Barbara Kowa

I believe art is the most important tool to develop consciousness and awareness, both for our individual being and body, as we well as for the united human organism and its body: planet earth.
The suppression of the sexual body and especially the female one, is in analogy to the suppression of flora and fauna. 
Art should reflect on – and interact with – the time and space of its creation. In times of destructive materialism and needless production, the plain process is the centre of my work.
Questioning things is my main artistic practise, avoiding the activist’s trap of knowing how things have to change while simplifying separations into target and victim, abused and suppressor, black and white, really only deepen each other’s misunderstanding.
I try to create a situation that could transform myself and transcend into experiences that change my inner being. The process can be called: discovering who we are, in relation to others, our environment and all beings, in relation to time and space.
To me, performance art is all about the inner experience of the artist merging with the energy of the audience. It is important to me to include the reality of the observer, moment, and setting.
Some of my work is site-specific, project-based or durational and finds its audience by coincidence, or later in the form of video-works and movies.
For instance the artistic research project ONEAN(D)OTHER that started in 2008 in West Africa, with the question of what can be communicated artistically, amongst people of different language, religion and social conditioning. With the video material I recorded there, I made the movie DREAMING MALI and with the income from selling the DVDs, I support a project that builds greenhouses in West Africa. I believe in the possibility of a social sculpture.
I work in performance-cycles, as the friction between the momentary and the continuous fascinates me.
The performance-cycle UNTIL DEATH DO US PART deals with our existential dependencies, questioning what we need for our incorporation here on earth in 7 chapters: nature, heart, water, seeds and eggs, blood and breath, skin and  than brain, the final chapter, brought the cycle to a close after a dozen years in Berlin with a 42-day performance this january/february

Coming from the theatre, I explore ensemble work in new ways, engaging the audience in co-creative experiences.
I see this non-hierarchical social structure of performance theatre as a model to explore the possibilities of non-hierarchical civilisation.
Today we are facing the human struggle with the contradiction between monotheistic belief systems in a world of multiple perspectives. This leads us to a constant separation from the concepts that affect our thinking and experiences in our everyday life, and it leads to a separation of spiritual and profane life.
If there is only one divine truth and l am not part of it, it must be in contradiction to everyday life.Then it must be totally disconnected from us and out of our reach. But if I am part of it, others must be part of it too. In fact, everything must be part of it, if there is only one.
The human struggle of our days is in the end a fight with the contradiction within this paradox: the abuse of nature, imbalanced social structures, religious and territorial fights all emerge from this confusion.
The conclusion lays in the experienced `unity of multiple perspectives´ which can never be understood theoretically, as a thought and the subject of a thought is already a duality. It can only be experienced with the sum total of our being: our combined physical, mental and emotional abilities. So I try to trigger a multidimensional, interactive and integrating piece of art, that is,a unity of artist and audience in a continuous flow.This is what I try to create with my participative and co-creative performance theater.

And during other durational and more meditative works I realized that nothing has to be done at all to be present together: when we are present, we are together naturally. because we are one. No matter where we are.

 

BARBARA KOWA

Soldinerstrasse 39 13359 Berlin

+49/1764887843

kowa@barbarakowa.de                                                                                 www.barbarakowa.de

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