The fifth performance-based film project by VestAndPage deals with Deep Time and layers of memory in human history and the geological. In prehistoric caves of the UNESCO World Heritage Site at the Swabian Jura and through international collaborations and interdisciplinary processes, science meets performance art, theatre, dance, visual art, and music.

We don't go to a place to tell a story.
We go to a place to find the story.

CURRENTLY IN POST-PRODUCTION

 

Concept, Production, Artistic direction 

Verena Stenke, Andrea Pagnes (VestAndPage)

Director of Cinematography & Editor Verena Stenke

Texts Andrea Pagnes

Assistance, still photography Marcel Sparmann

Lighting director, cinematography daz disley

Cinematography Fenia Kotsopoulou

Sound design, audio arts Douglas Quin

Set director, drone operator Giovanni Dantomio

Masks, costume design VestAndPage, Balaustio

Artists

Aldo Aliprandi (Sound), Marianna Andrigo (Movement), Marilyn Arsem (Video & Text), Andreas Bauer Kanabas (Classical bass), Anguezomo Mba Bikoro (Performance), Giorgia De Santi (Performance), daz disley (Sound), Francesca Fini (Performance & Digital animation), Nicola Fornoni (Performance), La Saúla / La Pocha Nostra (Performance), Stephan Knies (Violin), Fenia Kotsopoulou (Dance, Visuals), Boris Nieslony (Performance), Ralf Peters (Voice art), Enok Ripley (Performance), Sara Simeoni (Dance), Marcel Sparmann (Performance), VestAndPage (Performance), Susanne Weins (Voice art), and more.

Scientific contributors

Dr Nicolas Conard, PhD, Dr Stefanie Kölbl, Kurt Wehrberger M.A., Dr Guido Bataille, Johannes Wittmann M.A., Barbara Spreer M.A., Dr Bernhard Stumpfhaus, Rudolf Walter M.A.

A VestAndPage production, Germany, 2021/22

Supported by Fonds Darstellende Künste with funds from the Federal Government Commissioner of Culture and the Media.

Realized in collaboration with Museum für Urgeschichte Blaubeuren, Museum Ulm, Cojote Outdoor, EntrAxis e.V., A.P.S. Studio Contemporaneo E.T.S., Live Arts Cultures.

With the support of UNESCO World Heritage: Caves and Ice Age Art of the Swabian Alb, Landesamt für Denkmalpflege Baden-Württemberg, ForstBW, Blauwald GmbH & Co KG, Stadt Blaubeuren, Stadt Schelklingen, Stadt Grabenstetten, Stadt Asselfingen, Museumsgesellschaft Schelklingen, Urgeschichte Hautnah, Tress Gastronomie/Wimsener Höhle.

Gratitude to the University of Exeter Research Network Rock/Body: Performative Interfaces between the geologic and the body, especially Prof Nigel Clarke and Dr João Florêncio, as well as Timothy Morton.

The Swabian Jura caves were used by Ice Age humans for shelter about 33.000 to 43.000 years ago. The STRATA project brings together artists and researchers to investigate the human body as a site that exists in continuity with the geological. Body artists illuminate concepts of time and ecological intelligence in caves through performances for the camera. These images are nourished by documentary elements in form of conversations with specialists from archaeology, geology, speleology, art history, philosophy, and time psychology. Growing complexity is seen as an evolutionary consequence, and plurality, the non-binary and the social inclusion of diversity are considered necessary prerequisites to serve the understanding and further development of life.

Intending to open up a contemporary discourse on the past, the project illuminates the challenges of the present's central social issues from artistic and academic perspectives. Questions are whether the separation between nature and culture can be overcome by changing bodies' views and how we can give visibility to deposits in the depths of the human being, in the earth and human history, and society and the psyche. We are concerned with strengthening collective and ecological intelligence, contributing to understanding complex systems, and driving significant change through artistic production. The project is also a critical confrontation with romantically distorted images of "nature and naturalness", requiring a dismantling of consolidated narratives and aesthetics. To draft a possible design of a future, it is fundamental to work together in an interdisciplinary manner between people and branches of the arts and sciences. The joint production process involves remembering and imagining real and possible worlds while raising awareness of our geological, political and social past and future. The participating renowned artists embody therein the fundamental principle of diversity; they are knowingly representative bodies that artistically reflect and put into discussion the layers of contemporary societies.