Manufactory begins with manual labour. The performance quickly departs from the repetitive and concrete, and into the realm of the phantasmic and abstract. Embodying a true gesamtkunstwerk approach, Manufactory dynamically leaps across genres and disciplines.
The ritual of craftwork is explored within an audio-visual composition by performers who use the stage as both the site of the performance and an instrument within it. They perform acts of labour that simultaneously engage with Sascha Ring’s sparse composition and create captivating live imagery.
Manufactory is a live installation and stage performance inspired by the working practices of early craft workers and their approaches to the daily rhythms of modern factories and production lines. The familiar, common language of human labour is instrumentalised as part of an audio-visual composition.
Devised and directed by the artist group Transforma, together with their long-term collaborator, musician/composer Sascha Ring (Apparat), Manufactory uses live video, physical choreography and music to re-imagine the factory floor.
An intimate stage set is fashioned into the site for an imaginative interpretation of manual labour.
Four dancers perform repetitive, choreographed tasks in a production line setting. The workers handle various raw materials, such as earth, wood, plastic and metal, in a choreography of process.
Screens installed around the work-space show a series of live images, transformed into otherworldly, intimate views of each task. Seemingly mundane processes are condensed and stylised into vignettes of otherwise imperceptible moments.
Microphones amplify the sounds created by the workers, resulting in a fusion of ambient noises and original composition. They shift in and out of sync, and the resulting phasing loops shape the core tempo of the piece, creating a dynamic counterpoint between Ring’s music and the performed tasks.
Released from their operational context and logical outcome, the craftwork and labour are transformed into a set of codes, becoming at once familiar and foreign to the audience.
Transforma are a visual artist collective who have gained a reputation for their approach to creating original audiovisual performances, installations, projections for music, and have worked extensively with theatre and dance. Creating images and atmospheres which establish a connection between the material properties of their subject, abstract storytelling and a hands-on approach to production, they have developed their own language within the live visual experience. They have long standing collaborations with numerous artists, directors and musicians and have performed live and exhibited at many major festivals and venues around the world. Transforma was formed in 2001.
Sascha Ring composes lullabies and hymns. He has developed a unique, emotional cosmos throughout his seven albums and various singles. He is a sound explorer and adventurer for whom no sound is too strange or unformed, and a poet for whom no nuance of feeling is too subtle to nd expression. Sometimes he comes across as a hyper-productive genius who makes the most improbable connections and enters into unlikely musical dialogues. At other times he is the doubter who hesitates and tears holes in his own discography with his re ectiveness. His twelve-year career as a recording artist has made him as familiar to his fans as an old friend – and still it is impossible to guess what his next move will be.
Transforma and Sascha Ring have worked together on numerous projects since 2003 including the Devil’s Walk, Krieg und Frieden and Soundtracks tours.
Choreographic Assistance: Johanna Hwang
Johanna Hwang received her dance education at the Heinz-Bosl-Stiftung, Ballet Aacademy Munich. She danced at the Staatsballett Berlin under the direction of Vladimir Malakhov where she became a demi-soloist. After several years Mauro Bigonzetti invited her to join the Aterballetto in Italy as a soloist where she danced also under the direction of Cristina Bozzolini.
MANUFACTORY was produced by The Barbican, TodaysArt Festival, Schauspielhaus Bochum, LEV Festival and Stereolux.
With residency support from Mapping Festival.
The project is supported by the ENCAC network and mèq Festival.