A Sea of Being
Laurent Ziegler
Artist Statement
»A Sea of Being« is a b/w and color photo series on Butoh with the performer Mirjam Morad. Butoh was inspired by German Ausdruckstanz and given shape in postwar Japan, critically addressing cultural shifts. I felt drawn to this form of contemporary dance from the very beginning, searching for ways of re-living, re-embodying memory that is within my boundaries of perception. I understand my work as connected to and inspired by nature, as an attempt to embrace sensuality with all the light and darkness of the soul. Referring to John Cage in his Lectures on Something and Nothing, I equally accept liking and disliking. Butoh taught me through bodily manifestations about the “then” and “now” of Japanese culture and, in spite of all inherent contradictions, the interconnectedness we are all in as one single, breathing entity.
My work relates to a vibrant, contemporary art form that, from the late 50s until today, depicts the complexity and contradictoriness of Japanese culture as well as transitory moments in society. Working on the series with Mirjam Morad, a non-Japanese dancer, in a non-Japanese environment, we accessed our individual, heart-felt connections with Japan and Butoh as a bodily manifestation to bring our narrative across. Collaborations with local artists in Tokyo and Kyoto supported me in the creation of »A Sea of Being«, going well beyond familiar cultural perceptions.
Artist Bio
My current focus is on photography, painting, installation and performative work. Previously I studied Political Science and completed educational programs in contemporary dance and film. I have experience in teaching visual arts (NDU New Design University Austria, One World Foundation Sri Lanka) and contemporary dance. Since 2013 I exhibit in group and solo exhibitions (a.o. Künstlerhaus Wien, Gallery Andrea Jünger Vienna, Leopold Museum Vienna, Paris Photo, L.A.), with a passion to bring across stories and embark on a journey to see and to unravel the unseen.