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PERFORMANCE PLATFORM PERSPECTIVES: A DOCUMENTARY PROJECT ABOUT MPA-BERLIN

August 11, 2014  |  Intern Chronicles
Performance Platform Perspectives: A Documentary Project about MPA-Berlin
East Side Gallery/Berlin Wall, Berlin, Germany, May 26, 2014. Photo: Cindy Yeh

East Side Gallery/Berlin Wall, Berlin, Germany, May 26, 2014. Photo: Cindy Yeh

Berlin, the Mecca of performance art, a site of reconciliation and growth, and a community of refugees finding their safe space nestled between street art and reclaimed historical spaces. Continuing my work of performance art documentation, I traveled to Berlin to explore current trends in the medium. During the month of May, many performances take place around the world, but MPA-Berlin really caught my eye because of the intensity of its programming for the month. I love performances that act as public interventions, and MPA-Berlin was a great community that was really taking advantage of Berlin’s public areas as a space for dialogue and interactions with the public.

The Ding Dong Dom—MPA Hub at Holzmarktstrasse 25, Berlin, Germany, May 24, 2014. Photo: Cindy Yeh

The Ding Dong Dom—MPA Hub at Holzmarktstrasse 25, Berlin, Germany, May 24, 2014. Photo: Cindy Yeh

I began my travels with one goal in mind: a documentary. I had always wanted to create one, especially about communities, collaboration, and the exploration of self-expression in spaces with much historical meaning. Francesca Romana Ciardi, one of the founders of MPA-Berlin, was very excited for my project, and once I landed in Berlin she helped me navigate the different actors within the performance art platform. The festival was the perfect tour guide of Berlin, leading Francois Huyghe, my cameraman and partner in the project, and myself through the city.

The Slow Burner performance series, Berlin, Germany, May 27, 2014. Photo: Cindy Yeh

The Slow Burner performance series, Berlin, Germany, May 27, 2014. Photo: Cindy Yeh

While there I also wrote about my experience with the program Surveillance: Invisibility and Visibility, curated by Emanuelle Nedelcu in collaboration with Gaby Billa-Günther, which featured 19 artists and was held in Funkhaus, the former headquarters of the German Democratic Republic radio station. Many of the performances dealt with issues of censorship, surveillance, and the history of the GDR. This being my first day in Berlin, I was in awe of the fearless programming, the relevance of the work, and the fact that I ended the night playing hide-and-seek in a forest with Viviana Druga.

Francesca Romana Ciardi DJing the final day day at MPA Hub, Berlin, Germany, May 29, 2014. Photo: Cindy Yeh

Francesca Romana Ciardi DJing the final day day at MPA Hub, Berlin, Germany, May 29, 2014. Photo: Cindy Yeh

Over 10 days we interviewed 10 collaborators/co-laborers of the MPA platform, documented 20 performances, and met some amazing individuals from all around the world that came just to perform or be involved. Watch the documentary below. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did, and savor a taste of the Berlin performance art scene.

Comments

Dear Cindy and Francois, it was a pleasure having you here in Berlin with us in May! We all very much enjoyed working with you and being able to share with you our story. The documentary is great, and illustrates really well the variety of projects and curatorial initiatives that filled the final days of the Month of Performance Art–Berlin 2014.

Is this building still in place or was it just temporary ?

The building is still in place, only for another year. It was a grant from the government as a cultural initiative, but the land belongs to the former Bar 25 and they will build over it as the bar is in the process of a revamp of the club.

I just heard through the MPA-B network of Cindy’s tragic accident and passing. Such terrible news and a bright and creative light taken from the world. Please pass on my condolences to her family and friends. I did not know her well, and have only my memories of her work around the MPA-B platform to turn to, but I know she will be missed by many I am sure.

The passing of Cindy Yeh is a big loss for the art world. I will remember her for the great energy that she brought to us during the Month of Performance Art in Berlin and wish her friends and family all the strenght they need.

Oh Cindy! What a tragedy is your sudden disappear, of which I heard today. All my thoughts are on your loved ones and I wish your soul the best way out in this universe to become a shaft of sun or something else amazingly beautiful. It was great to work with you in Berlin. Thanks for leaving some great artistic work in this world. We will always remember you. Your energy and your smile. Goodbye.

Our hearts are shattered. News of the tragic passing of Cindy, has reached us here in Berlin. No words can describe how devastated and shocked we are that Cindy is no longer amongst us. She was a wonderful person. We spent 10 fantastic days together. Part of her legacy, her visions, her passion, her kindness will always live through this documentary.
We will miss you.
R.I.P Cindy
With love,
Francesca at the Month of Performance Art-Berlin

I can’t believe it! Such horrible news!! I met Cindy at MPA and her spirit and energy was just beautiful! Her approach to her work was inspiring! Thoughts with her family and friends at this time!

RIP Cindy love Demi

The whole MPA-B family is profoundly saddened by the news of Cindy’s tragic passing. Her beautiful memory is in our hearts and her family and friends are in our thoughts. Wishing her loved ones strength in this time of sorrow.

All of us at MoMA are deeply saddened by the untimely death of Cindy Yeh. Cindy, a 12- month intern, worked in the Digital Learning group of our Education Department. During her tenure Cindy was instrumental to so many important digital initiatives at MoMA. She was one of the first video editors to use the newly-opened MoMA media production space; she pioneered a new vision for our Coursera MOOC videos; she turned out amazingly creative visual materials to promote MoMA’s online courses and made substantial documentation of many Museum programs. Last week she was wrapping up a nine-month project facilitating the creation of an entire online course by teens for teens that will debut in the fall.

Everyone with whom Cindy worked at MoMA valued her as a collaborator, respected her incredible dedication to her work and enjoyed her friendly and open-minded demeanor. She was an invaluable staff member and devoted friend to all. She will be deeply missed.

Our thoughts are with her family and friends.

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