Study for the Valeska Gert Pavilion (2022)
in the frame of the 16th Lyon Biennale of Contemporary Art

in collaboration with the Jeune Ballet of the Conservatoire National Supérieur Musique et Danse de Lyon (CNSMD)

Since 2015 Eszter Salamon has developed The Valeska Gert Monuments, a series of performative works relating to the life and works of the German avant-garde artist Valeska Gert (b. Gertrud Valesca Samosch, 1892–1978). Study for the Valeska Gert Pavilion (2022) is the latest chapter of this series, for which eleven young dance artists from the Lyon CNSMD have been invited to collaborate with Eszter Salamon on her speculative history making practice.

If the past cannot be remembered, it can be invented. What happens if artworks are imagined on the basis of a single photograph, a poem, or a title alone? What is disrupted if the belief in historical truth (the pretended objective) is suddenly suspended?

The work builds on the provocative, punk spirit of Valeska Gert, in which these young artists reinvest with their questions and subjectivities. Embarked on by Eszter Salamon as a transhistorical research, they listen to how learning from the past affects them and to the transformations and inventions that arise from this intergenerational encounter between Valeska Gert and Eszter Salamon’s works.

Study for the Valeska Gert Pavilion proposes undoing the usual separation of spaces and temporalities through a laboratory of embodied and performative historiography. By bringing a daily practice into the public space, the possibility of a new relational and political space opens up, creating an occasion to learn and perform in public space of an exhibition as well as to exchange through various encounters with the visitors of the Biennale at the Fagor Factory.

Performance dates:
Mon 12 - Fri 16 Sept 2022
Sat 17 - Sun 18 Sept 2022
Tue 20 - Fri 23 Sept 2022
Sat 24 Sept 2022
Tue 27 Sept - Sat 01 Oct 2022
Sat 08 Oct 2022
Sat 15 Oct 2022
Sat 22 Oct 2022
Sat 05 Nov 2022
Fri 11 - Sat 12 Nov 2022  
Sat 19 Nov 2022
Sat 26 Nov 2022
Fri 2  - Sat 03 Dec 2022
Sat 10 Dec 2022

The number of performers in the actualization of the work varied from day to day. Performances took place between 13:00 – 17:00 PM on each scheduled date.

Concept, artistic direction, and choreography Eszter Salamon Performance and choreography Jeune Ballet CNSMD Lyon 2022/2023 -  Inès Aidat, Mina Charpentier, Boris Charrion, Pauline Demey, Aurelien Labenne, Elena Lecoq, Tom Lesne, Swali Mazzaggio, Laia Prats, Luna Votadoro, Maren Weertman Archival Research Agnes Kern Production and organisation The Lyon CNSMD, Botschaft GbR (Berlin) / Alexandra Wellensiek, Studio ES (Paris) / Elodie Perrin, Institute of Speculative Narration and Embodiment (Berlin)
On the invitation of Kylie Walters, Artistic Director, Jeune Ballet CNSMD Lyon

Supported by Bureau Ritter / TANZPAKT RECONNECT, which is funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media as part of the NEUSTART KULTUR initiative. Funded by the Senate Department for Culture and Europe, Berlin, DRAC Ile de France - the Regional Directory of Cultural Affairs of Paris – Ministry of Culture and Communication

Thanks to Stephan Dörschel (Archiv Darstellende Kunst Akademie der Künste, Berlin) 

©Hélène Robert