Scenomaten

Ingvild Holm, Østfold University College, Norwegian Theatre Academy

Holm is a theatre- and performance artist with a broad background in between theatre, performance, actionist practices, writing and visual arts, leading to an interest in the power of spaces.

The project is about how spaces for theatre and live art work, understood as materials, architecture, as well as social, economical and political structures. It looks for possibilities and consequences in modernistic, classical and other more nomadic venues, to say something about what a space does to how and what we produce and present, and how it communicates.

To do this I give the main role in my research play to the space itself, and present new spaces in different art forms. I will not perform in, but with space and architecture, and deal with processes, dysfunctionality and risk in a chain of discursive theatre machines and mobile sculptures.

The word automat is Greek for something that moves itself. It’s used on a machine that automatically dispenses goods when money is inserted, and it describes the way our brains categorize and simplify complexity. My institution critic is not at all new, but in theatre it never really happened, except for a few. To be big or small, district or central implies if you’re top or bottom, sexy or sad, but says little about quality. In Norway the institutions grow and ‘professionalize’ in big administrations and signal buildings, perhaps turning inwards towards it’s own language and preunderstandings, and away from both the audience and the art? Being outside the institution is a true precarious practice, and often means to make things that almost no one sees, and in times where visibility is crucial, – maybe with the consequence that Art try to fit the institution, and not itself.

NTA’s early history from puppetry and German Figurentheater provide me with marionettes as well as object oriented theory, closely related to performance- and installation art, and to the concepts of the historical avant-gardes’ art figures, über-marionettes, manikins, robots and automats, often from critical and popular forms as Commedia dell’ Arte. The research refers among others to works by Heiner Goebbels, Oskar Schlemmer and Charlie Kaufman, artists who make works without the actor, and where ‘The thing is the thing’ (Goebbels).

 

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