Frank Homeyer and Nadège Grebmeier Forget
“I consider what the final image will be, and then I think ‘how do I get there, obtain that look’?” Nadège Grebmeier Forget, Performer Stammtisch, May 6th 2013
Inside a small empty shop space in a residential area of Berlin, a woman wearing stilettos kneels on all fours atop a pale green table. Her long hair is tousled with cake, ice cream and soil, her stockings are ripped at the front and stuffed with flowers. The tiled floor below the table is soiled with the wet entrails of a large watermelon, which now lies on the table in front of her, filled with the root structure and earth of the flowers, and topped with whipped cream. From behind, the image is as unsettling as it is compelling. Two large, creamy celebration cakes are stuffed inside the woman’s stockings, creating the image of a huge, bulging bum. Inside the crack between the cakes, and dripping down the inside of her legs, is the sticky, red syrup from a whole jar of strawberries. The final detail of the whole scene (the ‘cherry on top’) is six lit sparklers sticking out of the bum cakes.
The surrounding crowd totals around 35 people in the small space, and the Turkish locals are even standing at the window, taking in this vivid image from behind glass. Later on we wonder how they will describe what they saw to their friends.
This describes the last moments of a performance entitled ‘Just looking’ by the Canadian artist Nadège Grebmeier Forget at ‘NeuHoch’, Performer Stammtisch‘s temporary Micro-Eventspace in Berlin on 6th May 2013.
The event began with a powerful performance by the visual artist Frank Homeyer entitled ‘am Rande einer Gletscherspalte-siehe da’ in which the artist explored memories of childhood. Homeyer’s performance was as stark and masculine as Grebmeier Forget’s was sensual and feminine. His image included a black pinkie finger, a pile of shredded blue paper, a block of ice cream and a small glass spray bottle filled with a powerful aroma which he used to cleanse the space.
Both artists work with food, and with our relationship to eating in a very different way. The two performances transitioned without break, and with an overlap and slight interaction between the artists. This moment of transition gathered its own tension and gave new layers of meaning to both performances. In Grebmeier Forget’s statement she describes her focus as being “on beauty, consumership and the overwhelming burden of representation and social well being created by Americanized societies.”
When asked about the black pinkie finger, Homeyer explained that the sticky black, oil like substance is in fact sugar, and that sucking the sugar from his finger refers to a childhood memory.
“It is important to me to include autobiographical references and to leave an opening for chance and improvisation in the process.” Frank Homeyer, Artist statement 2013
The artist discussion which followed the performances, and hearing the thoughts of other viewers was a real pleasure. With the kind permission of the artists, viewers, and Performer Stammtisch, we post a recording of this discussion below.
“The watermelon… it’s so much like having a baby. It’s really heavy, and there’s lots of smell, and it is just so wet. You were just so wet.” Margaret Dragu, speaking at Performer Stammtisch, May 6th 2013