German Verena Stenke and Venetian born Andrea Pagnes have been working together since 2006 as VestAndPage. For over a decade, they have been exploring performance art as a phenomena through their collaborative creative practice, as well as through theoretical artistic research and curatorial projects. Their work encompasses the production of live performance cycles, collective performance operas, performance-based films, visuals, theoretical and creative writings, and temporary artistic community projects.
Following their UK premiere screening of their award-winning film Plantain at SPILL Festival of Performance in Ipswich, Stenke and Pagnes’ presentation at LADA will introduce their contextual art practice, which is psycho-geographically conceived in response to social situations, natural surroundings, archeological sites and historical architectures. They will share how they artistically and bodily approach themes such as the sublimation of pain and suffering, risk-taking, fragility, trust in change, union, endurance and failure of the individual and the collective through a ‘Poetics of Relations’. Introducing their backgrounds, among others in Social Theatre, they outline how the eradication of the innermost blocks of the performer for them is prior to any re-presentation of skills. Their urgency is to dissect the private, social and political spheres to merge from reality poetic elements.
VestAndPage will also talk about the ways in which their artistic practice is expanding towards temporary artistic community projects, including how their curated Live Art projects, such as the Venice International Performance Art Week, as well as their pedagogical methodology in classes and workshops, integrate into their overall vision of the emergency of art making and community building.
For over a decade, VestAndPage have produced and presented their work and research worldwide in a variety of venues and sites. Their performance-based film trilogy sin∞fin has been produced in Chilean Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego, India, Kashmir and Antarctica. Their recent feature-length performance film Plantain (winner of the Best Film Award at the Berlin Independent Film Festival) was realised on a month-long performance walk through Northern Germany, Poland and Russia. Their performance cycles have been developed in North and South America, Asia and Europe. Currently they are working on the production of complex collective performance operas in collaboration with other artists. VestAndPage's writings have been translated into various languages and extensively published in books and magazines of contemporary art, as well as through their own publishing house VestAndPage press. Their lectures, workshops and classes have been presented in institutions and organisations worldwide. They are the initiators and independent curatorial force behind projects such as the Venice International Performance Art Week, among others.