Ronja Römmelt with Sara Koller in collaboration with Jibek Birikova, Olcha Schetinina, Roman Khuzin and Chagaldak Zamirbekov
(Switzerland and Kyrgyzstan)
Zwischenräume is a participatory performance by Swiss artist Ronja Römmelt in partnership with Sara Koller and local performers. It is based on a performative process of physical and mental encounters that test the different dynamics of public urban spaces.
Barely perceptible to the eye, interpersonal space can be experienced all the more intensely in our own bodies. In this respect, the performance explores the dynamics of attraction and rejection while making our own prejudices and projections, with which we approach each other, a tangible experience. Thus, Zwischenräume raises awareness of our own individual sense of proximity and distance.
Nowadays our environment is polluted not only with waste and all kinds of chemical poisons but also with information and toxic interactions with other people. Often we are faced with invasion of our personal space whether it is a boorish comment on social networks or unsolicited advice from an acquaintance. This aggressive communication environment requires some skills of filtering consumed information and human interaction for one’s sake.
Based on a performative score, in each case one performer and one passer-by come together. Together they explore the physical and psychological space that arises between them: once the rules of the performance have been explained, the two participants move toward or away from each other, maintaining constant eye contact. When they are finally standing opposite each other at a distance of a cubit's length, their encounter is concluded. The performance reveals its participative processes and the artist's clearly delineated score. In this way, a continuously growing network of new, unexpected encounters and gazes develops, which allows the passers-by to pause and participate in the performance.
Ronja Römmelt is a Dance Science, Performance and Video Artist. She is known for her transdisciplinary approach including social science and choreographic methods, rehearsing, performing and producing in art and public spaces and her unmistakable aesthetic that reminds to a rehearsal stage in a theater. Römmelt grew up in Basel, Switzerland and is currently based in Paris, France.
Sara Koller is a performance artist and meteorologist living in Bern, Switzerland. In her performative works, she deals with the search for intimacy and authenticity as a motor for more solidarity and empathy in society. She sees herself as a political artist and moves with unobtrusive commitment for a dignified coexistence in the field of political tension.