Sight – Light – Video

How can we build immersive (memory) spaces that the actresses walk in together with the audience and let them emerge again and again through - light - video - sound and narration?

“Our site-specific way of working in the case of SEID DOCH LAUT was characterized in different moments of rehearsal by an understanding of the symbolic power of the site, by attention to the actual site, as well as in most moments by an interest in emergent ‘memory spaces’ for which the banquet hall in the Stasi headquarters became the medium.”

“This sequence of ‘memory spaces,’ which we determined early on in the team and concretized in pairs, with the video artist Elisa Purfürst, formed the basis of our work on the spatial concept and, associated with it, the development and use of various multimedia staging devices.”

“Since we could only deal with actual stage sets to a limited extent in the listed building, we had to choose other forms of design to mark different playing areas and to narrate different spaces. In the best case, the projections could be constantly realigned by the actresses themselves during the play, so that unusual projection angles not only marked different sections of space as playing areas, but also, through associative and documentary material, different original historical locations were counted in the spaces thus created.”

“Exciting for me in the question of the form of site specificity that this use of technology produces are two aspects: On the one hand, the marking of playing areas within a listed and thus unaltered original space. – For me, the original space does not disappear at all in these scenes, but becomes the always visible medium of an associative ‘memory space’ appearing in it. And on the other hand: the relationship between associative, documentary material within the projection and the narratives or documentary interview excerpts that are reproduced on and in these projected playing surfaces.”

“Elisa Purfürst’s videos have always provided a fragmented, very subjective perspective on these original historical sites. For me, the videos themselves tell of memory as a reconstruction and approach to a forgotten or only partially preserved history. We see fragmented images that recall original historical sites and at the same time, through their expansive projection surface, create actual play spaces in which interview excerpts are brought to life by the actresses. Almost literally, I would describe the site-specificity, i.e. the relationship site – material – history in this case as actual ‘memory spaces’ in which different forms of forgetting, remembering and storytelling are negotiated on different artistic material levels. However, since the original site – the Stasi headquarters – functions more as an additionally symbolically charged medium, these ‘memory spaces’ can be re-displayed, for example, for revivals at other sites of the Stasi dictatorship.”

Lighting designer Maria Huber, March 2023