Saturday morning, Brixton Village. What could be better than a coffee, a crêpe and a chat with two promising artists?
Lisa Jeschke & Lucy Beynon are two live artists with a theatrical background. Are they a duo, a collective singularity or what? Perhaps it would be better to ask them directly.
Let’s start from the beginning. When, where and why did you start working together?
We started working together in Berlin in 2008, after some previous student work in the UK. Perhaps because we wanted to think about what it might mean to make nothing, to make idiotic and non-virtuosic and terrible and foolish work. But probably this is just an explanation after the fact.
How do you think your creative process differ from that of a single artist or of an artist collective?
It has enforced a sense of obligation to (1) not to display the relationship between us or create any opening for biographical readings and (2) not ever elevate one of us over the other or over the audience in a moment of what could be idealised as a spark of productive liveness. Instead, we’re structurally forced to be as reduced and dead as possible. This often means that the only deliberate movement which occurs at all is that of the mouth. We just stand in front of the audience like the Twin Towers. The audience might attack us at any point or we might attack them and really nothing happens. But there is a strong sense of the possibility and reality of harm in a static, harmless situation.
Written words seem to have a big role in your practice. Could you explain your relationship with them?
Last time I saw one of your works, we were invited to a terrorist attack at the X Marks the Bökship. Do you consider your practice political?
Yes. In theatre and performance, ‘the political’ is often displaced, as if the site of politics was somewhere else and not in the form of the performance work and its contexts. For us it is a formal politics. That particular performance is not so much a terrorist attack, but rather it exists in a state of terrorism. Sort of like the difference between dominance and hegemony. There is no clear terrorist/state or perpetrator/victim binary to impose on the performer/audience. Rather with relentless and static tension that piece violently concentrates all attention into a rigid form.
To conclude, tell us something about your next projects and where we can see you again.
The next event in London will be Showtime Festival on 15 June, where we’ll show a performance called ‘he’s dead / he’s dead / i’ve shot him in the head’. There are also some events coming up elsewhere and you can follow us on https://lisajeschkelucybeynon.blogspot.co.uk/