Verpuppung/Chrysalisation
Siepmann, 1977, 62'21''

Unable to play video - your browser does not support any of the available video types.


For this performance, Planstudio Siepmann engaged an actor. Together with the audience, this actor is in a room with a grid of dark and light-coloured lines on the floor. In the background, the sound of a throbbing engine can be heard. 'After some 20 minutes, the actor begins to stretch linen bandages across the room, a metre above the floor. He starts in the corner opposite the entrance, and makes his way towards the door. This makes it impossible for the audience to stay in the room; they have to get out and can either follow the action inside the room on a monitor or can climb a flight of stairs to look in from above', according to Siepmann in October 1977. When even the cameraman himself runs out of manoeuvring space inside the room, he also climbs the stars, so that from then on the performance is filmed from a different angle. 'Now the actor moves towards a corner of the room. The normal lamps are turned off, and bright spotlights are focused on him. He begins to wrap himself in bandages, from the feet up. If anything, this is suggestive of the phenomenon of pupation: feet, legs, arms and head. Then the performer starts winding adhesive tape around the ‘cocoon’ of bandages. Meanwhile, mainly due to its intensity and monotony, the sound is becoming unbearable; the noise more and more imposing and aggressive. Eventually the actor is completely swathed up, his body no longer visible; he has become a pupa (not a mummy!). The audience can see sporadic movements, which finally rigidify. The body appears to be dead, but new life is developing inside. For twenty minutes, the actor remains upright in his final position. Then the spotlights are extinguished.' (Planstudio Siepmann, October 1977) Read more...

  • Date: 1977
  • Length: 62'21''
  • Type: Video
  • Copyrights: All rights reserved (c) LIMA
  • Genre: conceptual, performance (artwork genre)
  • Keywords: body