among things


Performancefilm, Güterhalle Ottersberg // Spedition e.V., Bremen

„The philosophical project is to think slowly an idea that runs fast through modern heads: the idea of matter as passive stuff, as raw, brute, or inert. This habit of parsing the world into dull matter (it, things) and vibrant life (us, beings) is a ‚partition of the sensible,“ to use Jacques Ranciere’s phrase.“(Jane Bennett – Vibrant Matter. A Political Ecology of Things.)

The traditional striving for illusionary happiness in the form of total autonomy and limitless possibilities always needs the foundation of unrestricted ability to act, an „absolute becoming a subject“ of an individual. Effects of this are often objectifications of other things or people. Hierarchies and unbalanced power relations arise and keep subject as well as object on their determined positions. Hito Steyerl describes these tendencies in her text „A thing like you and me“ and calls for the antihero who can resist the traditional striving for the of becoming a subject in our society.
How can we enter into an emphatic and conversational attitude in order to meet a thing at eye level? Can intimacy with a thing be established?
Will it become important socio-politically to free ourselves as individuals more and more from the absolute subject position?
We have set out to question the subject-object relationship performatively and to put the boundaries between things and people to the test. In our research we encountered methods to mingle with things, to get closer to them or even to learn from them.                                                                                                                                         

In the performance film ‚among things‘ things are approached and recognized: Everything is material and assemblages* are omnipresent. Symbioses between human and non-human performers tell of the entanglements of a posthuman future. ‚among things‘ was created in May 2021 in a research in the goods hall of Ottersberg station.

*Assemblage: An arrangement, accumulation of actors (e.g. things, people, etc.) that work together and become capable of acting together.

Concept & Choreography: Toni Ehrhardt & Katharina Greeven
Performance: Esther Adam, Nicolas Bahr, Laura Barrett, Katharina Greeven & Toni Ehrhardt
Dramaturgy: Maximilian Mandery // Film: Sebastian Heidelberger // Production assistance: Lala Cifuentes
Supported by: Karin and Uwe Hollweg Foundation // Kulturstiftung Flecken Ottersberg // Senator for Culture Bremen

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