“SWOOSH LIEU are four theatre machinists. They operate a machine, the blueprints of which are constantly being changed by the location of the theatre. It is fuelled by theatre’s techniques and means. It functions with them and for them, its input is not a text and also not a body; it thrusts itself into the limelight.”
The four female artists of SWOOSH LIEU approach the theatre from its edges in their multimedia works. They liberate lighting, space, video and sound technology, which is doomed to cooperate, from its position on the sidelines and makes it the point of departure for scenic reflection. Their works are subversive manipulations of the blueprints for representation; their theatre occurs as a decentralised choreography of space. In “Everything but Solo”, four dancers measure the stage and roll out equipment, drag, hang, cable it, connect amplifiers, install projectors and turn the knobs on sound consoles. All of the objects and actions that are usually hidden from the audience’s view are in the foreground. The work processes that are constitutive for the theatre leave the backstage area and take their place at the centre of media representation. An inter-media space unfolds in the interaction between body and technology, between lighting, sound, video and dance; the theatre begins to dance in the rhythm of its material prerequisites. In their current work, “The Factory”, SWOOSH LIEU summon the spirits of industrial production. A factory that a squat turned into an art location becomes the main protagonist of an appropriation. The immaterial work of the four female machinists animates the audience’s perception. The temporary appearance of the theatre makes the history of the location negotiable; its occupation by media opens up new parameters of narration.
Frank Max Müller
The Factory – eine Besetzungsprobe (2013)
3 performers, site-specific work for an industrial building, 70 min
Everything but Solo (2012)
4 performers, stage 10 x 8 m, 60 min
Feminist performance and media art collective SWOOSH LIEU (Johanna Castell, Katharina Kellermann, Juliane Kremberg und Rosa Wernecke) creates temporary spaces and images in real time and at the same time addresses how these are produced. Thus, theatre is opened up to social/political analogies but these are are always dealt with and made into something that can be experienced using its means. SWOOSH LIEU was founded in 2009 at the Institute for Applied Theatre Studies in Giessen. After four dancers were choreographed by the black box stage technology in their piece “Everything but Solo”, they then dealt with the factory as a site of Fordist and artistic production in “The Factory – eine Besetzungsprobe”. A performance about the work carried out backstage will follow in “Stagehands – ein offener Umbau” in 2014.