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Research project

with Lisa Danulat in cooperation with PACT Zollverein, Essen

Memories - Narratives
Through many different sectors of society, crises are increasingly burning themselves into our collective memory with new buzzwords, politically charged images, metaphors, Instagram stories, sounds and technologies. Against this background, the artistic research in residency at PACT Zollverein examines individual patterns of perception in connection with historical events as well as the genesis of collective memories and narratives in biographical tipping moments. We ask ourselves how historical facts become an individual reality and what performative, subversive and poetic potential can be revealed, for example, in shifts that result from the multiple repetition and overwriting of narratives.
How does a memory develop into a narrative and "who speaks" in these? Can new insights be gained by linking memories? Can we create a collective memory without actually having experienced the corresponding moments together? How can we interfere critically and artistically-productively in interpretive struggles over (linguistic) images and open up new counter-narratives?

Interpretation, a collective process?
In order to explore the interpretative power and interdependencies of event and memory, Till Wyler von Ballmoos, together with the author Lisa Danulat, starts a performative "memory research", starting from the anniversary of a historical event that became a turning point/tipping point in one's own biography. A personal moment is, for example, 26 April: the Chernobyl nuclear disaster occurred in 1986. This event, as a metaphor for all forms of invisible threat, is deeply engraved in memory and casts its shadow over other life situations.
During the residency, we subject our memory fragments to a collective, performative process of 're-membering' (anamnesis). In a continuous mutual exchange of letters with Lisa Danulat, a questioning and translation of individual narratives and images takes place. Records and documents are recontextualised by means of rewritings and overwritings in the form of poems, chain letter compositions, drawn sketches, image comments in the form of printed photos, or attributed objects. Writing a letter becomes an event, as does the time spent waiting for Lisa's reply, or vice versa. In this way, each of these events could become a tipping point at which we can turn into the world of double contingency. Where does this way of being together, this form of lived practice of community lead us? Can new paths for a future technique or strategy of theatre-making be developed from the physical distance? Does the pause between sending a letter and receiving a response provide us with new spaces of possibility?