participatory performance installation

HD video, 9 min, color, sound

THIS IS NOT A COMPETITION (personal performance records) (2016)
SD video, 24 min, color, sound

This is not a competition. This is the most important part. Whatever you imagine a good performance to be, is not what this is about. Many people suffer from the delusional burden of feeling responsible for their successes and failures. Are you one of them? We might be able to help you. Get your appointment today.

THIS IS NOT A COMPETITION is a performance installation. It’s first installment took place in Cologne in March and April 2016. One could book an individual appointment at the institute and would then experience and take part in different settings of interview, coaching and physical training with different coaches. Each of those encounters was recorded on personalized MiniDV tapes (“personal performance records”).

The work explores the ambiguity of the term “performance”, which denotes experimental, creative and potentially subversive acts (of art) just as much as the willingness to function well in neoliberal capitalism. As an employee you might be confronted with performance ratings, that evaluate how well you do your job. As an artist, as well as in many other professions, questions of representation and self promotion will be an issue.

At this institute clients are trained to perform for the camera. In the initial session they are asked, for example, how they deal with competition and envy, what motivates them or if they think they have a strong sense of fairness. In a second session, with a different coach, their answers to these questions are turned into slogans and their task is to convincingly perform those altered, more pointed versions of their own statements, taken out of context.

Clients also get an introduction to “embodimentalisation”, which combines visualisation, mental training and the concept of embodied cognition into a set of physical exercises: “You are able to work with a personalized sequence, tailored to your individual development goals. With an ongoing practice of embodying the key terms of our lexicon, you will find them subtly infiltrating your mind. What would you like to improve?”

Two video works derived from the performance installation. THIS IS NOT A COMPETITION (9 min, color, sound, HD) is a first-person-perspective trailer, featuring all the coaches introducing the institute and Janina Warnk from the reception singing the hourly motivation song.


The second video work is compiled from the more than 100 tapes we have from clients. THIS IS NOT A COMPETITION (personal performance records) (24min, color, sound, SD)

Ale Bachlechner      … performer, director
Olivia Platzer       … performer, assistant director, production
Jonathan Kastl       … performer, music, technical director, editing
Bryce Kasson         … performer, music
Felix Zilles-Perels  … performer, editing
Janina Warnk         … performer, singer, lyrics
Matthias Conrady     … performer, graphic design
Lia Sudermann        … tutorial performer
Franz-Xaver Franz    … tutorial performer
Sina Seifee          … tutorial performer

Laurentia Genske     … camera
Stefan Ramírez Pérez … set design, costumes
Carolina Arciniegas  … graphic design
Aaron Jablonski      … web design

shown at
Videonale.16 Bonn Feb 17th – April 2nd 2017
Art Cologne April 26th – 29th 2017
Impulse Akademie June 20th-23rd 2019