Christian Falsnaes

Works for Live Art Danmark
2011 Performance Lecture, Samtalekøkkenet
2013 “Fulfilling Your Expectations”, Hitparaden 1
2014 “Existing Things (2010)” at Samtalekøkken/Madhouse Helsinki
2014 “Now and Then” video performance for Now and Again
2019/21 “Surface Memory” as part of Playing Up

Performance Lecture
For our Samtalekøkken, Christian improvised a performance lecture about two of his own performances, which he presented on video. The first performance, a collaboration with the Zurich based Danish artist Søren Berner, was called “First Person”.  The performers lead small groups of audience through an abandoned building and confront them close up with a wild mix of text, physical action and video projection. The audience, as often in Christian’s work, is constantly addressed personally and activated to participate in the action. The overwhelming effect is intended.

The second video was of the performance “There and Back”, in which Christian invites a large group of people into a gallery setting, and gradually, by instructing small groups of people to perform certain acts for the rest of the audience, and by performing outrageous acts himself, creates a transition from reluctance and awkwardness to one of community and partying. The presentation of the videos is followed by an audience discussion, all documented in the video below.

Fulfilling Your Expectations
In his contribution to Hitparaden 1, Christians played with the expectations audiences might have in a performance and attempted to fulfil all of them them. Live-performance, philosophy and music merged to create an absurd entertainment show. The artist gives all and shows all to fulfil your every desire.

All photos: Peter Lind

Of all joys, the joy of expectation is indeed the biggest.

Existing Things (2010)
Existing things sheds an amusing light on the relation of live performance and painting by instructing the audience to use the performer’s hair as a paint brush to create a large scale abstract painting. For the version presented by Samtalekøkkenet at Mad House festival in Helsinki he used the Berlin based dancer Kareth Schaffer as a ghost performer.

Photo: Gert van der Pumperlei

Photo: Gert van der Pumperlei

Now and Then
Christian contributed the video “Now and Then” to our performance for video series Now and Again. Here, he uses his signature strategies of audience manipulation in a made for video setting. Instead of playing with a live audience, he appears as a captivating, hypnotising figure who seduces the viewers of the video to participate in a performance. Watching the video, we wonder: Do others really engage, do they really do the things he asks of us? In the end of “Now and Then” the viewer is asked to find the next viewer-performer to engage with the video, like a new cult member sent out into the world as a missionary to spread their master’s teachings.

Video still from Now and Then

Video still from “Now and Then”.

Tobias Linnemann Ewe wrote this article in Danish about “Now and Then” on the Blog of Fotografisk Center.

Surface Memory for Playing Up
In 2019 (Copenhagen Contemporary) and 2021 (Nordens Hus Faroe Islands) audiences were invited to re-create Christian’s performance “Surface Memory” from 2009 as a part and create their own original painting and a graffiti print of it in our version of Playing Up.

About the Artist
Christian Falsnaes (1980) began working as a painter after studying for a degree in philosophy. Today he is mainly concerned with the participatory strategies of performance. His works are dominated by the question what it means to be a rational, perceptive human being; a human being asking himself about his attitude towards property, power, manipulation and responsibility.

Christian Falsnaes was active in the graffiti, and squatting scene before he began his studies at the Academy of fine Arts in Vienna. He works to break down the barriers between high culture and popular culture, between visual art, film, music and literature and to create a new language in between.

Find more information and plenty of video works on Christian’s website.

Om liveart_dk was founded in 2004 in Copenhagen to promote the discussion, documentation and development of live art in Denmark. The organisation is equally inspired by the imaginative and entertaining English Live Art tradition as by the theoretical and political German theatre tradition. We have organised 10 large international festivals of Live Art for kids and adults since 2004, and over 40 discussion events, books, video series, symposia and more in the field of live art, performance art, art criticism and documentation. We collaborate with theatres, music venues, art museums and festivals in Denmark and internationally.