivity of migrating people?

Dear suspicious body
I have been looking for you.
For a long time, already, and again and again. I have been wondering:

How can I recognise you?
Ich habe nach dir gesucht.
Immer wieder. Immer wieder versuche ich dich zu erkennen.
Dear suspicious body
I have been wondering about your literal evidence in space
and time.
Ich suche nach einer unmittelbaren Evidenz deiner
in Raum und Zeit.
It would be so easy to look for you if you were literal.
If your foreign language would translate into literal foreign movements. Into strange gestures. Into a rupture in the everyday flow of familiarity. Brauche ich eine unmittelbare Evidenz, brauche ich eindeutige Beweise, um dich ausmachen zu können?
Ich halte Ausschau nach seltsamen Gesten, die den gewohnten Flow der mich umgebenden Bewegungen unterbrechen.

Performing: Mira Hirtz and Carola Lingelbach (voice)

Special thanks to the team of Badischer Kunstverein,
Klemens Czurda for camera,
Annika Gutsche for photography,
Michael Rybakov for documentation,
Mona Altmann and Jo Ziebtritzki for their critical minds.

suspicious body

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