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Andrea Knobloch

Andrea Knobloch lives and works in Düsseldorf
Contesting everyday culture – or more accurately the conditions of the social embedded in everyday configurations (architecture, interiors, product worlds, media worlds, urban space, etc) – forms the focal point of my artistic interest. Necessarily connected with this are the conditions and possibilities for intervening in these configurations as an artist – aware that this always also means intervening in the life-worlds of others.

My artistic approach is determined by filtering out functions and meanings and then using artistic means to propose altered versions and lines of action. The key thematic fields adapted in shifting constellations and formats are: urban development and planning, art in urban space, the city as landscape as well as the city as a natural surround. These aspects are bracketed together by the search for an action-based concept of the public sphere that reaches beyond a mere spatial-territorial definition, so as to counter the commoditised trimming of space and the social alternatives embedded in it.

Zurich on the Move
A Marionette Theatre with 10 Figures, 5 Acts and 4 Venues

The project Zurich on the Move looks at movement as a physical activity in space parallel to changes in the conditions of production since the beginning of the last century to the present day. The starting point are the reform projects initiated around 1900 when for the first time the positive health effects of gymnastics and dance were systematically researched. The vitality generated was seized on as a possible form of individual artistic expression, but this individuality was also subsumed under the synchronised masses marching in the same rhythm. These aspects are then tied into the motion economy and current trends in which a body pressed functionally into flexible working structures is committed to fitness and work outs.

One particular question is what potential for resistance and emancipation does a body have that moves freely and libertine in social space? Self-movement in the sense of a self-determined conduct and organisation of one’s own life is interpreted as a practice structuring social spaces, for the work on organising one’s own living space impacts on collectively used spaces. This work may be understood as a utopian practice woven into contemporary action, a practice that returns to and takes up the attempts to collectively realise individual freedom begun in the reform movement.

The format selected for realising the project Zurich on the Move is a marionette theatre. The protagonists of the culture of movement are presented as marionette figures moved by strings. They are set in relationship to developments they represent, both formally as well as in terms of the functionality of their movement. With one exception, the venues for the five acts draw on specific locations in Zurich which are tied historically to the gymnastic movement/expressive dance or specialize a cultural specific concept of movement.

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Project developement

For the marionette theatre Zurich on the Move a stage play in ?ve acts was developed by Tim Zulauf (dramaturge, Zurich) in dialogical exchange with Andrea Knobloch. In the coming months the stage still present in the Shedhalle were intended to be used for rehearsals. Once the rehearsals were ?nished, the marionette theatre was supposed to go on tour and visit places in Zurich where the protagonists (Sophie Taeuber, Suzanne Perrottet, Mary Wigman, Rudolf von Laban) once worked, for example the Cabaret Voltaire or the Applied Arts School (today the ZHDK), or spatialise developments of the gymnastics (movement) culture important for the play and project such as Oerliker Part or Monte Verità. The tour was planed for autumn 2008, giving performances at the named places and bringing the play to an interested public in urban space. A poster drawing by the artist already refers to the venues and the planned premiere. The available text booklets designed by her contain the preliminary ?nal version of the play as well as photographs and drafts of the ?gurine conceptions.

But to ensure that the premiere of Zurich on the Move can go ahead, the project needs further ?nancial support for direction, rehearsals, puppeteers and stage transport. Zurich on the Move is an artistic, research-oriented, collective project that works with the performative means of the marionette theatre. Conceived by a contemporary artist, the project explores emancipative movements, kinetics, spatial conceptions and urbanism, analyses the local space of Zurich and its 20th-century protagonists. In a cultural landscape oriented on separate branches, this transdisciplinary approach is not exactly conducive for raising the ?nancing necessary to realise the project. We hope that Zurich residents will soon be able to enjoy the premiere of Zurich on the Move, not least because Zurich on the Move was intended and conceived as a marionette theatre for the city of Zurich about Zurich protagonists in Zurich.


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