WITHOUT TUITION OR RESTRAINT (2011)

Featured Long Durational Work

WITHOUT TUITION OR RESTRAINT (2011), VestAndPage

Duration: Five Days and Four Nights

Text by VestAndPage
Cover photograph by Jon Greenland
Performance in occasion of “Performance Transition”, The Exchange Gallery, Penzance, United Kingdom

Andrea Pagnes is jailed inside a dog crate in the gallery space for five days and four nights. Verena Stenke at the same time is closed inside the same gallery where the cage is set. The gallery is open to the public during regular opening hours. Stenke executes one durational action each day: the first day she runs continuously in the space for eight hours straight, the second day she wool-wraps herself onto a chair hanging from the ceiling, the third day she nails herself with her dresses on the wall, the fourth day she stitches herself inside a bed, and the final day she walks the space blindfolded carrying an hourglass. Pagnes, inside the crate, interchanges in some moments with the visitors of the gallery.

“Without Tuition or Restraint” (2011). The Exchange Gallery, Penzance. Photograph by Steve Tanner

“Without Tuition or Restraint” (2011). The Exchange Gallery, Penzance. Photograph by Steve Tanner

“Without Tuition or Restraint” (2011). The Exchange Gallery, Penzance. Photograph by Steve Tanner

“Without Tuition or Restraint” (2011). The Exchange Gallery, Penzance. Photograph by Steve Tanner

"Without Tuition or Restraint" are the conclusive words of a quote by Irish political theorist Edmund Burke, who argued in the 18th Century that “freedom without wisdom and virtue is the worst of all evils, nothing but folly, vice and madness, without tuition or restraint.”



Photograph © Giulio Boem, Venice, 2012.

Photograph © Giulio Boem, Venice, 2012.

VestAndPage are German artist Verena Stenke and Venetian artist and writer Andrea Pagnes who have been working together under the moniker VestAndPage since 2006, generating art in the mediums of live performance, performance-filmmaking and writing, and through independent curatorship. Their practice is process-led, situation-responsive and conceived psycho-geographically in response to social contexts, natural surroundings, historical sites or architecture, and subdue to the given conditions. It examines notions of fragility, vulnerability and failure of the individual and the collective within different social or environmental spheres. Exploring what, as human beings, we still have to offer, VestAndPage question our existence within a humanity characterized by social exclusion and global atrocities. Animated by a nomadic, confrontational spirit, they apply the themes of acceptance, resistance, crisis and endurance with a poetic bodily approach to art practice.

Their works have been presented in museums, galleries and a variety of sites all around the world, and have been described as transfixing, confronting, spellbinding, humble, uncomfortable, carrying fresh iconography, cathartic, visceral, liminal, shamanic, tensional, silent, delicate or mysterious.

Between 2010-2012, VestAndPage produced the experimental art film trilogy sin∞fin The Movie, a complex visual research realized during three years in Antarctica, South America and Asia, examining the relationship between the ephemeral art form of performance with filmmaking.

They are the independent curatorial force behind projects such as Venice International Performance Art Week (2012/2014), and the on-going global art initiative FRAGILE global performance chain journey.

VestAndPage collaborate with international theatre companies, cultural institutions and humanitarian organizations in production and education, presenting lectures and a methodological workshop series.,

Their writings have been published in various books and magazines of contemporary art such as Performance Research, Art&Education, Flash Art, Research Catalogue, Retooling Residencies, Nexus, Hesa Inprint.

Their book The Fall of Faust - Considerations on Contemporary Art and Art Action (Florence, 2010) investigates the intimate tissue of creativity, questioning performance art as urgency. Their website can be found here.