Esther Ferrer

Works for Live Art Danmark
2022 “Performance Art Theory and Practice” and artist’s talk at Friisland Live.

Performance Art Theory and Practice
We felt honored when Esther Ferrer was one of two true legends of European performance art who followed our invitation to perform at our project space Friisland in March 2022 (the other one was Boris Nieslony). In both her performance and a lecture about her work, Esther took us on fascinating journeys through her long and illustruous career as a performer and thinker of performance art. She presented examples of solo performances as well as large scale sound works, like when she conducted a large group of people laughing, coughing and making other everyday sounds. But most fascinating where the parts when she got up from her desk to demonstrate.

Below are the videos of both of her contributions.

The sound quality of the video of her performance is regretably not very good, but it’s absolutely worthwhile to watch her physically demonstrating the wisdom gathered in a body during a long life of performing.

Artist’s Talk
The highlight of her artist’s talk are short excerpts from a video called “Footsteps, space and sounds”, in which she measures a small studio space with the length of her steps. She recorded the same video twince, first in 1975, and once again in 2013. To witness the metamorphosis of her body and the development of consumer video technique in this work leaves a deep impression. This part begins at min. 23.40 in the video below.

About the Artist
Esther Ferrer was born in San Sebastián (Spain) in 1937. She is best known for her performances, which have been her principal form of artistic expression since 1965, both as a soloist and as a member of the group ZAJ, until its dissolution in 1996. Her work has always been oriented to ephemeral artistic action rather than to permanent artistic production. She created, in collaboration with the painter José Antonio Sistiaga the first “Workshop for Free Expression,” in the 60s, an activity that was to inspire other similar groups in Spain.

Beginning in the 70s, she has also been quite active in the plastic arts: reworked photographs, installations, canvases and constructions based on the prime number series, Pi and so forth. Her work is a very particular kind of minimalism, which she sometimes terms “rigorous absurdity”.

Esther Ferrer has performed throughout Europe (Yugoslavia, Poland, Germany, Italy, France, Switzerland, Belgium, Hungry, Holland, Denmark, Norway, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Cheek Republic, Spain etc.), as well as in Cuba,  México, the United States, Mexico, Japan, Thailand and Korea, Palestine …

Her website can be found here.

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.