19 July – 07 August 2020
/ research residency and co-production residency for
The Valeska Gert Films: Naked Dances
Acziun Susch is proudly supporting choreographer Eszter Salamon in her new project that she will inaugurate with a residency at Museum Susch. Within her stay she intends to the work on the first film Naked Dance #1 of the series of works/ video installation The Valeska Gert Films: Naked Dances.
The project is inspired by an anecdote from Valeska Gert’s autobiography, Ich bin eine Hexe: Kaleidoskop meines Lebens (I am a witch. A Kaleidoscope of my Life). In it, Gert states that she has never been naked on stage but describes an exceptional situation in which she performed her own dances naked for her former lover, a one-armed and one-legged composer, done as a counterpart to the piano music he composed for her.
That anecdote is the starting point for a series of choreographic films to be recorded in different museums and theatres. They will either be places where Valeska Gert performed or places where Eszter Salamon have presented the works forming her cycle The Valeska Gert Monuments, as well as places that have a connection to Gert’s life and work.
The idea behind this series of work is the desire to revive Gert’s love of provocation and the grotesque as well as her interest in the materiality of the body. The film will present a figure inhabiting museums and theatres (empty of other human presence). These museums and theatres are where art history is historically constructed – a history that has sidelined Gert’s work, making the work she created before, during, and after the Second World War invisible for decades.
As a female Jewish artist, Valeska Gert endured Nazi and postwar Germany. Being unable to present her work in public theatres, she had to establish cabarets herself. One of these was Valeska und ihr Küchenpersonal (Valeska and her Kitchen Staff) that operated between 1948 and 1950 in Zurich, where Gert lived after returning from exile, before moving back to Berlin. With its strong curatorial emphasis of presenting works by female artists (and in a dialogue with work of Evelyne Axell) filming this work at Muzeum Susch will be a relevant historical context for this project.
The film shot at Museum Susch will be premiered within Berlin Art Week in September 2020.
Eszter Salamon is an artist, choreographer, and performer. She lives and works between Berlin and Paris. In January 2020, she started a Ph.D. research fellowship at the National Academy of the Arts, KHiO, in Oslo. She is the laureate of the Evens Art Prize 2019.
Salamon uses choreography as an activating and organizing agency between various media such as image, sound, music, text, voice, bodily movement, and actions. Her works evolve through various formats and aesthetics, methodologies and poetics, and put to work a wide spectrum of expressions.
Since 2001 she has created numerous solos and larger scale works that have been presented in performing arts venues and festivals internationally. She is also frequently invited to present her work in museums, including Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid (ES), MoMA (USA), Fondation Cartier (FR), Serralves Foundation (PT), Museum der Moderne Salzburg (AT), Akademie der Künste Berlin (DE), KINDL (DE), mumok (AT). Her exhibition Eszter Salamon 1949 was presented in 2014 at Jeu de Paume (F) as part of Satellite curated by Nataša Petrešin-Bachelez.