Herma Auguste Wittstock Performance Art

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Swing Low

2004 / 6 hours / live performance / MARTa, Herford, DE

In “Swing Low” I put my body into the architecture of the Marta building which is still under construction.

I wear a safety harness like the ones used in mountaineering. A rope runs over a steel girder on top of the building’s structure. I am hanging from one side of the rope, on the other side is an iron pipe the same weight as my weight. I keep my balance with the pipe.

When I first saw the unfinished Marta building, I thought about hanging from the highest point, like an artist in a circus tent. Swinging free like a bird with a little bit of danger. I want to show the combination of security and balance, freedom and concentration.

I like to work with the unfinished material, the iron-carrier carries me on one side, on the other side it only carries me when I understand my weight. I like the image that the public doesn’t see me at once when they enter the exhibition space.

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Photos/Videos: Carola Schmidt