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Two photos of women in 40's costume sat at an old desk

Comrades of Time

Comrades of Time

Seven women recite monologues composed from speeches, letters and essays from 1916-1941, written by architects, writers, philosophers and political organizers from the vibrant years of the Weimar Republic as a kind of cultural echo: an experience of historical times as they are brought to the present.

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Who

Andrea creates image and text based installations, using both fiction and documentary strategies: often restrained, they have a sort of rich calmness to them, that draws you into a consideration of layers upon layers of thought or meaning; a calmness that leads to a considered, embodied thinking on concepts such as national identity, gender and class.

What

“To be contemporary means to be “with time” rather then “in time.” “Contemporary” in German is “zeitgenössisch.” As Genosse means comrade, to be contemporary, zeitgenössisch thus can be understood as being a comrade of time — as collaborating with time, helping time when it has problems, when it has difficulties.” —Boris Groys

The title of the “Comrades of Time” is a reference to a text by the art critic and media theorist Boris Groys. In this performed version of “Comrades of Time”, seven New York women recite monologues composed from speeches, letters and essays from 1916-1941, written by Helene Stöcker, Rosa Luxemburg, Alfred Döblin, Elisabeth Sussmann, Walter Benjamin, Alice Salomon, Sigmund Freud, George Grosz.

Why

At our recent Copying Without Copying event in Glasgow, Andrea spoke about a notion of what we might call “cultural memory”. Activated by a notion of echo or reverb: sound is present but travels away from us, but its presence can be re-heard when something is placed in it’s way that reflects it back to us. In a similar manner, history is always present, and an object or encounter placed appropriately can allow us to hear it as such, reflected back from a distance.

The Weimar Republic, which reverberates like an echo throughout this performance, was an era of a collectively awakening imagination in all parts of society. Through this notion of echo, a space of reflection is set up where an individual internalisation of historical and political knowledge takes place and the experience of historical times is brought to the present.

Kinds of listening involved

Cultural Memory – to hear the echo of history within ourselves.

Speech Act – to address someone, (and to imagine how they hear you).

Links
Andrea Geyer's presentation at a Creative Time event Comrades of Time project page that includes videos MOMA's Conversations With Contemporary Artists series with Andrea Geyer Interview with Andrea Geyer on Art21 Blog

Documentation

8 images, 1 video, 1 audio
Audio Recording
CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
A large gallery space is full of people moving around

▴ Credit: Bryony McIntyre

A cast member dressed in a sharp suit addresses the crowd on a box

▴ Credit: Bryony McIntyre

A cast member dressed in a yellow skirt addresses the crowd on a box

▴ Credit: Bryony McIntyre

A crowd watches a cast member in a suit address them from a soapbox

▴ Credit: Bryony McIntyre

A cast member dressed in a sharp suit addresses the crowd on a box

▴ Credit: Bryony McIntyre

A cast member dressed in a loose shirt and scarf addresses the crowd on a box

▴ Credit: Bryony McIntyre

A crowd watches a cast member in a white shirt address them

▴ Credit: Bryony McIntyre

A cast member dressed in a yellow skirt addresses the crowd on a box

▴ Credit: Bryony McIntyre

A large gallery space is full of people moving around

▴ Credit: Bryony McIntyre

A cast member dressed in a sharp suit addresses the crowd on a box

▴ Credit: Bryony McIntyre

A cast member dressed in a yellow skirt addresses the crowd on a box

▴ Credit: Bryony McIntyre

A crowd watches a cast member in a suit address them from a soapbox

▴ Credit: Bryony McIntyre

A cast member dressed in a sharp suit addresses the crowd on a box

▴ Credit: Bryony McIntyre

A cast member dressed in a loose shirt and scarf addresses the crowd on a box

▴ Credit: Bryony McIntyre

A crowd watches a cast member in a white shirt address them

▴ Credit: Bryony McIntyre

A cast member dressed in a yellow skirt addresses the crowd on a box

▴ Credit: Bryony McIntyre