From 21st till the 24th of April 2016, the „PerformanceZuHauseFestival“ took place in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Performance „Zuhause“ (German for „at home“) Festival, as the name suggests, means that the public was invited to the private homes of artists Gustavo Solar, Jenny Toro Salas, Anderson Feliciano and Graciela Ovejero Postigo, in order for the audience to experience each home as a performance setting on four consecutive evenings. Prior to these performances, German artist katharinajej had moved into the home of each of the above artists for two weeks to develop each performance together, whilst living and working on-site.
In addition, on the last day of the festival, an artist talk joined by all involved artists took place in the home of Graciela Ovejero Postigo, followed by a party to finalize the Festival.
By exploring the existential experience of home, thus of taking roles as guest or host, being a stranger to the home of another person, or sharing private space with a stranger, the performance will be developed on-site. The artistic work in the context of its surroundings aims to broaden the scope of the respective home as a space for creative freedom.
The festival’s first iteration took place at the end of January 2015 in Cologne, Germany, involving local artists Sebastian Zuhr, Diane Müller and Lala Nomada. Just as in its Argentinian sequel, the Cologne performances were developed in advance by katharinajej and the respective artists, who had previously accommodated katharinajej at their homes. In addition, a „PerformanceZuHauseFestivalParty“ took place at the home of Sebastian Zuhr and an artist talk joined by all involved artists, was held and accompanied by soup and wine at the home of katharinajej.
Private living space is a central characteristic of the city and its streets lined with terraced housing, detached houses and apartment blocks. Yet, ringing strangers‘ doorbells and entering the private space of their homes is still placed under a taboo. Despite being so close to us, most of the homes of people we do not know personally remain closed and inaccessible to us. The PerformanceZuHauseFestival opens up these private worlds to its audience. By entering a home, the audience member transforms his/her initial role of being a stranger and becomes familiar with the home and its resident(s). In turn, the previously private home temporarily turns into a public space — as a result, the line between private and public gets blurred. But the PerformanceZuHauseFestival will take the audience one step further than just entering a home. The space where one normally just lives in, turns into a performance venue where life and art embrace one another, hence, everyday-life space turns into art space.