photo: BBB Johannes Deimling by Monika Sobczak
‘it won’t always grow back #11’
born 1969 in Andernach, Germany. Lives in Norway
“Anyone can make the simple complicated. Creativity is making the complicated simple.”
To present complex contents, situations and moments in a simple and elementary way is a signature of the art of BBB Johannes Deimling: the term ‘Performance Art Povera’ describes his works. These are the intersections that inspire and provoke his approaches to the perception of aesthetics, concept and content of his work. The ‘acted images [agierteBilder]’ of the artist are initially created purely visual, but gradually access to all the senses to create a holistic view on the banalities of everyday life with all its changes.
With a deep interest in the aesthetics and transformational potential of materials and objects, BBB Johannes Deimling enters the performative field with a purely visual approach. Deimling suggests “it is not the action that makes the performance, but the quality of an image created in combination with materials, objects and action in correspondence with space and time”. To begin the creative process Deimling forms single images. The so called ‘acted images’ consist of reduced, simple actions often with only one object, one material or one gesture. With a passion for details, a visual alphabet of acted images accrues, allowing Deimling to literally and visually write his art that is performance. Using the technique of Collage he combines several acted images that allow Deimling to play in a cinematic way with all of the visual elements by deconstructing the course of actions and putting the parts anew together. The pureness of his artistic language causes the images to interlock. During this process various intersections appear in which unpredictable new images emerge. The material and objects begin to perform as Deimling treats them more like puppets. ‘What’s in my head’, ‘Leaking memories’, ‘Around the World’ and ‘A rolling stone gathers no moss’ are just a few titles of cycles in which BBB Johannes Deimling includes several performative Collages. From a simple single image the artist offers a complex and holistic universe of visual imagery.
The ephemeral Collages appear more poetic than descriptive and rather metaphoric than symbolic. The metaphor is an image which falls apart at any attempt of approaching it and invites the viewer to read the action in order to stop searching for words of explanation and to look for attributions. Deimling creates ephemeral images, not made to be interpreted and drowned out with the logic of language. The balance of the metaphoric, surrealist image and transformation of the artist into a unique readable sign, is what makes the works of Deimling so fascinating. The precision of his movements, the possibility of failure, and the presence of coincidence, achieve an uncontaminated visual sensation where simplicity generates a humorous magic moment that is imminent in all of Deimling’s performance art.
The artist continuously invites a dialogue between other art forms including poetry, sculpture, architecture, dance, sound, and drawing. Deimling’s performative Collages are a forum for interdisciplinary discourses where performance is used as tool for communication where viewers are invited to take part in the performative process.
The absence of rehearsal plays a distinct role and manifests the value of the creative act. Imagination and forethought are important tools that bring the artist’s concepts to life. This working method includes the possibility of ‘failure’ as to sharpen the focus and increase the artists’ concentration on absolute being within the moment. By removing the process of rehearsal, the sensation of a shared space is highlighted as the action unfolds in front of the viewer. Based on these experiences Deimling creates a visual knowledge that touches the base of memory, strokes the desire of tomorrow, and manifests the beauty of now.
For over 15 years BBB Johannes Deimling invests much of his artistic research into the teaching and learning of performative processes. In 2008 he founded the independent educational and artistic project PAS | Performance Art Studies, holding festivals, studies and events on performance globally. Since 2012 he holds the position associate Professor for Performance Art at NTA – Norwegian Theatre Academy at the Østfold University College.