Preenacting Reenactments is a work that emerged from an interest in the growing use of immersive and participatory formats in the performing and visual arts. Immersion promises the performance or installation viewer, elevated to the position of guest, the chance to dive into the artwork and into another world, thereby creating spaces of experience and re-defining the relation between art and its reception. The immediate experience within a fiction over time presents itself as as an apt means with which to generate knowledge through artificially created experiences. Immersive formats play a notably large role in the military: Soldiers are trained in large-scale simulations for foreign missions. Furthermore, the German army trains members of aid organizations as well as journalists in the United Nations training centers in Franconian Hammelberg, in the correct behavior in war. The situations presented in this context are based on the operational experience of the German armed forces and thus arise from a kind of collective direction, spurred by the memories and experiences of the soldiers. The project Preenacting Reenactments examines the mechanism of immersion in the non-artistic context of the German army, questioning the exact context of the simulations. Preenacting Reenactments focusses especially on the training for journalists, who in the course of their training in Hammelburg, often encounter the German army and a non-mediated picture of war for the first time. This lends particular relevance to the question of the power of immersion. The guests of the installation Preenacting Reenactments experience the fiction factory Hammelburg from the viewpoints of artists Lea Langenfelder and Sophie Lichtenberg, who quote the simulation in the spaces provided.

The project was funded by Fonds Darstellende Künste, the LBBW-Bank-Stiftung and Theater Performance Kunst RAMPIG.

Prof. Anja Dorn, Prof. Andreas Müller

Concept: Sophie Lichtenberg & Lea Langenfelder
Text: Lea Langenfelder
Scenography: Sophie Lichtenberg
Performance: Tabea Panizzi
Sound: Philippe Mainz
Graphics: Xenia Fastnacht
Photos: Sebastian Heck & Sophie Lichtenberg