Who is in control of the puppet-body?
Would a disembodied human form be just another piece of useless object,
or does it actually hold a deeper meaning for us?
In this work, I want to blur the boundaries between human and artificial bodies.
The human body, that becomes no more than a mere puppet, is stripped in just its form in the aim to reach the liminal space between the physicality and the artificiality.
To create this work, I draw inspirations from puppets and robots and borrow elements from animation art, Japanese gardens and architecture.
Human Form is conceived as a series of 5 investigations that examine objects or entities, which can assume human form. The investigation starts off with the human body and extends to puppets, robots, corpses and incorporeal spirits or ghosts.
2016: Eis Fabrik Theater / Commedia Futura. Honnover, Germany
2015 : Dock 11 / Berlin, Germany
2014: Thespis / 9th International Monodrama Festival. Kiel, Germany (awarded with Thespis Public Award )
Resonanzkörper Festival / Senckenberg Museum. Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Fujairah International Monodrama Festival / Fujairah, United Arab Emirates
2013: Sophiensaele / 100 Grad Festival. Berlin, Germany
SESC Pompéia / São Paulo, Brasil
Muntada Festival (Opening performance) / National Theater Baghdad. Baghdad, Iraq
2012: Caixa Forum / Butoh Festival Barcelona. Barcelona, Spain
1) Human body and materiality
The first performance (1: human body and materiality) was performed by Minako in November 2011 (Museum Caxia Form in Barcelona, Spain). This forms are the base for the present performance.
“But puppets are more than dolls, for in them is the illusion of life. They are symbolic mirrors in which we are startled – and sometimes delighted – to see ourselves reflected.”
(Leslee Asch, curator of The Art of Contemporary Puppet Theater, 2010.)
2) Puppets and puppetry
The Japanese word for puppets is 人形 (ningy™), which literally translate to human 人 and form 形.
Puppets are essentially inanimate man-made objects that resemble human physical form and features. Due to their physical resemblance to human form, puppets are an obvious choice to include in a work that deals with human form.
In this work, I ask question about the idea of embodiment. In a conventional sense, puppets are the vessels through which we can project our own desires and fantasy.
They can embody what it means to be human and become ‘alive’. This is where the magic of puppets lies: That an inanimate object can seen to come to
But in this work, I am also interested in the reverse.
- Is it possible for human beings to embody inanimate objects, like puppets?
- How can we embody a puppet?
- If I ‘become’ puppets, then where is our human side?
4) Human projection
While we know perfectly well that puppets are inanimate objects, we are still
willing to suspend our disbelief and project human attributes onto them. Humans like to view the world as a mirror to themselves and to believe that things take their reference from the human perspectives. They have their own version of reality and they project it onto the external world, allowing them to only see that which they want to see.
I want to look at the phenomena of human projection in relation to the human form.
- What are the projections I impose onto my own human form or onto a puppet?
- What are the expectations produced by my own projection on the human form/puppet?
- What happens when these expectations do not get fulfilled or clashed with the reality?
- What happens when what I see isn’t what is expected anymore?
- What happens when the actual reality leaks into my projected reality?