Surrogate (as performed in Stuttgart and Esslingen)
Performance in collaboration with Fiona Könz
In November 2018 Gregor Vogel and Fiona Könz were invited to participate in the group exhibition VEHEMENT at Villa Merkel in Esslingen, Germany. As a part of the work Open Call by the exhibiting artist Jan-Hendrik Pelz which featured artists being invited to show their work in the gallery space, they developed a concept for a reprise of Surrogate.
Arriving in Stuttgart they switched roles (exchanged personal belongings, adapted individual characteristics, adjusted their use of language etc) and proceeded to perform in the role of their counterpart for the following three days.
During their stay at Villa Merkel they worked across from each other at two desks in the entrance hall of the museum. During the three days of their stay they both produced new works which were intended to be integrated into the artistic practice of the other.
Other participants of the exhibition were Havin Al-Sindy, Ferhat Ayne, Anna-Elisabeth Frick, Claudia Gienger, Shana Levy, Jan-Hendrik Pelz and Hiroki Tsukiyama.
Gregor Vogel (performed by Fiona Könz) produced the work Esslinger Wolle which concerned the wool whose production led to the accumulation of the fortune, which lead to the Villa Merkel being built by Oskar Merkel in the 19th century. Aiming to bring the wool back to its original home, he bought sock wool – the only kind of wool still available – and proceeded to learn how to knit a sock. When confronted with his inability to finish the sock he seeked the help of citizens of Esslingen he met on the streets, documenting his endeavors in a video.
For her untitled work, Fiona Könz (performed by Gregor Vogel) used the floor of the entrance hall to display a visual representation of a situation in which two positions try to adapt their counterpart‘s coordinates, affecting each other in the process. Adding excerpts from their personal diaries to the masking tape she used to mark the paths, drew a comparison to the performance which formed the context for this particular work.
Each position‘s coordinates are the average value of its own last coordinates, the other party‘s last coordinates as well as the other party‘s coordinates during the start of the experiment:
An = (An-1+ Bn-1+ B0) / 3 Bn = (Bn-1+ An-1+ A0) / 3