THE PROGRAM OF AUTHORS’ ITINERARIES THAT INVESTIGATES THE ARTISTIC PRACTICE IN THE PUBLIC SPACE

WALK WITH STEFANIE SCHAIRER 2013

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WALK WITH STEFANIE SCHAIRER: BLIND DATE. Berlin 29 June 2013. Picture  Valentina Marinone  and Art & Tours.

“Intervention and performance in public space on the East Side Gallery. The wall stands today as a symbol of international understanding, reunification and freedom. For over 28 years people have been separated from each other – until it finally fell down through the peaceful pressure and resistance of the East German people in 1989. This piece of the Berlin Wall is the longest remaining piece of the wall and serves as a memorial for this peaceful revolution. Artists from all around the world designed it and still do it and maintain the “feeling of freedom” and the “belief in change” alive. Many thousands of people visit this place every year. The wall has become a place of encounter and change. This fact is the starting point of my intervention and Performance in this public space” says Stefanie Schairer. In Blind Date, People who have never seen before, meet for the first time in their life. They follow here the invitation of the artist to interact and to leave their scent marks. The place is known and the meeting takes place on a 4 x 1.50 m white canvas on the ground. As means colors and brushes are available. The goal is the illustration of the meeting experience on this canvas. As she did in other interactive projects, the artist leaves the artistic process open on purpose. She only indicates the frame by setting place, time and resources. Through the active participation of the people involved, the performance will find its final form and expression.

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„Blind Date“ in Philadelphia, 2013

In fall 2013 I participated with my project in the Figementfestival in Philadelphia.
After an interview a reporter wrote in the newspaper „The Daily Pennsylvanian“: Explaining the origin of the event’s name, Executive Producer David Koren said “figment” was the one word pop artist Andy Warhol wanted engraved on his tombstone. “Warhol saw himself as a figment of our imagination” Koren said. The idea behind this project is to create a collective artistic experience, and therefore, a “community ecosystem.” Around the time when I showed up, I was drawn into a large painted canvas surrounded by many people. The piece, titled “Blind Date,” invited visitors to contribute to a painting that would be taken with the artist, Stefanie Schairer, to her native Germany. Schairer first conceived the project as a way to connect strangers to each other. Inspired by a current movement of artists who have come together to paint the Berlin Wall, Schairer hoped to create a space where people could unite in their differences and experiences. Each participant at Figment “makes their own thing but also connects [them] to other objects” she said. Later, as I kneeled in the grass of Clark Park, hunched over colorful swirls painted by participants who had come before me, I added my mark to Schairer’s canvas. On my way to paint my initials in red acrylic, a blob splattered from my brush onto a design left by a previous artist. I asked my mom, who was in town for family weekend, to change it into something beautiful. We were transforming each other’s work and that of a stranger.

Lauren Feiner http://www.thedp.com/article/2013/10/clark-park-sees-public-arts-collaboration

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