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Archive Exhibition Performance 

Collaboration with the artist Patricia Bach | 2019

Project Space Römerstraße gallery (Stuttgart, Germany), Engaging with History Festival

with the support of Akademie Schloss Solitude

performative exhibition patrizia bach savyon shenhar
patrizia bach savyon shenhar performative exhibition

Patrizia Bach is an artist who lives and works between Berlin and Istanbul. She has been collecting and managing an archive of amateur photos since 2001. She collects the photos from markets, from houses of the deceased people without heirs, from collectors and more. This is in an attempt to learn about history through everyday life, through people and their stories, and not through history books. This approach establishes the photographers and the photographed people as partners in the writing of history. Furthermore, through studying history in this way, it is also possible to reflect on to the present. Patricia Bach has a body of various works with the archive, including the performative exhibition with Savyon.

In their collaboration, they focused on one package of images with a clear score: For each image they dedicated up to 5 minutes during which Savyon reacts to the image with her body into a short performative act, while at the same time Bach reacts to Savyon's movement, voice and action by drawing. This score takes place at the gallery space, in front of audience, as a performative exhibition. Each session lasts 3 hours. The physical reaction is not an illustration of what is happening in the picture, nor an interpretation, but something of a more abstract order. Savyon connects to the “Ruach” of the image. “Ruach” in Hebrew means spirit, and it also means ghost and wind and humanities. An act that sometimes seems to be psychic mediumship, in the sense that Savyon gives her body and voice as a channel to the spirits in the picture. Finally, the drawings alongside the photographs are displayed in the space as an exhibition.

The project was exhibited at the Project Space Römerstraße gallery (Stuttgart, Germany) as part of the Engaging with History Festival in 2019 with the support of Akademie Schloss Solitude. This was actually the launch of the project. The artists planned to trace the sites in the package of photos around the world, to hold more and more performative exhibitions in the same locations in the photos. They also planned to exhibit in Israel. These plans have been canceled due to the Corona pandemic.

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