The Berlin based artist duo Stoll & Wachall amazed with a stunning performance at the Moderne Galerie des Saarland Museums in Saarbrücken this weekend. Inside an enclosed garden space the two performers entered mystically in bestial shamanistic costumes, evoking associations from Nick Cave’s sound suits to Moondog’s street performances. (The composer Moondog drummed on Native American Medicine Drums on the streets of New York dressed in a Viking Helmet and a long gown in the nineteen-sixties.)
Stoll & Wachall are known for their performances, video and photo work, whereby they use body as sculpture and props as additional sculptural elements. Their interest in modern dance and minimal music is evident while watching their beautifully choreographed piece. The public watched the performance through floor to ceiling windows, which contributed to the awkward feeling of witnessing an ancient ritual in an anthropological diorama. The echo of our human tribal roots was mirrored back to us viewers, separated through a barrier of time and a modern civilization gone awry. Performance artists have explored ritual in tribal cultures since the beginning of this art-form in the nineteen seventies. Stoll & Wachall’s new piece additionally explores the museal context and as a viewer I can’t help but look at it with a post-colonial eye.
The sound was transmitted live through a microphone and anchored the public in the present. The performance duo achieved to captivate the public in absolute presence with their perfect balance of timing, movement and sound.