Tim Zulauf

Cluster #3: Performative Objects and Site-Specific Performativity

Recent theatre and performance studies developed an exponential interest in how ambivalent embodied entities such as masks, puppets or other ‘dead’ performative objects might be a site of critique, resistance or agency in communities coping with cultural traumas. Also, the site-specific performativity in performances dealing with trauma is taken into consideration.

This panel traces the traumatic emigratory experience in the performing arts and investigates the particular transformative potential of corporeality and site-specificity.

Narrating space – re-inscribing deviant memories

With three short examples of recent performative installations, I’d like to discuss the potential of crisscrossing places with diverging narratives. Drawing from Michel de Certeau’s reflections, I’m interested in «narrating space» to get complex, multilayered understandings of the use of environements and the creation of situations. A practice that leads to questions about how exactly hidden site-specific stories can be activated in ways that transgress the hierarchies of official narratives. Animated books are often acting subjects within this kind of work of mine …

I’d like to trace this practice of «liquidating» hegemonies, that are sedimented in exclusive «places», within three contexts: The Swiss-Tunisian relations after the so called «Arab spring» or «facebook»-revolution; the practice of oppressing begging as a public practice in Venice; and the Swiss-South African relations during Apartheid, that have officially been researched form 2000 to 2004, while the very research was semi-officially obstructed at the same time. Specifically the latter context will focus onto the painful histories of oppression and ask how performative forms of repetition and retracing could be engage into confronting them.

Tim Zulauf
, born in 1973, lives in Zurich, Switzerland, and teaches Fine Arts at the Bern University of the Arts. After participating in research projects focussing on art in public spheres, he since 2002 realizes installations and stage-projects as author and director of KMUProduktionen, an open network of theatre makers, actors, designers and artists. At the Venice Art Biennial 2011 the three-lingual installative dramatisation «Deviare –Vier Agenten – Part of a movie» was shown as part of the official Swiss contribution, curated by Andrea Thal. Currently the stage-production «Pflege und Verpflegung – À bout de soins – Caregiving Caretakers», an exploration of today’s status of care-work, is touring. In November 2015 «La porte portable» was produced for the Tunis-Biennial «Dream City» and was shown in an adapted version at the Zürcher Theater Spektakel in August 2016. Ongoing research on planning, legislation and counter-narration in the distribution of space takes place in regard to the Swiss-South African relations and the struggle of South African associations for international reparation, like the Khulumani Support Group. www.zulauf.it