Ernesto Pujol: “Systems of Weight”
Community-centered performance with Lars Barlag, Manila Bartnik, Suse Bohse, Alicia Carmen Calderon, Syelle Gerken-Neumann, Silke Grob, Renate Hansen, Gudrun Harmsen, Kerstin Hehmann, Beate Lechler, Stefan Leer, Karin Mackey, Francisca Markus, Petra Menke, Dagmar von Kathen, Hiltrud Schäfer, Christel Schulte, Cornelia Sterz und Monika Witte
Performance: June 4-5th 2016
Exhibition and Workshops: June 7-19th 2016
Ernesto Pujol: “Systems of Weight”
The New York based performance artist Ernesto Pujol has developed a new, site-specific, community-centered performance for the Kunsthalle Osnabrück: “Systems of Weight”. Through the communal experience of silent walking, this social choreographer attempts to make the lightness and heaviness of both the past and things passed more immediate and experienceable. Pujol disposes of international experience in collaborative, artistic practices and works with experts from a wide variety of disciplines. After four years of living as a silent monk, Pujol left the church and worked as a social worker while simultaneously attending art school.
For Ernesto Pujol, “site-specific” means the opening of a place’s documented, not documented and un-documentable histories—its secrets, its inscribed experiences of violence, pain, and suffering, but also the pursuit of its energies for psychological healing and existential pleasure. In preparation for the project in Osnabrück, he visited numerous sites of historical significance in the area, read historic literature, and completed an opinion survey with the area’s residents. He asked questions such as: What expresses the weight of history? How is this weight embodied? Does anything need to be healed here? What would happen if, in this former church, this site of cross-carrying, Dominican priests, one would, in silence, embody and release these and additional questions? Pujol’s community-based performances can be equated with a group portrait: they are spiritual, psychological, temporary mausoleums in themselves, memorials in movement.
For the Kunsthalle Osnabrück, Ernesto Pujol is planning a continuous, two-day long performance entitled Systems of Weight. It will begin at sunrise on the morning of Saturday, June 4th 2016 and continue without interruption until sunset the following day, Sunday June 5th 2016.
A number of Osnabrück’s residents will circulate within the choir and nave of the Kunsthalle (the building itself being a former church); consciously embodying both vulnerability and a state of not knowing, following questions of the past and of revision, but also questions of revised life models for the future. Flowing sand, changing light, and the exchange of tired participants will serve as the changing inner structures of the performance. The public will enter and exit the space silently.
The Kunsthalle is dedicated to Ernesto Pujol for two weeks following the weekend performance. Visitors will have the opportunity follow vestiges from the performance in individual, participative ways.
The Kunsthalle’s annual program is realized in collaboration with the Freunden der Kunsthalle Osnabrück e.V. and is supported by the Ministry of Science and Culture of the State of Lower Saxony.
Ernesto Pujol’s project is realized through a research network for collaborative artistic practices known as CAPP Collaborative Art Parntership Programme, to which the Kunsthalle Osnabrück has belonged since 2014. Additional partners of CAPP are Agora (Berlin), Create Ireland (Dublin) Hablar en Arte (Madrid), Heart of Glass (Liverpool), LADA Life Art Development Agency (London), Ludwig Museum (Budapest), M-Cult (Helsinki), and the Tate Liverpool. CAPP is supported from 2014 to 2018 by the EU Creative Europe Programme.