El arte de la performance: teoría y práctica
Esther Ferrer (*1937, Spain, France) was a member of the Spanish music and performance group ZAJ from 1967 until it dissolved in 1996. Similar to the Fluxus movement, ZAJ, which is one of Spain’s most innovative artists groups, also transformed everyday objects and actions into art. For more than forty years, Ferrer has been exploring the presence and transience of the body in (social) space in her minimalist and conceptual actions and performances. Her performances are generally designed as incomplete series which she picks up time and again, sometimes after decades, to explore the absurdity of life, which is caught between chaos and order. Together with Manolo Valdés, the Basque artist represented Spain at the Venice Biennale in 1999.
El arte de la performance: teoría y práctica (Performance Art: Theory and Practice) documents a performance in Odense, Denmark, about the theory and practice of performance art. Esther Ferrer sits behind a lectern, delivering a silent lecture. The only words we can hear are “performance art”. Silently gesticulating behind the lectern, she also includes previous performances, which the artist carries out and updates as her explanation progresses. Through her attitude, which is serious and absurd at the same time, Ferrer manipulates the tempo of the lecture. She introduces pauses between words, causing the audience to laugh and calling for a reflection on the temporary and spatial nature of the performance.
Performance: 2001, Odense, Denmark
Courtesy Esther Ferrer