BARDO - topography of the in between
performance by Judith Egger, MUG, Munich 2012
sound: Michael Northam, camera and video cut: Maria Rilz
and Galerie Esther Donatz, Munich, 2013, sound: Axel Nitz, video: Maria Rilz
length of the performance: 45 mins, realized with the support of arts council Munich, music award 2012
"Mystic, enigmatic and visually stunning: This is how Judith Egger’s performance “Bardo” can be described. Circling around states of the in-between and of transition, the term “bardo” refers to the Tibetan Book of the Dead (Bardo Thodol: “Liberation Through Hearing During The Intermediate State”), a collection of Buddhist sutras from the 8th century. The text focuses on the interval between death and rebirth in which different states of consciousness are achieved. These “gaps” or phases of uncertainty can not only be experienced after death but are an essential part of life itself.
Judith Egger establishes three-dimensional miniature settings in her oral cavity – a sensitive place between inside and outside where not only breath and sound leave the body, but communication is generated. The open mouth becomes a stage, a theater revealing various scenes. These will be accompanied live by Munich-based composer and musician Axel Nitz and transferred onto the big screen by cinematographer Maria Rilz. Thereby, sounds from the interior of the artist’s mouth will be integrated into the performance.
Although the miniature architectures placed inside Judith Egger’s oral cavity appear to be deserted and rather static, the flickering of a TV set in a living room and the sushi conveyor belt at a restaurant show some movement. The foaming froth inside a cave refuses stagnation as much as the sparkling water of a fountain symbolizes the circle of life. The artist creates moments of contemplation and tranquility through different scenes anticipating change at the same time. What happens beyond these intermediate spaces remains uncertain."
Text by Nadine Seligmann