BBB Johannes Deimling
It won’t always grow back
Collaborating with his former student Lotte Kaiser he performed on a set of stairs situated in an unusual position in the corner of one of the museum’s galleries. Brightly colored materials, including yellow gift wrapping paper, white paper stars and blue paper napkins, were displayed and dispersed across the stairs. All actions were carried out in a never changing moderate tempo and in perfect unison. The artists tie straw around their feet and walk a while in their straw shoes, tie the paper stars around their heads and throw glittering confetti. A purely visual, sensual experience, for which, Johannes claims, as for all of his performances, no logical explanation canbe given, except, “perhaps, in poetry only”.
This group performance was the result of a week long workshop Johannes held with students of Copenhagen International School. In a large gallery of the Arken museum’s building they carry around large letters cut out of brown cardboard, until they finally line up in a row to spell the word “Freedom”. Parts of the performance can be seen on the above video starting around minute 26.
One day I’ll make the onion cry
We invited Johannes back again to perform at Live Art for Kids 2019 in Aalborg. He delivered an abstract visual performances from his series “One day I’ll make the onion cry”. It followed his dictum that “this visual process has no purpose, deeper meaning or direction where we ought to find understanding. But this simple, elemental color union is able to trigger thousands of topics, stories, themes and concepts without actually mentioning them.” Dressed all in white and wearing white makeup on his face, the artist balanced colored feathers on long white sticks, broke some plates, set plants in earth and in his mouth, and mounted a cardboard house on his head. Carrying the house he walked out of the museum where he lit it on fire.
About the Artist
To present complex contents, situations and moments in simple and elementary ways is a signature of the art of BBB Johannes Deimling. He sometimes uses the term ,Performance Art Povera’ to describe his performative works. The meeting of a reduction to the essentials or the elementary with the consideration of the audience, as an extension of what is shown, justifies his artistic position. These are the intersections that inspire and provoke his approaches to the perception of aesthetics, concept and content of his work. His ‘acted images [agierte Bilder]’ are initially created purely visual, but gradually access all senses to create a holistic view on the banalities of everyday life with all its changes.
For more then 15 years BBB Johannes Deimling has invested much of his artistic research into the teaching and learning of performative processes. In 2008 he founded the independent educational and artistic project PAS performance art studies, which holds festivals, studies and events on performance globally. From 2012 to 2016 he held the position of associate professor for performance art at NTA – Norwegian Theatre Academy at the Østfold University College.