a [     ] in progress
by Lisa Hofmann

Physical Film

An artistic research at the interface between performance/dance and film.

For a three month artistic research and further education, I had set myself the goal of further educating myself in the area of film for dance and performance/ creating and performing for the camera, in order to subsequently be able to share the acquired knowledge in workshops as well as to create a platform on which I can share my work contributing to an exchange of artists at the interface between dance/performance and film.

Where I came from.

As a dancer/performer holding a B.A. in Sociology and Media Science, I started playing and experimenting with the creation of performative films during the past two to three years (also due to known circumstances). Nevertheless, I have never been really satisfied. Accordingly, I was planning to use the three months of this artistic research to finally find the “good” or “right” way of filming dance/performance and then be able to teach others.

Disclaimer: Before I started this research, I hadn’t thought that it maybe isn’t about finally finding the “good” or “right” way of filming dance/performance, but what mainstream media made my own visual habits. I was constantly thinking within my own established normative filmmaking standers. But only because something isn’t normative it doesn’t mean it isn’t “right” or “good”, right? Of course, one could argue, that a good film is good, because certain thinks are “just working” (also due to technical settings that are used to make the image in film appear close to what the human visual experience is/ how our eyes are perceiving the world around us). But also, I am asking myself, to what degree this has become the visual habit we rely on as well. I don’t think it is about eliminating these standards but creating awareness and constantly questioning your own aesthetic decisions.

Where I was aiming at…

1. The exploration of the medium of film at the interface with dance/performance.
2. Share the acquired knowledge in workshops.
3. Creating a website to share the knowledge.

…until I entered the rabbit whole of this topic including its social political issues.

Where I went.

Already in the beginning of the three month I realized that I started an exploration that can’t be limited to a period of only three months. Therefore, I decided to use the three-month period to create a fertile breeding ground for the elaboration of my further artistic research, creation and archiving of initial experiences in exchange with peers and professionals of the field.

I decided that I will not be teaching anything to anybody about this topic at the fragile beginning of this research, especially because I realized how much vulnerability is involved in this topic. Instead, I started (re)searching and exploring with my own body first. Not aiming to create another film in following normative filming standards, I started a performative/physical research about frames and how we create them - not only through the medium film but also as society. I started realizing that it is not only about how the film in the end looks like, but also how we create it, how the camera encounters a space, a body…

Therefore, one of the main results of this three month is an artistic research about framing, about to develop and eventually evolving itself into many different shapes.

Above this I started a series of conversations with artists in the field to gain multiple perspectives: on what frames are made of, what they do to the body, how a camera can make us feel uncomfortable and vulnerable, but also how we can use it as a tool to create something that wouldn’t be possible on a “normal” stage…

Would you like to be part of my archive and help me develop this research?
You are more than welcome to
contact me!

Funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media within the framework of the initiative NEUSTART KULTUR, aid programm DIS-TANZEN by the Dachverband Tanz Deutschland.

(DE: “Gefördert durch die Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien im Programm NEUSTART KULTUR, Hilfsprogramm DIS-TANZEN des Dachverband Tanz Deutschland”)