ALLERLEIRAUH, 13 min, 2007

Allerleirauh, 2007 from Viktoria Tremmel on Vimeo.

Der Ort der Aufnahme: Ein steriler Innenraum, der keine konkreten Rückschlüsse auf seine Funktion zulässt.
Eine junge Frau, in Pelzmantel - darunter mehrere Schichten Kleider - sitzt regungslos auf einem Stuhl, die Hände mit der Innenseite nach oben auf den Oberschenkeln. Die statischen Aufnahmen und der reduzierte Bildraum des Hochformats lassen sie ikonenhaft erscheinen. Die Künstlerin agiert im Hintergrund. Schicht um Schicht schneidet sie mit einer Schere abwechselnd die Ärmel und die Hosenbeine auf, das Geräusch der Schere begleitet die Aktion. Im Verlauf der Aktion erstarrt die Frau zusehends. Die Kleiderschichten werden bis auf die bloße Haut aufgeschnitten, um die Spuren von Blessuren an den Beinen und Armen offenzulegen. Nachdem die Kleider gelöst sind, verlässt die Künstlerin den Raum, kurz darauf verschwindet auch die junge Frau in loser Kleidung.
Der Titel „Allerleirauh“ ist dem Märchen der Brüder Grimm entnommen. In diesem verlaufen die verschiedenen Stadien der Identitätsfindung als Übergangsriten, in denen die Kleidung und die Maske eine unmittelbar identitätsstiftende Funktion übernehmen. Der Habitus ist eng verwoben mit den unterschiedlichen Bewusstseins- zuständen. Mit zunehmender Bewusstwerdung der eigenen Verhaltensweisen entwickelt Allerleirauh im Märchen eine differenzierte Wahrnehmung möglicher Ausdrucksmedien, bleibt jedoch dem Eroberungsmythos verhaftet. In der Aktion „Allerleirauh“ basiert die Theatralisierung von Körper, Raum, Zeit und Ton auf einer rigorosen Abstraktion. Durch die Offenlegung der Symptome als Voraussetzung eines möglichen Heilungsprozesses befreit sich die Kunst-Aktion von der patriarchalen Erlöser-Konstruktion des Märchens.
(Nicola Hirner)

ALLERLEIRAUH, 13 min, 2007
A young woman dressed in a fur coat and trousers sits on a chair in a bare room that offers no clues as to its concrete location. An acoustic signal that only sounds once does not yet indicate that this may be one of the “completely different spaces” described by Foucault, those “heterotopian spaces” which are real places beyond all real places, and to which belong, among others, “gardens, graveyards, mad houses, brothels, prisons and the villages of the club mediteranée”. The sitting woman is captured frontally by the static camera. She gets ready for the performance by placing both arms, insides up, on her thighs. The artist enters the frame and starts to carefully cut up a sleeve of the fur coat with a pair of scissors. As trouser legs and sleeves are being cut up alternately, we hear the insistent sound of the scissors. The immobile camera, the calm pose of the protagonist and the vertical format of the frame which reduces the surroundings to a minimum all combine to produce an impression of stasis. The cinematic principles of linking up images invade the theatrical realm of photography. The focus is exclusively on the action itself and on the “human body as the main protagonist of all utopias”, while the viewer is simultaneously involved and kept at a distance. The artist, her back always to the camera, keeps a “low profile”. To talk as little as possible; to remain in the same sitting position – agreements such as these define the setting. The neutralisation of effects thus achieved reminds one of therapeutic scenarios rather than clinical test arrangements, since the protagonists act and react individually within the narrow frame of possibilities open to them, and the artist forgoes all judgment. There is a certain familiarity conveyed both by gestures and facial expressions, and in the habitus, too, there is an air of the everyday. Obviously, this is a self-experiment, in which the layers of fabric are cut open to the very skin so as to reveal the traces of self-inflicted wounds on arms and legs. In the course of the action the woman turns increasingly rigid; movements of the head are replaced by movements of the eyes. The curiosity and attentiveness which were there at the beginning are superseded by a lethargic inwardness when the pantyhose, which can be compared to a second skin, is cut up.
After all the clothes have been peeled away from the limbs, the artist leaves the frame. Self-absorbed, the wounded woman briefly hesitates before she gets up and leaves in her loose garments.
The title “Allerleirauh” is taken from a fairy tale by the brothers Grimm. One night the king’s daughter Allerleirauh (All-kinds-of-fur) flees into the woods to escape from the planned wedding with her father, who sees in her a perfect likeness of his late wife. Dressed in a fur coat – “Rauhwerk” is an archaic word for an animal’s hide or fur – her face blackened with soot, the gorgeous wedding dresses packed into a nutshell, she spends the night in a tree, until at sunrise hunters from another king’s realm track her down and take her back to the castle. She lives in a stable and for a while has to do humble chores, until three royal feasts give her the opportunity to acquire a new self-confidence. At the first ball she wears her sun dress, for the next ball she puts on her moon dress and at the third ball she appears in her star dress; the king dances with her. By using a trick he uncovers the true identity of the girl, who wanted to be found out anyway, which is why she put a ring, a spinning-wheel and a reel into the soup she has cooked for him. In the end the “rough little animal” becomes queen.
The different stages of finding her identity are dramatized in the fairy tale as rites of passage in which clothes and masks serve the concrete purpose of acquiring a sense of herself. The clothes are less an expression of this identity than that they are closely associated with the counter worlds and different states of consciousness through which Allerleirauh passes. As her awareness of her own patterns of behaviour increases, she develops a differentiated perception of means of expression and identity. Compared to the fairy tale, the performance “Allerleirauh” shows little narrative structure. A rigorous abstraction controls the spatial, temporal, bodily and theatrical textures, at the same time as apparently accidental moments are included. The reference to the fairy tale is only through the title, while the action itself takes place in a strictly performative space. Sculptural techniques which are deployed in combination with theatrical elements develop a dynamic of their own, which shows in minimal gestures and minimal changes of expression. Radicalization is achieved through the laying bare of the cuts in the skin, which means that the protagonist and those involved are thrown back on their own selves. “Yet maybe we have to go beneath the clothes and to the very skin in order to realize that in some borderline cases the body directs its utopian abilities against itself by introducing religious space and sacred space, the whole space of the other world, the whole space of the counter world into the space that should actually be reserved for itself. This would imply that the body in its materiality and fleshliness is the product of its own phantasmata, as it were. Thus, the dancer’s body stretches over a space with regard to which the difference between interior and exterior collapses. Similarly with people in a state of intoxication or people possessed, whose body becomes a hell, or stigmatized people, whose body is agony, deliverance, salvation – a bloody paradise.”
As for content, here, too, the action breaks with the linear readability of the fairy tale’s patriarchal construction, and it does so by opening up polyvalent possibilities instead of inviting us to draw biographical conclusions. Comparable to the removal of a medicinal bandage, the intervention is meant to start a process of healing. The procedural action goes beyond the ending we actually see, in that the “body as the protagonist of all utopias” (Foucault) is released into an imaginary space in which the woman can develop new utopian forms, i.e. ones that are not directed against herself. When she leaves the set in a dress that resembles a dancer’s costume, her energetic movements suggest that now there exist new possibilities of agitation.